Legendary DJ Alan Freed was one of the key figures in breaking rock ‘n’ roll onto the radio, but even this apparently isn’t enough to keep him in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Freed’s ashes had been a part of the museum for 12 years, but Billboard reports that the ashes have been removed to make way for an exhibit on the fashion choices of Beyonce.
A native of Cleveland, Freed was moved from his final resting place in New York to the Hall of Fame museum in 2002. His ashes were eventually moved to a low-key display in the museum. At the time, then-Rock Hall president Terry Stewart admitted that the decision to display Freed’s ashes was a little morbid, but added, “It’s appropriate in a rock ‘n’ roll sense to have his final resting place here.”
Freed’s son Lance is furious about the decision, which also included consolidating Freed into the ‘Pioneers Of Rock’ section of the museum. “It’s making him a part of the passing parade, rather than giving him a place where people can say, ‘Hey, this is the guy who helped start it all,'” he said.
This move is yet another that is leading people to question whether the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is keeping to its original mission. The Rock Hall’s pool of nominees has expanded to include pop stars and hip-hop acts in recent years, to the chagrin of some, and the museum’s vaunted Women In Rock exhibit focused more on costumes than music. Pushing aside the man who invented the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll” to showcase Beyonce’s Super Bowl outfit is likely to fan the flames of controversy yet again.