Saturday, April 14, 2012

My thoughts on Guns N' Roses induction Ceremony Tonight

Guns N' Roses has been on my mind quite frequently for the past several months ever since I heard they were be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. It has been one of the few things away from my job and my life that has been an interest to me. Since today is the day of the big event, I thought I would share my feelings on all the events leading up to who is performing for Guns N' Roses this evening. Most people like myself would have liked to see the CLASSIC lineup preform. Though after you are through reading this blog, you will see that I wanted something more than the CLASSIC lineup. You will understand what inspired me to write this blog. And overall how I feel about who is preforming this evening.

Before we dive into the pool of this Guns N' Roses induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, lets go back to June 1985 and meet the CLASSIC lineup.

Who made up this CLASSIC lineup?

The CLASSIC lineup consisted of Axl Rose on vocals, Slash on lead guitar, Duff McKagan on bass, Izzy Stradlin on rhythm guitar, and Steven Adler on drums. These are the guys we know as Guns N' Roses, but before Duff, Steven and Slash joined there was Ole Beich on bass, Rob Gardner on drums, and Tracii Guns on lead guitar. Though It was the CLASSIC lineup that recorded 'Appetite for Destruction'. The CLASSIC lineup has changed several times since the release of 'Appetite for Destruction' back in 1987.

Later Gilby Clarke [rhythm guitarist] and Matt Sorum [drummer] respectively replaced Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler.

I would continue discussing all the other lineup changes over the years, but I feel that you can easily go find out all that information on your own. However the current lineup of Guns N' Roses consists of Axl Rose on vocals, Dizzy Reed on keyboards/piano/percussion, Tommy Stinson on bass, Chris Pitman on keyboards, Richard Fortus on rhythm guitar, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal on lead guitar, Frank Ferrer on drums, and DJ Ashba on lead guitar.

After Slash, Duff, and Matt left in 1997, Axl and Slash haven't conversed. There is something personal between them. Now if you have followed Slash and the other former members of Guns N' Roses since there exit, you will know that they all continued to have success. Slash, Duff, and Matt even formed another band together called Velvet Revolver. Though that band is currently on hiatus since 2008 because Scott Weiland left the group for numerous reasons. Also since Scott left the Velvet Revolver, he has pursued a solo career and reformed Stone Temple Pilots in the 2008. Though it needs to be mentioned that Velvet Revolver did play a one off show with Scott Weiland in January of 2012 with the help of Velvet Revolver's other guitarist Dave Kushner.

Since 2008 Velvet Revolver has been searching for a new singer, but mostly working on their own projects. Duff fronts a band called Loaded and is a part-time journalist. Duff's band Loaded actually opened up for the current Guns N' Roses band in 2010 when Guns N' Roses was supporting the release of 'Chinese Democracy.' Also Duff joined the current Guns N' Roses on stage to perform four songs. Matt has filled in on drums for other bands. He has started a cover band called "Carnival of Dogs", which also consists of Tracii Guns.

For Slash, he decided to work on a solo album where he would write a song in a particular style for a particular singer in mind. This album was released in 2010 simply known as Slash. After the release of this album, vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy from the group Alter Bridge has found some success. Not saying Myles didn't have success before touring Slash's solo album, but Myles has gained more attention since then. Myles also preformed two songs on Slash's solo album included the single 'Back from Cali.'

Axl also released a new Guns N' Roses album in 2008 called 'Chinese Democracy.' After listening to the singles off the record and recent recordings of older Guns N' Roses' songs. I have to say Axl's voice is still amazing.

