Guns N' Roses

When it was announced that Guns N’ Roses would be inducted into the canon of Jann Wenner’s infinite playlist the Rock Hall, the main question we asked was whether Axl would get the band back together. Turns out we were asking the wrong question, because not only will GN’R not perform, Axl won’t even show up. Further, Axl has “decline[d] my induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.” This he did via missive. And while the closest analogue to this is the Sex Pistols, who also rejected their nomination via written word, Axl’s letter is a little different: it was posted on the Internet (Facebook!) as opposed to handwritten, it is obscenity free, and it is like twenty times as long.

In a nutshell: Axl (along with “[his] camp”) has thought this through, considered all options and talked with the Rock Hall, is honored by the nomination and is thankful for it and that it means something to his fans, but also “strongly request[s] 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”.” The reasons for this seem to be: a) he doesn’t feel “actually wanted or respected” by the Rock Hall; and b) he takes umbrage with the Rock Hall’s definition of the band from a lineup perspective. “Nothing’s changed” with respect to the likelihood of Appetite or Illusion-era lineup reunions (“let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep”), he loves his band now, and he wants to see you on tour. The premise seems to be that the Rock Hall doesn’t get to decide what Guns is, Axl does. And, according to this letter, Guns is the present-day lineup of Axl N’ the Automatons.

The full letter is reprinted below. There are a lot of coherent sentences adding up to say not too much, but isn’t that Guns for you. This is actually the best Guns N’ Roses jam since “Patience,” I think. In the Twitter words of famed long-lead Chinese Democracy reviewer Chuck Klosterman: “Axl Rose: Genius confirmed.” UPDATE: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame will proceed with the induction.

Read on:

Axl’s letter to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern
by Guns N’ Roses on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 4:19pm

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!!

Axl Rose

P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III

In response, the Hall just released this statement: “We are sorry Axl will not be able to accept his induction in person.” Looks like they’re going to induct him anyway.

Comments (10)
  1. What a douche bag….He looks like a ghetto Tony Clifton.

  2. Is Axl really under the delusion that GNR is an “active” band and that the current line up should be considered as the recipients of a god damn hall of fame induction????

  3. meh, too respectful. I was hoping for a giant fuck you to the HOF like the Sex Pistols did.

  4. Such a victim. Get over yourself, Axl. You haven’t made anything worthwhile since the original lineup broke up, so maybe Guns is bigger than you.

  5. initial reaction: “no one cares about axl rose unless he’s teaching LDR how to read”

    Then I thought of lil b, and how he accepts people no matter what. and I said “big D, you should know better. something is wrong with axl rose. look at him, dtitty, you know he is not a happy man. and then, look at yourself, you son of a bitch”

    and I did look at myself. and it was dark.

    got a lot of thinking to do guys. got some changes to make.

    - dtitz

  6. Arghh!! Axl, you should be excluded from the award because of Chinese Democracy.

  7. I’d be on a “night train” to “paradise city” if Axl were to just “live and let [the "civil war"] die” so they can reunite and light up “my world”. “You’re crazy” if you don’t agree that experiencing the “yesterdays” of old GnR would be worth the “patience” we’ve had to endure.

    Axl – please wake from this “coma” and stop beating this “dead horse”. It’s not that I have a “bad obsession” for you, it’s just that when I “think about you”, i realize that you’re “one in a million.” The induction would be “so fine” if you were to be there…it’s abeen over “14 years” since we’ve had the real Guns N Roses.

    My Michelle

  8. He didn’t sign it ‘Axl W Rose’ :(

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