For this week's Roundup, I decided to talk about the biggest music story of the week. Or at least, the biggest story as far as I was concerned. Of course I'm talking about Guns N' Roses being inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Like most fans, I've been curious as to how all of this would play out ever since the band's induction was announced. Given the personal relationships between the original band members, there was endless speculation about whether they would attend, and if so, whether or not they would all play together. While most out there were hoping they would reunite for this one night, I was always kind of hoping they wouldn't. In my mind, Guns N' Roses is a band that has evolved into the current line-up (now together longer than the original). It wasn't as if the band split up and Axl reformed a new band. The members quit one-by-one and were replaced one-by-one. And though it took a long time, this current band has grown into a rock band that is about so much more than nostalgia. If the original members were to play last night, it would detract from all the work this band has put in over the past decade.
Even so, I was sort of wishing to see them all there. And then came the letter Axl Rose sent declining his induction and informing the event that he would not be attending. (The full letter is here). After reading the letter, I can't say I disagree with him. I won't paraphrase what he said, but the letter was intelligent and respectful. The fact is, the personal relationships involved do not belong to the fans. To force a reconciliation for the sake of some trumped up awards show is unfair of us or anyone to ask for. As usual, many people were angry with Axl. Though from my point of view, I thank him for taking the time to explain his point of view. He had no obligation to do so, yet he cared enough about the fans to offer one.
So the event goes on as planned last night. The members who did attend took the stage to perform. Now, you'd think given that this is supposed to be such an 'honored' event that the Hall could get some legend to sing with the band. Somebody with a name, something that would honor Axl's role in whatever song they were going to sing. But no! Joining them onstage was the current singer in Slash's solo project. I find that so incredibly insulting that it only confirmed my belief that Axl did the right thing. Not only did this organization not honor his wish not to be inducted, they completely disrespect him enough to allow some version of Slash's GNR to take the stage. Shame on them.