In the latest installment of his column, which appears on Reverb at SeattleWeekly.com, Duff McKagan (VELVET REVOLVER, DUFF MCKAGAN'S LOADED, GUNS N' ROSES) commented on GUNS N' ROSES' upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and indirectly on vocalist Axl Rose's decision to skip the ceremony.
"On THAT night, I will honor not myself or the chicken dinner they will most surely provide, but I will be honoring all those people who call themselves the fans of our group called GUNS N' ROSES," Duff wrote.
"Adversity has followed this band since its inception. I get it. That seems to be my sort of 'lot' in life... and I think that maybe through this whole sort of rub and honesty that GN'R portrayed in a very real way in those early records indeed may have helped countless others overcome varying adversities in their own lives. It's a wonderful and poignant thing to hear from different fans from around this globe. I hope that I can do you all proud.
"In the end, it's not about who does or doesn't show up from the original band, and I back whatever reason this guy or that has for not coming. It's all good. The songs are the important bit here... and the message they most certainly still must carry."
In a lengthy open letter posted at GUNS N' ROSES' Facebook page, Rose wrote, "I respectfully decline my induction as a member of GUNS N' ROSES to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. 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. 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 added that the entire situation left him feeling like he was in an awkward position, explaining, "This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from my and my camp's perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or condemn . . . Since the announcement of the nomination we've actively sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be a no win, at least for me, 'damned if I do, damned if I don't' scenario all the way around."
The singer also reaffirmed that there is no chance of the original lineup reuniting, and seemed to speak directly to fans still hoping for a reunion when he added, "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."
In at least a partial nod to his former bandmates, however, Rose wrote, "For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from GUNS their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It's their show not mine."
Rose's letter seems to have put the final nail in the coffin for fans hoping to see the original lineup perform at this weekend's ceremony. Speculation about such an event has been rampant since the band's induction was announced back in December.
Guitarist Izzy Stradlin is also not expected to attend, while Slash, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Matt Sorum will be on hand. GREEN DAY will give the induction speech.
Along with GUNS, this year's class of inductees includes the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, the BEASTIE BOYS, Donovan, the FACES and Laura Nyro.