In a move that proves a close genetic connection between rockstars and toddlers, Axl Rose famed front man of the late 80s rock band Guns N’ Roses, threw a temper tantrum and refused to appear at the former band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday night. When the band’s induction was announced in February, many hoped to see the first reunion since 1993 of the original GNR band members from their 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction.
Vintage Guns N’ Roses, circa my bedroom 1987. Axl Rose (vocals), Slash (lead guitar), Izzy Stradlin (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Steven Adler (drums).
It was not to be. Axl wrote in a long, rambling, public letter that the induction ceremony “doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected.” He also stated, “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.”
Three original members—Duff McKagan, Slash, and Steven Adler—and later drummer Matt Sorum accepted the honor alone. Fortunately, the former band managed without Rose somehow, amid jokes about his legendary antics, and played with singer Myles Kennedy to over 6,000 fans at the Cleveland Public Auditorium.
I think I can forgive Axl; after all, his dulcet screeching was the soundtrack of my rebellious late high school years. I thought listening to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle” with my boom box cranked to eleven in my bedroom gave my awkward, insecure high school persona a hard edge. If you don’t know what a boom box is and/or you can’t name the mock rock band whose guitars ‘went to eleven,’ GO AWAY and listen to Justin Bieber.
I’m kidding. Mostly.
I can not forgive my sophomore year college roommate for playing “November Rain” on repeat for the entire duration of a six-month break-up. That song – and possibly the roommate – are dead to me.
The honorees on Friday were a bit of a wake up call for all of us 1980s teens—we who are now parents and office workers, doctors, truck drivers, business owners, and other forms of responsible adults in our thirties and forties. In addition to the former band known as GNR, the Hall of Fame inducted the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, and Donovan.
“Civil War” by Guns N’ Roses can still make me want to throw something across my bedroom and slam the door while screaming, “you can’t tell me what to do!” It also takes me back to some of my more cringe-worthy music choices. Let’s see. I spent money for Milli Vanilli tickets.
Oh yes, I paid real dollars to see them lip sync. And there’s Richard Marx and his Repeat Offender album. I stood and swayed under the neon lights as he sang “whereever you go, whatever you do, I will be right here waiting for you.” I’m blushing.
We can’t forget INXS, which I called I – N – X – S for weeks until a much cooler friend informed me of the true level of my geekiness. (It’s pronounced “in excess,” children.)
I saw the 1987 Kick tour. I’m pretty sure I screamed myself hoarse.
Ah well, Axl Rose still has my heart. It’s good to know that ending up a mother is almost as good as ending up a rock star (or married to one). My two-year-old throws all the temper tantrums that I need and I’d far rather change diapers than clean up vomit.
Reminisce with me. What’s the most embarrassing concert you’ve ever attended?