Axl Rose is getting better at handling his absences. The notorious no-show has made it publicly, abundantly clear in an April 11th open letter to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame that he has no intention of attending, accepting or acknowledging his induction into the Hall at their annual ceremony this Sunday (April 14th). He also took the opportunity to remind the music community that (SPOILER ALERT!) GnR will not be staging a reunion featuring the Appetite or Illusions lineups.
Rose is not the first inductee to publicly snub the Hall. In fact, he’s done it with a certain ammount of grace. In his letter, he wishes “the Hall a great show,” says he does “not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such,” and offers his “congratulations to all the other artists being inducted,” which is a far cry from 2006 inductees the Sex Pistols who declined their invitations and described the museum as a “piss stain.” Rose cites a number of factors in his decision regarding his induction, the clearest of which being that “the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected.”
Whether he likes it or not, Rose is being inducted. The RRHOF responded to Rose’s letter earlier today saying that “We are sorry Axl will not be able to accept his induction in person.”
Rose took great care to acknowledge his ex-bandmates, fellow inductees and the Hall itself, and made sure that he is declining his induction “as a member of Guns N’ Roses.” Touché, Axl. Whether this is because he considers the current GnR lineup the only one that matters or because he’s looking to be inducted under some other guise or moniker, it’s clear that he sees one of the most prestigious institutions in the music industry as separate from (and possibly beneath) Axl Rose.
This is the kind of megalomania that Rose has a penchant for. It’s also the kind of self-aggrandization that other artists like Van Halen and the Police put aside for their inductions (both groups even managed to reunite and tour together again following their inductions).
Axl Rose is, was, and will continue to be one of rock & roll’s great frontmen and great enigmas, but his open letter leaves us with two certainties. One – Axl Rose will not be in Cleveland this Sunday. Two – the rest of GnR along with 16 other well-deserving inductees will be, and congratulations go out to them.
- Mark Shreve