Rock and roll fans might be wondering this week how Randy Newman, Donna Summer, and Public Enemy have ended up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (At least Rush got in. Good to know there is a rock and roll wing in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!) One likely explanation is that the pursuit of continued government subsidies has corrupted the Hall’s judgment. The Chattanooga Times Free Press explains:
The building that houses the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a monstrous edifice on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, cost taxpayers $65 million. According to IRS documents, in recent years, the Hall of Fame has snatched up as much as $2.8 million annually in public funds.
That need to keep cash rolling in is much of the reason the Hall of Fame has turned its efforts from highlighting and honoring the history of rock and roll to featuring a mishmash of whatever popular music will cause people to visit and pay attention to the Hall of Fame. The decision by the Hall of Fame to turn its back on its mission of educating “visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music” has cost the organization both credibility and money.
When it was originally built, the Hall of Fame’s directors promised a million people through the door each year. In reality, the facility struggles to get 400,000 visitors annually. […]
By attempting to become everything to everyone, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has become nothing at all. What began as a grand effort to celebrate one of history’s most important cultural movements, is now a bland, passionless, disheartening money grab. In other words, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has become the antithesis of rock and roll. [The Chattanooga Times Free Press, December 13]