Guns N’ Roses set for Hall of Fame; Axl Rose rejects induction (UPDATED)

This is the lineup that many fans would consider a real trip to Paradise City, from left: Duff McKagan, Slash, Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler, pose for a photo circa 1987.

UPDATE: In a 1,000-word-plus open letter to the Los Angeles Times, Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose has said he will not be attending Saturday’s event, nor does he even want to be inducted. Scroll down beyond the Dizzy Reed interview to read the full letter.

Guns N’ Roses are known for their inter-band civil wars as much as the classic music they made together. They have counted as many as 21 people as official players throughout the 27-year history of the band name, but many rock fans are penning open letters across the Web for a reunion of the band whose members were once so well known as individuals that they had their own mass-produced pinball machine.

Gn’R members are also well known for their cynical approach to press – so in February when Metro caught up with keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who joined the band in the early ’90s, shortly before the “Use Your Illusion” albums, he played it predictably close to the vest when asked about the upcoming proceedings.

So what do you know about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Um, it’s in Cleveland.

Do you know what’s going to happen with the Gn’R induction into the Hall? There are rumors there will be a reunion of the original lineup.

I haven’t gotten any details. I spoke with the people of that institution. They gave me a call and told me to mark it on the calendar, to be there. As far as the details of what’s going to happen, I haven’t received any sort of itinerary or schedule. It’s something I’m just trying not to think about until it gets closer. It’s not that I don’t appreciate it. It’s a great thing, and it’s great for all the people who supported the band over the years.

I understand that you’re still friends with everybody who has been in the band through the years, is that right?

Friendly, I’d say. I haven’t talked to a couple of the guys at all since they left. But Duff [McKagan, original bassist] got up and jammed with us in Seattle and Vancouver last year. His band, Loaded, opened up for us, which was fantastic. Izzy [Stradlin, an original guitarist] came and did a few shows with us and sat in, in 2010, which was cool.

Weren’t you and Izzy kind of like ships passing in the night?

No, we played together. When I actually joined the band, it was still the original five guys. With Steven [Adler, original drummer], we recorded “Civil War,” and then I didn’t see him again, and then we had a new drummer. But Izzy toured with us right up to when the “Use Your Illusion” albums came out.

I just remember the video that featured a sign that said, “Where’s Izzy?”

Oh yeah. That was on my jacket.

And you’ve been immortalized, by making it onto the Guns N’ Roses pinball machine as well …

Yes I did. I’m on the pinball machine, and I can’t remember what it was that triggers it, but you can get the “Dizzy ball,” and it starts going crazy and you can score a whole bunch of points. I think it was patterned after me after too many vodkas or something.

Axl Rose’s letter:

To: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,

When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first
announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting
to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I
was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing.
Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N’ Roses were to be
inducted it’d be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.

Since then we’ve listened to fans, talked with members of the board
of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments
and jabs from former members of Guns N’ Roses, had discussions with the
president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some
contrived) and read other artists’ comments weighing in publicly on Guns
and the Hall with their thoughts.

Under the circumstances I feel we’ve been polite, courteous, and open
to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking
into consideration the history of Guns N’ Roses, those who plan to
attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen
to include in “our” induction (that for the record are decisions I don’t
agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how
(albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled
things… no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction
Ceremony doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or
respected.

For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their
accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp
has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It’s their show
not mine.

That said, I won’t be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a
member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know
that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any
induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label
representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether
directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported
induction of “Guns N’ Roses”.

This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from
my and my camp’s perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or
condemn. Though unfortunately I’m sure there will be those who take
offense (God knows how long I’ll have to contend with the fallout), I
certainly don’t intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with
this decision. Since the announcement of the nomination we’ve actively
sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be
a no win, at least for me, “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” scenario
all the way around.

In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the Appetite or Illusion
lineups, I’ve publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing’s changed.

The only reason, at this point, under the circumstances, in my
opinion whether under the guise of “for the fans” or whatever
justification of the moment, for anyone to continue to ask, suggest or
demand a reunion are misguided attempts to distract from our efforts
with our current lineup of myself, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank
Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ
Ashba. 

Izzy came out with us a few times back in ’06 and I invited him to
join us at our LA Forum show last year. Steven was at our show at the
Hard Rock, later in ’06 in Las Vegas, where I invited him to our
after-party and was rewarded with his subsequent interviews filled with
reunion lies. Lesson learned. Duff joined us in 2010 and again in ’11
along with his band, Loaded, opening in Seattle and Vancouver. For me,
with the exception of Izzy or Duff joining us on stage if they were so
inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that’s enough.

There’s a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out
there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking
the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or
originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light,
there isn’t room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.

Maybe if it were you it’d be different. Maybe you’d do it for this
reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We’re there for
each other when the going get’s rough. We love our fans and work to give
them every ounce of energy and heart we can.

So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to
move on. People get divorced. Life doesn’t owe you your own personal
happy ending especially at another’s, or in this case several others’,
expense.

But hey if ya gotta then maybe we can get the “no show,
grandstanding, publicity stunt, disrespectful, he doesn’t care about the
fans” crap out of the way as quickly as we can and let’s move on. No
one’s taking the ball and going home. Don’t get it twisted. For more
than a decade and a half we’ve endured the double standards, the greed
of this industry and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of
wannabes and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Not to imply
anything in this particular circumstance, but from my perspective in
regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball’s never been in our
court.

In closing, regardless of this decision and as hard to believe or as
ironic as it may seem, I’d like to sincerely thank the board for their
nomination and their votes for Guns’ induction. More importantly I’d
like to thank the fans for being there over the years, making any
success we’ve had possible and for enjoying and supporting Guns N’ Roses
music.

I wish the Hall a great show, congratulations to all the other
artists being inducted and to our fans we look forward to seeing you on
tour!!

Sincerely,

Axl Rose

P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III



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