Former GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan says that he had a really great time at the band's recent induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame despite the fact that the group's lead singer, Axl Rose, refused to attend the ceremony and be inducted with his former bandmates.
In addition to Rose, who announced earlier in the month that he would not attend and was not accepting his induction, other missing members included original guitarist Izzy Stradlin and longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who still plays in the current version of the band.
For the Rock Hall induction performance, McKagan, guitarist Slash and drummer Steven Adler were joined by guitarist Gilby Clarke and drummer Matt Sorum for three songs — "Mr. Brownstone", "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City" — from the band's classic 1987 debut, "Appetite For Destruction". Providing vocals in the absence of Axl Rose was Myles Kennedy, the singer for ALTER BRIDGE and Slash's current solo band.
Sorum played drums for "Mr. Brownstone", while original drummer Adler took over for the other two songs.
In the latest installment of his weekly sports column for ESPN.com, McKagan writes, "We weren't really quite sure if we were going to play, until about 24 hours before the actual show. It was really great to play with drummer Steven Adler again after some 20-odd years. Sorum crushed it too, and Slash just gets better day after day. Gilby honored us with his presence and he has a 'feel' that fits, and once again saved GN'R's ass. Myles Kennedy came in to sing, and the dude has class and a ton of respect and humility. I like those qualities in a guy. Humbleness can let real inner strength breathe."
Stradlin issued a statement the week before the induction, thanking his bandmates, the Hall Of Fame for "the acknowledgment of our works over the years," and the fans who "have supported GUNS N' ROSES from day one."
McKagan addressed Rose's absence during the bandmembers' acceptance speeches, saying, "I don't know if it matters who's here tonight because it's about the music that band created."
Slash admitted that all the drama almost stopped him from attending, saying, "The fans are the ones who made it possible for us to get together tonight with all the adversity and everything that was going on . . . I was like fuck it, but (my wife) said 'Go and do it with the guys,' and I said 'You're right.'"
GUNS N' ROSES were inducted by GREEN DAY, who performed to open the evening's festivities. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said in his induction speech, "The first time I saw GUNS N' ROSES on MTV I thought, one of these guys could end up dead or in jail . . . The thing that set them apart from everyone else is guts, heart and soul. And most importantly, they told the truth and painted a picture of the mad world that they lived in."
Check out photos of the event:
* Wire Image - Inside
* Wire Image - Show
* Wire Image - Arrivals
* Wire Image – Press Room
* Film Magic - Show
* Film Magic - Press Room
* Getty Images - Show
* Getty Images - Press Room
* Getty Images - Arrivals