So now that you know the current history of Guns N' Roses. Lets move forward with the bands' induction announcement into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Announcement:

The Announcement of Guns N' Roses induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame occurred back on December 7, 2011. Though specifically it says CLASSIC Guns N' Roses was inducted. Axl said during an interview on VH1's That Metal Show: "I don't know what it means in terms of me with the old band and the old lineup. If we were to be invited, I don't know what they would ask of me. It's up in the air." After reading this, I actually agree with Axl. It seems unclear what lineup is allowed to play at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though there was some uncertainty of what would happen, both Axl and Slash were happy about the induction announcement. Slash also can be quote for saying "I have no idea how that's supposed to go. If Axl, [bassist] Duff, [guitarist] Izzy and myself start communicating, it could go one way. If we don't, God knows."

Since the Announcement:

Other former and current band members of Guns N' Roses have shared what they hoped for during the induction ceremony since the announcement. Most of the current band members who back up Axl Rose had said Axl didn't talk about it. They wanted to talk about it, but Axl didn't talk about it. This is the similar response from the other former members of Guns N' Roses. Though I believe Slash, Duff, Izzy, Steven, Matt, and Gilby might have talked since the announcement. Though one thing that most former and a few current members were hoping for was a reunion of the CLASSIC lineup. Former rhythm guitarist Izzy actually declined the invitation to play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight. It is a choice to show up and play. Though most people where wondering what did Axl want to do.

On April 11, 2012, Axl finally spoke on what he wanted to do in the form of a thought out letter. In summary this letter said he wishes to decline the invitation and he has been quoted saying "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."

This is coming from the same guy that thanked his fans by posting "This is your victory." on his twitter account after hearing about the announcement.

Now like I said it is a choice, but I feel like Axl owes his fans something special for this victory. Yes he thanked them, but the fans of Guns N' Roses have been waiting since 1990 to see the original group. Now for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are also being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight, they will have other members of the band perform with them as well. Though John Frusciante will not be preforming though. Chad Smith, drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers said "We asked him, he said, 'I'm not just really comfortable with that, but good luck and thanks for inviting me.' He's that kind of guy, I think, that once he's finished with something he's just on to the next phase of his life. The Chili Peppers are not really on his radar right now." After reading that it is understandable as far as choice. Also learning that Josh Klinghoffer, who will be the youngest artist ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame made my assumption that it is possible that the current Guns N' Roses lineup might be honored tonight even though they won't be there since Axl won't be there.

I thought it would be cool to see the CLASSIC lineup play the first song and then are joined by Matt and Gilby for the second song and then the last song joined by the current lineup. Showing the change of the band. And the band plays songs form each era. Though this is all in assumption if only three songs are allowed to be played. I'm not sure on how the ceremony goes down since I've never attended this ceremony.

With that said tonight, Guns N' Roses will be represented by Duff, Steven, Matt, Gilby, Slash, and Myles Kennedy. Fans have been speaking about how they feel about Myles singing for this event, which is what inspired me to write this blog. I'm a huge fan of Myles Kennedy. Yes Myles doesn't quite sound like Axl. I think Axl can hit notes Myles can't as well. Though I say this, I still feel that Myles is a great singer. Also I understand the decision made of getting Myles by the Guns N' Roses' members who will be playing tonight. Now is Myles Kennedy being inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight with Guns N' Roses? No of course not. He is not a member of Guns N' Roses. This lineup of Guns N' Roses is to give something back to the fans. Yes I would be disappointed if the original singer wasn't there of my favorite band, but Axl decline and that is his right. Also by the way the most likely reason for getting Myles Kennedy is because of his connection with Slash.

Overall I'm satisfied that someone is performing for the Guns N' Roses, because it would be strange if no one played. Is Myles the best substitute for Axl. No, but you can't substitute anyone for anyone really. It is like trying to find the next Michael Jordan. There may be someone else in basketball like Michael Jordan and possibly have the same name too, but in the end there is only one Michael Jordan. What I'm trying to say is there is only one Axl Rose. There is only one Slash. There is only one Izzy Stradlin. There is only one Duff McKagan. There is only one Steven Adler. And those are the guys that made Guns N' Roses famous. We will always remember that group even if they never share the same stage ever again.

As always. Thank you for reading.

Kyle Sullivan

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