Take a second to get over the shock that I’m writing a blog entry.
Now, do me another favor.
Please don’t ever darken the doors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s a sham. It’s a disgrace. It’s a farce. And now they’ve REALLY pissed me off.
I don’t even know where to start.
According to today’s headline in the Plain Dealer, Cleveland’s largest newspaper, “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to evict ashes of Alan Freed, DJ who gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll, son says”.
According to Lance Freed, son of famed DJ Alan Freed, his father’s ashes have been on display at the RARHOF since 2002. It’s entirely appropriate that Freed’s ashes should be a part of the museum. If not for Alan Freed’s committment to rock and roll and his ongoing fight to cross color barriers in the 1950’s, simply put, there would be no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Think about that. It’s a bold statement. But you gotta ask yourself: Would there be a RARHOF without Run DMC? Yup. Would it still exist without Bonnie Raitt? You betcha. Would it still exist without Beyonce, the subject of its latest exhibit? ‘Fraid so.
Now let’s take a minute and forget about Freed’s contribution to rock and roll. Let’s think about his contributions to society. He was scrutinized originally for playing black music to white kids. To him, it made sense. “Hey kids, you like that watered down white crap? Check out the original tune performed by a black artist. It’s like going from artificial sweetener to pure sugar.” They tried to go after him with the payola scandal, figuring if they nailed him, other DJs would stay away from corrupting young white people with black music. It didn’t work. He later hosted a TV show, but it was cancelled because the sponsor backed out. Apparently, they were upset when they saw black performer Frankie Lymon dancing with a white girl. Freed refused to segregate his audience. Gotta admire that.
However, the Rock Hall doesn’t see it that way. Lance Freed was recently contacted by Greg Harris, Chief Executive Officer of the RARHOF and told to come and get his father’s cremains. They were being taken off display. Freed’s family will need to find another resting place for one of rock and roll’s most important pioneers.
Those who know me, and those who have read this blog in the past, know that I’ve never been a fan of the uninformed yo-yos that run this joint. But I gotta tell ya, I was almost there. That’s right, the dark clouds were starting to clear. I am travelling to Cleveland in September, and I was going to give it a chance. I thought “maybe I can look past all the corporate crap and actually see something worth seeing.” All along I’ve thought “if I can just see something legitimate, like Del Shannon’s guitar, it will be worth it”. I was actually going to pay the admission and take the tour. Yep, I was gonna drink the koolaid.
Not anymore. If they were giving away tickets to this shithole, I wouldn’t stand in line for them. As a radio fan, and as a rock and roll fan, I’m insulted that that they even put the name “rock and roll” on this place.
The worst part? They don’t care. The RARHOF has never cared for the input of fans. They decide who gets in and who doesn’t. If you’re not in the Jann Wenner club, you don’t count. There are tons of great performers who have made major contributions to rock and roll, and they will never get near the place.
I don’t know if any of you have ever been to the museum, or are planning on going there in the future. I just hope that at least some of you will join this boycott. Instead, travel to Nashville to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s well worth the trip. Or check out the Memphis Music Museum. In fact, there are several other music museums throughout the country that are worth seeing, just google.
Please…just don’t go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.