Former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum spoke to the Artisan News earlier this week about the band's upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and vocalist Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin's decision to skip the ceremony.
"I told Duff [McKagan, ex-GN'R bassist], 'One of you guys should call Axl.' I know Duff played with him [a few times in the last couple of years]. [And I told Duff], 'Why don't you call [Axl]?' And then I talked to Slash. 'Cause I can't call [Axl]. I'm way down the ladder. I'm like maybe right where Dizzy [Reed, GN'R keyboardist] is, maybe just a little bit above. [laughs] I'm not sure… I said, 'Slash, why don't you call Izzy and then [Duff], you call Axl?' But it didn't happen, I guess. So I'm just gonna go [to the induction ceremony]… It would be cool to see. I would be happy to be eating my steak, or whatever they're gonna feed me, watching [the other guys play]… [Laughs] I'd rather hand the sticks to Stevie [Adler, ex-GN'R drummer], actually. 'Cause I'm cool with that. I don't need to be going, 'Hey, you know…' I'll go play cowbell or tambourine… I'll sing the harmonies. I offered my services to Donovan, the folk singer who's getting inducted. 'Hey, I don't think I'll be playing with these guys, so…'"
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.
Slash, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Matt Sorum will be on hand at the ceremony. 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.