The New York Times is reporting that Jann Wenner has been bounced from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame board after his astonishing interview yesterday.
Wenner admitted that he no had no respect for female or Black artists in an interview to promote his coming book called “The Masters.”
He said that he didn’t included women or Blacks in his book of interviews because he didn’t care what they had to say.
This is not a surprise to anyone who’s followed Wenner the last 50 years. Every rock artists and rock writer has been aware of it. Wenner as head of the Rock Hall has obstructed the introduction of women consistently, and most R&B artists. I’ve been writing about this for years. Carly Simon was only inducted last year after waiting since she was eligible in 1996. Carole King was in as a writer but not. a performer despite having the biggest hit album of the 70s. Linda Ronstadt was also only recently inducted.
When the Rock Hall began, the original committee — headed by Atlantic Records’ Ahmet Ertegun — pushed in as many Atlantic, Stax, and Motown stars as possible. But as years passed, the number of Blacks getting in diminished, Black women especially. Every year, the inclusion of people like Dionne Warwick, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson has caused fights among everyone involved.
That Wenner — pugilistic, contentious. self involved — blurted this out is amazing. But in the times I’ve seen him in the last couple of years he didn’t seem like he was all there. He’s had serious health setbacks like a heart attack so who knows what shape his mind is in. The filter may be gone.
Always great when a really bad guy reveals himself, regardless of health issues. This will now be Wenner’s legacy. It will be interesting to see how Rolling Stone — now run by son, Gus — addresses this.