- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation is finally opening its big-money vault for musicians. And not to just nominees or inductees to its Hall of Fame, but to all the musicians who have made pop, country, and soul records under the aegis of rock and roll.
This news came to me on Thursday at lunch with Suzan Evans, the director and founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Readers of this column know that I have been extremely critical of the foundation’s practices, especially the fact that the organization “with $10 million in the bank” doles out very little every year to needy musicians.
….”Believe it or not,” she said, “we get very few calls about this and almost no applications. Up until this past year we said we would cover inductees and nominees to the Hall of Fame. But this summer we decided to widen this to all musicians in the rock world.”
Now, this doesn’t mean your cousin Tony whose big-hair band in 1983 had a regional hit single will be eligible. What it does mean is that every legitimate Top 40 artist — vocalists, instrumentalists, sidemen, studio musicians — going back 40 or so years may now apply to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation for assistance with medical bills, living expenses and health-care issues within reason. They do not have to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This is important. If you can spread the word yourself, go right ahead. This is one time I authorize news organizations – particularly in England and Australia – to pick this story up and give it a push.
….Last year the foundation gave just $14,000 in assistance to musicians. Evans says she’s earmarked at least $100,000 for this purpose. If she sticks to her word, there should be no reason that anyone in the music world would ever have to be evicted or repossessed again.
The foundation’s phone number, by the way, is 212-484-1755. Pass it on to the appropriate parties. Don’t abuse it. [Fox news]
So all of you former hit-makers out there take heed and write down the number – regular old poor musicians need not apply.