By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles – Guns N’ Roses co-founder Axl Rose, through his publicist, announced Wednesday morning he will not attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday in Cleveland, according to a letter received by the Los Angeles Times. Written under the greeting, “To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,” Rose explained specifically why he was declining his induction into the Cleveland music institution.
The band, born in Los Angeles in 1985, was announced as an inductee in February alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys and Donovan, among others, leading to instant speculation whether the five core members of Guns N’ Roses circa Appetite for Destruction would appear together for the first time since 1993. Guitarist Slash officially departed the band in 1996, followed soon thereafter by Duff McKagen and Matt Sorum (original drummer Steven Adler had left a few years earlier, as had Izzy Strandlin).
Rose retained the rights to the band’s name, and over the next decade devoted his time to creating the album Chinese Democracy, touring with a revived Guns N’ Roses, and defiantly dismissing any suggestion of a reunion with the original members of the band.
Since February, Rose has remained mum on his plans, even as guitarist Slash has spoken out in favour of a Rock Hall reunion — and acknowledging Rose’s antipathy. “He hates my guts,” Slash told Rolling Stone in early April. “It’s over a lot of different stuff; I don’t even know. There’s just no communication between us. I talk to Duff and Steven, but when it comes to old Guns N’ Roses, there really isn’t anybody that makes decisions.”
In the letter, Rose specifically criticizes comments by Adler, who speculated to Billboard magazine in 2007 that the band might reunite. Those comments were given by Adler while promoting his own Adler’s Appetite tour, which was timed to support his book, “My Appetite for Destruction.” “I want to finish what we started,” Adler told Billboard then, “and . . . with the love and support I got from those guys, I think we can (reunite). I’m gonna leave it up to Axl. That’s gonna be Axl’s call, and I love Axl and I know he’ll make the right call.” Rose, in the letter, calls Adler’s comments “reunion lies.” Continuing attempts to reach Adler have not been successful.
During a December 2011 sit-down interview with Rose after a Guns N’ Roses concert in Seattle, the singer had yet to decide his plans, but was uninterested in making a scene at the induction ceremony if he did decide to attend. “I think about it in terms of Marlon Brando getting up at the Academy Awards and talking about Indians . . . or when Michael Moore got up at the Academy Awards and said whatever about George Bush. People don’t want that associated with their awards shows, even if you have a big audience. In one way it might be right, but it usually backfires on whoever does it. So I really don’t want to spoil it for everybody else — and take the beating.”
Notably, Rose then laughed and cursed Jann Wenner, the founder, publisher and executive editor of Rolling Stone magazine — who also co-founded the Hall of Fame in 1983.
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