The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been criticised for removing the ashes of the man who invented the term "rock'n'roll."
The son of 1950s radio DJ Alan Freed, whose ashes have been removed from a display in the museum in Cleveland, has called the move "disrespectful," reports CNN (via NME). However, Executive Director of the museum Greg Harris said that Freed will still be "very prominent" in the Hall of Fame. "The museum world is moving away from exhibiting remains since ashes don't help tell a story," said Harris. "Museum community colleagues across the country agree."
Lance Freed, Alan Freed's son, said he believed that the entire exhibit dedicated to his father was being removed, but Harris said: "We are conscious of his important role and will continue to honour him. The museum's radio studio is named for him, and there are many touch points in the Hall that relate to Freed."
The removal of the ashes has come a few days after a new exhibit featuring Beyonce's costumes opened in the museum. "Rock'n'roll isn't just about yesterday," said Harris of the new additions. "It continues to evolve, and we continue to embrace it and refine our operations."
Earlier this year, Gene Simmons of rockers KISS spoke out about his frustration with rap and hip-hop artists being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The singer/bassist argued that the likes of Run DMC have no place in the Hall Of Fame, believing that all they do is "sample and they talk. Not even sing."
Speaking to Radio.com, the Kiss man said: "You go on with your bad self and get more disco artists ... A long time ago it was diluted. It's really backroom politics, like [19th century politician] Boss Tweed. A few people decide what's in and what's not. And the masses just scratch their heads. You've got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run DMC in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You're killing me! That doesn't mean those aren't good artists. But they don't play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!"
Simmons continued: "If you asked Madonna, 'What kind of artist are you?' do you think she would say, 'Oh, rock!' So what they hell are they doing in the Hall of Fame? They can run their organisation any way they'd like, but it ain't rock! It just isn't! If you don't play guitar and you don't write your own songs, you don't belong there."