• Axl Rosenberg


Please allow me to gloat for a moment: not only did I predict that there was no way in hell Axl Rose would reunite with the original Guns N’ Roses despite being inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, but I said both before and after the induction was announced that it would take an act of God for Rose to even show up to the ceremony. And now that Rose may have finally found a twenty-five year old who still thinks he’s relevant despite the fact that Chinese Democracy isn’t even available on Best Buy’s website anymore, the chances of Rose walking into the same room as Slash seemed slimmer than ever. (I’m just kidding in that last sentence… sort of.)

So now that the singer has released a statement in which he announces that not only is he not going to the induction ceremony, but he’s declining his induction altogether, well… I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised.

Here’s Rose’s full statement, with my own running commentary in bold:

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, Because when you think of a guy who makes an effort to be positive, you think of Axl Rose! 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. It would have been a good thing… if you had reunited with your former bandmates. 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. Only for Dj Slashba.

Since then we’ve listened to fans And you didn’t hear them screaming “REUNION! REUNION!”?, 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 This is presumably a reference to sad sack Steven Adler calling Rose’s current bandmates employees “hacks” — a comment for which he has since kind of apologized, had discussions with the president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some contrived) We didn’t get anything from Axl’s lawyer this time, so I won’t flatter myself that this was us 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. He says “work something out” as though we all know what he’s talking about. What was there to work out? You were either gonna go and play or you weren’t. 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… I’ve read this bit about five times now and I still only kinda-sorta understand what Axl thinks he’s saying. Seriously, this dude kind can’t afford a publicist to make sure his statements are, at the very least, in English? no offense meant to anyone You just said you were “polite, curteous, and amicable,” thereby implying than everyone else has been impolite, discourteous, and contentious — but, sure, no offense intended! but the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected. Yeah, that makes sense. They chose to induct you because they don’t actually want you there. Does he think this was a five year old’s birthday party? The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame didn’t invite him because their mommy said they had to, y’know?

For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such. First sane thing he’s said so far. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. So then how did your “efforts to work something out” fail? You obviously made SOME request or demand that the HoF wasn’t down with. 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. In other news, the suicide rate in New Jersey increased 1,000% today. 

I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia But they’re gonna do that anyway 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 mean, these assholes are completely unreasonable! They still haven’t forgiven me for spending fifteen years making the most expensive record of all time, canceling multiple tours, and inciting four riots!!!”  I certainly don’t intend to disappoint anyone So fire Slashba, especially the fans So do the reunion, 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.  Sorry, Axl, could you please be a little more vague? I almost think I understand the scenario to which you refer, which is so unlike you.

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. Ahhh, there’s the rub! So Axl wanted his current band included in the induction, the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame said something to the effect of “Uhhh, but they haven’t done anything, dude,” and Axl threw a fit.

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. That’s not quite fair — it’s not a lie for Steven to say “I really wanna do a reunion,” and even if it was, it’s not like anyone takes Steven Adler seriously. 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. Again, that’s not a sentence and you should really consider hiring a publicist. Fuck, I’d write your press releases for free. All I want in exchange is the chance to spend time around you so I can study you the way a shrink would a patient or, perhaps more accurately, the way an anthropologist would a foreign tribe. 

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. Specifically…? Oh right, I forgot, you don’t do specifics. Heaven forbid the facts undermine your position! Until every single one of those generating from or originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light, Which you’ve been saying you’d do since about 1999 or so. It’s cool, take your time, we’re all only getting younger. 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. Dude, that is EXACTLY what you’re doing! At best, you’ve just passed the ball to Scott Weiland, y’know? Don’t get it twisted. For more than a decade and a half we’ve endured the double standards I know, it is SO duplicitous of the music industry to expect you to do your job!, the greed of this industry Again, they gave you $15 million dollars to make a record and you rewarded them with a refusal to promote that record, so congratulations on being the first artist in history to make The Suits look like the good guys and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of wannabes What wannabes? and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Blushing… Not to imply anything in this particular circumstance ALL YOU’VE DONE IS IMPLY THINGS, but from my perspective in regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball’s never been in our court. Because, clearly, Gilby Clarke is the holdout preventing the reunion from happening. That selfish bastard!

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 Just in case you’re wondering, this is a reference to Armand Butts Crump III, Kerry King’s longtime guitar tech who passed away in March. I guess he must have worked with GN’R at some point, too.

ANYWAY, I’m glad this whole thing is finally over so we can all move on to salivating over the idea of reunions that might actually happen.


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