Performing in an original band that has often paid tribute to Gn’R by covering “Welcome to the Jungle,” I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings on the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame subject, but now that the dust is settling, here’s how I see it…
On Saturday, August 14th, 2012, Guns n’ Roses were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of fame. Depending on what side of the fence you’re standing on, it’s viewed as either a joke or an honor. Did you know inductees and their guests are charged a reported $3,000.00 a seat? It didn’t surprise most people that Axl Rose wouldn’t show; after all, most concertgoers are curious whether he’ll show-up to his own events. I was in the 2002 Philadelphia riot; I can vouch for the uneasiness.
But, on this particular occasion he chose to announce it and end the speculation, instead of waiting for his management [or absence of] to iron it out – as did Izzy Stradlin. That’s right, the two founding members, Izzy Stradlin and Axl Rose chose to snub the reward – so it would seem.
Izzy, don’t worry, you’re in the clear!
I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings on the subject because I genuinely like the music Slash, Duff, Matt, Steven & Gilby were apart of. [At times] I was just as annoyed with Axl, but I also understood why he did it and was somewhat elated he had balls to stand-up to the museum and board of directors; that said, why doesn’t the public determine the ‘Who’s who?’ This may be the biggest criticism most people have with the RN’R Hall of Fame – I digress.
Fun fact – Guns n’ Roses was started by: Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Tracii Guns, Ole Beich and Rob Gardner. The line-up we’ve all grown to remember is: Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Slash, Duff and Steven Adler. Slash quit in 1996; Matt Sorum was fired in 1997 and Duff McKagan left in 1997. In 1997 Rose slipped into obscurity with a lot of unanswered questions, which left the public outraged.
To argue on behalf of Axl, I’d ask: If you started a band, watched key individuals quit, but continued to carry the torch for nearly two decades, under serious scrutiny, only to have a museum tell you that your ‘current version’ of Guns n’ Roses isn’t what they are interested in inducting, how would you react? Don’t get me wrong, I think the members whom showed up were due their moment to celebrate the music they helped create – they made the best of an awkward situation.
The night of the taping, I was extremely irritated [and drunk] and posted:
“Myles Kennedy = When the predictability and commercialization of rock n’ roll music hits an all-time low and consumes one of the BEST rock n’ roll bands of our time. Btw, all of you pretentious music f*&kers who should have died in the 90’s: Fabulous pitch-perfect vocals does not = rock n’ roll; if it did, we might as well have Pavarotti sing Use Your Illusion III or Appetite for Destruction II. I’m so done with all of this American Idol bullsh*t. Goodnight!”
That sentiment wasn’t directed at the former members or their choice to go with Myles.
The major differences between Axl Rose and Myles Kennedy are these: Voice, attitude, intention and interpretation/vision for rock n’ roll. Rose always sang every song like it was his last and it often sounded like it – so what; there was always a deeper message and intention; there was always something unique about each track. He held nothing back.
Myles on the other hand sounds like he’s performing in a vocal competition, while each song is a written/formulated hit song meant for the current Top 25 market. He’s not the type of vocalist to ‘risk it,’ for the sake of an emotionally-charged performance, lyric or action/statement, which leaves it all a tad bland. He’s got a good paying gig, strong pipes and seems content. But, just because something sounds good doesn’t mean it is right for a dirty rock n’ roll band.
I think my favorite part of the entire show was Steven’s smile!
I’ll fully admit, the band sounded great [Saturday], but is this how we really want to remember Guns n’ F*%kin’ Roses?
The answer to that question is: “No,” and I believe Rose knew it and felt it was a lose-lose scenario. He either took the stage n’ refueled the endless reunion speculation, quashing the future acceptance of his current version of the band or he bowed out and watched Myles croon the world to his side, which would only leave him to tolerate more barbs. In the end, he can hold his head up high because he won the integrity battle; he just has to wait for the rest of the world to realize it. The Hall has left out too many greats [already] to be taken too seriously.
So, for now, the actual band touring under the name Guns n’ Roses this summer and which recently released Chinese Democracy will begin the arduous task of rebuilding their place in rock n’ roll; there are no more big awards to hand out to the former line-up – yet. For now, the band is free.
There’s no real reason for Steven, Slash, Matt, Duff or Gilby to ever look back. In a lot of ways Rose assassinated Santa Clause and dined on the Easter Bunny on April 14th. The hope of a future reunion devoured – that said, it looks like the 16 million GN’R fans on Facebook don’t really seem to care; some will say they do, but most won’t – everyone enjoys bitching at the water cooler; it’s t’ be taken with a grain of salt.
For now, Rose and Co. will continue to perform in stadiums, as they’ve done since 2002. Whether he’s an asshole or not is irrelevant and not really an insightful revelation [at this point]; he’s got the balls to do it his way. If you ask me, it’s just what the rock n’ roll world needed!