Rock Hall Voting Scandal?

Roger Friedman of reports today of a brewing controversy about this year's Rock Hall inductees.
According to sources knowledgeable about the mysterious ways of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, British Invasion group The Dave Clark Five and not Grandmaster Flash finished fifth in the final voting of the nominating committee and should have been inducted on Monday night.

According to sources, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, who recently appointed himself chairman of the Foundation after the death of Ahmet Ertegun, ignored the final voting and chose Grandmaster Flash over the DC5 for this year's ceremony.

"Jann went back to a previous ballot instead of taking the final vote as the last word," my source insisted. "He used a technicality about the day votes were due in. In reality, The Dave Clark Five got six more votes than Grandmaster Flash. But he felt we couldn't go another year without a rap act."

R.E.M., Van Halen, The Ronettes and Patti Smith were the top four vote-getters, with Grandmaster Flash finishing fifth when the votes were counted on the first date ballots were due in to the Rock Hall office.

But when all the ballots were counted a few days later, the DC5 had pulled ahead. Wenner decided to ignore that and stick with the earlier tally.

It's not clear how enforcing a vote deadline is a "scandal," especially if the five inductees had already been contacted and told they were in. Friedman's source obviously has a bone to pick with Wenner, as the article goes on and takes other shots at the Rock Hall Foundation.

It would be simple enough for the Rock Hall to avoid these nagging controversies (which have dogged them for years). They should make public the voters and the vote totals the way the Baseball Hall of Fame does. Or they could use an independent accounting firm, the way the Oscar ballots are handled.

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