Axl Rose Writes Letter Declining Rock Hall Induction

If you were like us, the first thing you thought of when it was announced Guns N’ Roses would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year was that perhaps Axl Rose would finally let the original members of the band perform with him at the ceremony. Over the last few months it became clear that wouldn’t happen, but today Rose penned a letter to Pop & Hiss, the L.A. Times Music Blog making his reasoning clear.

[Photo by Jeremy Gordon]

In the letter Rose declines his nomination and confirms he won’t be attending this weekend’s ceremony. Axl also uses the opportunity to get a few jabs in at his detractors. Rather than paraphrase any further, read Axl’s entire letter as printed by Pop & Hiss

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

[Letter via Pop & Hiss]

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9 Responses

  1. Everyone calls The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame a joke, then bashes Axl Rose for declining the induction. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing.

  2. Axl, you probably read comments on sites like this because you’ve demonstrated that you’re that type of dude.

    I’ve seen your new interpretation of “Guns,” live, 5 times. I had the honor of seeing the REAL Guns N Roses 6 times. Here’s how your new show goes (Vegas,SF, wherever): anything from Appetite or Illusion sounds good, like leftovers from your favorite restaurant, as Buckethead, or Bumblebee, fumble through the attempts to capture what Slash brought to the sound. Guess what happens when you play your new stuff (as you’re staring at the show piano and probably are unaware of). That’s when people go take a piss or go get a drink. Or, if they’ve already done those, anxiously wait for the empty number to end in the hopes that the start of the next song is Slash’s Brownstone line or Slash’s SCOM riff.

    You alone control your legacy and right now you’ll go down as singer of the greatest rock band in history, and a sad stubborn guy who wouldn’t reconcile his own personal bullshit wasting decades attempting to recreate a magic that was sitting right in front of him the whole time.

    In this predictably selfish and outright creepy “statement,” you make a reference to “divorce,” and “moving on.” No one is moving on. Your “fans,” are just waiting for you to come to your senses and start making music with the other half of what is GNR – the only reason you still have a band at all. And who cares about the Rock N Roll HOF, but this is just another wasted opportunity for you to come to your senses and realize that without Slash you’re one hand clapping. Everyday divorced people realize that for one reason or another they need to set aside their differences and GET THE F**KING BAND BACK TOGETHER.

    It’s pretty simple: Appetite is the greatest Rock album ever made – that’s a fact. Your circle of sycophants or “camp,” as you call them can stroke you all day, but the facts are right there. Another fact is that if you don’t get this weird monkey off your back and start making music with him again, you might as well use that one clapping hand to rub one out while you watch a video of GNR in Brazil in 1991.

    1. Dude, YOUR comment should be inducted into the HOF. The only thing I’d add is, how many shows has Axl walked out on his “Fans?”
      I wonder how long it took him to write that, or, if he even wrote it at all?

  3. I’d love to see the original band get back together, even if it’s for two songs.

    Then again, I’m not Axl. He has his reasons for not doing this, and I can’t begrudge him those reasons. The letter seems like real talk to me.

    No GnR reunion? So be it.

  4. Axl has never had a way with words that weren’t song lyrics, and here again, his rambling has left me wondering what the hell he’s talking about.

    The issue here is that it would require humility to put aside the bullish!t (because as others within GNR have indicated, it’s not about drugs or sleeping with someone else’s wife or sh!t like that), and that is something neither Axl nor Slash seems to have.

    Take a look at Van Halen. Very similar circumstances – they just released some of their best work! We can only dream of what GNR could create.

    Also, jesus they’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

    My 2.

  5. Although we all long for an old favorite to rekindle and play again, musicians and all artists are like any other career, afforded the right to ‘change jobs’. He is right let sleeping dogs lie. GNR was great but people move on to other things, different groupings and new challenges.

  6. As a Kid Iloved Appetite and Illusion but after that I could care less. He is a world class douche and I would bet money that if Axl ever needs money he will try to get the original band back together. I just hope that slash and the other boys say no to him. Plus have you heard him lately?? He sounds like a dog being run over by a car but didnt die.Quite frankly he was never really the talent it was the band all of them. With that said Im not him and he has the right to do whatever he would like.

  7. @kyle – no question he’s a world class douche and a few years ago when he played the MTV music awards or some bullshit, he did sound like he like a 50 year old homeless guy who smokes 3 packs of Winstons a day, singing karaoke at a bowling alley after doing a line of meth in the bathroom. That said, I’ve seen the “new” group and to be honest, he’s still got it. Twice I’ve seen him encore with Rocket Queen, which happens to be my favorite GNR song, and he was nails.

    If you haven’t read Slash’s book, pick it up – it’s awesome even if you’re not a big fan. Although I should warn you that if you have the potential for going on a drinking/drug binge, be careful, because it makes you want to go out and party really, really hard. There a lot in there about his relationship with Axl. There’s no real dramatic anecdotes, but you get a clear impression that Axl was very likely abused as a kid and its permanently distorted his perspective of reality/relationships/trust, etc.

    You also come away with the unarguable fact that Axl genuinely gets off on having control with the way he would cancel shows, show up super late, or sometimes not at all. As I mentioned, I’ve seen the new band a few times and no shit, every single show, I’ve seen him have someone kicked out. He’ll stop in the middle of a song and have some guy kicked out and it’s for no other reason than he can and that probably makes him feel better than applause.

    Because I love(d) the band so much, when that book came out I read as much about Axl as I could find and I’ve come to the conclusion that because of whatever happened to him when he was a kid, combined with his continued destructive response to fame, his control obsession dictates everything. I could write a novel as to why Chinese Democracy took so long to be released (in short he couldn’t figure out that Slash’s magic is impossible to replicate), but he also got off on being in control of its release date and that led to him delaying the release countless times over several years.

    Besides having a family, all Slash wants to do is make awesome music. And he makes it pretty clear in his book that he would be open to reconnecting with Axl. Although Axl’s enormous ego, that has an insatiable appetite for this “control,”, makes it pretty unlikely that he could ever reunite with Slash. He’s convinced himself that he can do it without him and repeatedly demonstrated that he can’t.

    Axl swallowing his ego is about as likely as a bulldog swallowing motorcycle, though I will never give up hope that this crazy bastard will one day realize that he’s wasting his life and pinching out of the bag of Rock N Roll history. Could you imagine a tour with Slash and Axl to support a new record they cut? Maybe have Metallica open like back in the day…

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