Axl Rose declines induction to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of Guns N’ Roses

Axl Rose

Online Staff Report

Just days before the band he helped found is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Axl Rose has announced he does not plan to attend the induction ceremony and has declined his induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses.

Speculation had centered on whether Rose would participate in the Hall of Fame festivities, set for Saturday, April 14, in downtown Cleveland, ever since the lineup of 2012 inductees was announced.

Rose parted ways with other members of the legendary band years ago, but has carried on the Guns N’ Roses name, which is legally his, with a different lineup.

Initially, other original members of the band said they believed a full reunion was possible. However, in an open letter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (see letter below), Rose made clear he has no intentions of participating in the April 14 Hall of Fame festivities.

In a statement in response to Rose’s letter, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame spokesman said, “We are sorry Axl will not be able to accept his induction in person.”

Guns N’ Roses formed in Los Angeles in 1985. The original lineup included Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler.

Today’s Guns N’ Roses lineup includes Rose, lead guitarists Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ Ashba, rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer, and keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman.

Guns N’ Roses has released six studio albums with sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide. Its first release, Appetite for Destruction, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 one year after its release on the strength of its No. 1 hit single “Sweet Child o’ Mine.”

Following more than a decade of work and various lineup changes, Guns N’ Roses released its very long-awaited album Chinese Democracy. With estimated production costs of $14 million, the album is considered the most expensive album to ever be produced in rock history.

Although it debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and received positive reviews, Chinese Democracy was considered a disappointment within the industry.

Despite its dysfunction in the years that followed its debut in the 1980s, Guns N’ Roses has been credited with reviving rock ’n’ roll during a period when pop music was dominated by dance music and pop metal.

Others scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 14 include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, Laura Nyro, The Small Faces/Faces, Beastie Boys, Freddie King, Don Kirshner, Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd, Glyn Johns, The Crickets, The Famous Flames, The Midnighters, The Comets, The Blue Caps and The Miracles.

Scheduled performers for the April 14 Hall of Fame ceremony include Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, Laura Nyro, The Small Faces/Faces, Beastie Boys, The Crickets, The Famous Flames, The Midnighters, The Comets, The Blue Caps and The Miracles.

For more about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, visit

Following is the letter from Rose to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Open letter from Axl Rose to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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 nor 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

Posted April 12, 2012

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