The 27th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place last month with inductees including Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Faces/Small Faces, Guns N Roses, Donovan, and most poignantly of all, The Beastie Boys.
Filmed on the 14th of April but aired on the 5th of May a day after Beastie Boys member Adam (MCA) Yauch’s death from cancer of the salivary gland, the event was weighted with emotion as a note written by MCA was read out (he was too ill to attend at the time) by fellow Beastie Mike (Mike D) Diamond. Various artists including Travie McCoy, Black Thought, Kid Rock and QuestLove of The Roots performed a tribute medley of Beastie Boys songs.
If it were not for the extremely sad news of MCA overshadowing the event, the only controversy would have been Axl Rose’s refusal to accept the honor bestowed upon Guns N’ Roses. In an eloquent letter to the event’s organizers Rose declined the honor citing differences with his former band mates and that:
‘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,” continuing “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’.
Rose would not have been the first rocker to refuse induction; Ozzy Osbourne famously snubbed the honor in 1999 citing it as “meaningless,” and the Sex Pistols refused to attend their induction in 2006, calling the Rock Hall a “piss-stain.”
Former members of the original line-up had no such problem accepting the award and a performance of three tracks from Appetite For Destruction were belted out by them, including crowd favorite ‘Sweet Child O Mine’ with Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge filling in for Rose.
The Faces also performed, but without the much touted presence of Rod Stewart, also absent due to illness. His position was filled a little less sensationally by Mick Hucknall of Simply Red for songs ‘Ooh La La’ and ‘Stay With Me’.
Less well known but of equal importance was bluesman Freddie King known as the Texas Cannonball and cited as one of the three kings of blues along with BB and Albert King. King was a huge influence both sides of the Atlantic and revered by such revivalists as Eric Clapton.
The event was closed by a huge jam session performance by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, joined on stage by Ronnie Wood, Slash and George Clinton among others.