Speaking to the The New York Times in an article that was published Friday, Wenner said that female and Black artists weren’t “articulate” enough to be interview subjects for his new book Masters, which instead consists exclusively of conversations with white male rock stars. Wenner was removed from the Hall of Fame’s board of directors the next day.
“In my interview with the The New York Times I made comments that diminished the contributions, genius and impact of Black and women artists and I apologize wholeheartedly for those remarks,” Wenner said in a statement sent to the Times by his book publisher Saturday night.
“The Masters is a collection of interviews I’ve done over the years that seemed to me to best represent an idea of rock ’n’ roll’s impact on my world; they were not meant to represent the whole of music and its diverse and important originators but to reflect the high points of my career and interviews I felt illustrated the breadth and experience in that career,” he continued. “They don’t reflect my appreciation and admiration for myriad totemic, world-changing artists whose music and ideas I revere and will celebrate and promote as long as I live. I totally understand the inflammatory nature of badly chosen words and deeply apologize and accept the consequences.”
“This man has done more to bring down the credibility of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame than anyone else,” guitarist Joe Bonamossa said of Wenner’s dismissal from the Hall’s board of directors in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “He has been punitive, elitist and frankly kept artists out of the hall over petty grudges and ego. This is a good thing.”
Most Awkward Rock Hall of Fame Moments
Rambling speeches, fights between ex-bandmates and bad performances have marked many induction ceremonies over the years.