Over the past few years (much longer for many of us), there has been a growing disillusionment over The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And yes, I’m well aware that we’re beating a dead horse here, that many of us are just plain tired of hearing about it, much less having to read something – ANYTHING – about it. Several weeks ago, I posted a reboot scenario for the Hall. While TAP received a few comments on the subject, most yawned. And with good reason. We’re just sick and tired of the institution that cannot possibly decide who belongs in the Hall of Fame…and who doesn’t.
With the ceremonies over, and the drama of a few inductees electing to stay away, I wanted to hit a point once again, not so much from my perspective, but from the perspective of Axl Rose (of Guns ‘N’ Roses fame), who decided a public note was deserving concerning his very visible departure from the institution.
Now, I’m not much of an Axl Rose fan. I feel that his public treatment of fans and his former bandmates is a bit on the deplorable side (not that I’m privy to his reasoning, which may be quite valid). But yesterday’s explanatory note to fans of the band went a long way to voicing what is a very valid questioning of the procedure. I’ve given the full text below. Read it, then we’ll talk further:
To: Cleveland, Ohio, Guns N’ Roses Fans and everyone who’s shown support for my decision regarding the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
I seriously didn’t plan on or expect the overwhelmingly positive response and public support for my decision regarding the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. With such a generous outpouring of solidarity from fans, media outlets, writers and other artists, I’m truly humbled, blown away and unbelievably relieved! To be honest, I thought it would go the other way and was just hoping to weather the storm. As I said, I sincerely didn’t want to disappoint anyone. It gets old being the outlaw even if “it’s only rock and roll”.
It took a lot of focus and soul searching to be sincere and informative while making a genuine effort to be somewhat diplomatic. We made, what I feel, are real efforts to learn about the Hall and the Board, spoke as I said with the president and various members, and though I inducted Elton John and Bernie Taupin in ’94 saying something to the effect of “I’m learning what the Hall’s about…”
I still don’t exactly know or understand what the Hall is or how or why it makes money, where the money goes, who chooses the voters and why anyone or this board decides who, out of all the artists in the world that have contributed to this genre, officially “rock” enough to be in the Hall?
This isn’t an attack. These are genuine issues I don’t have enough verified information on to have more than rough ideas. Certainly not enough information to make any judgments about.
I would like to apologize to Cleveland, Ohio for not apologizing to them beforehand for not attending [the ceremony] in their city. I think they know how much I genuinely love performing there. Cleveland does in fact Rock!!
Now that the smoke’s cleared a little, any desperate, misguided attacks have been just that, a pathetic stab at gossip, some lame vindictiveness, the usual entitlement crap, he’s obsessed, crazy, volatile, a hater. I once bought a homeless woman a slice of pizza who yelled at me she wanted soup. We got her the soup. You can get your own.
Again: HUGE thanks to the fans and to everyone for the incredible public support. My congratulations to the other artists inducted. And my apologies to the city and people of Cleveland, Ohio. I hope you’ll forgive me and we hope to see you again soon!
Unlike my open letter to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern this was written for GNR’s official website, Facebook account and my personal twitter account and not intended as a press release. If anyone does choose to pick this up as has been done previously I’d appreciate if you’d run in full including this paragraph so as not to give a partial picture, have things taken out of context or to imply or inadvertently give the impression this was intended for other outlets.
Thanks in advance. Peace-
That is the full text of the letter from Axl Rose. In it he makes a strong statement in that he has inquired and still has yet to gain a firm grasp on what the Hall is about. I have to concur with the mercurial singer. Especially in his statement, “…why anyone or this board decides who, out of all the artists in the world that have contributed to this genre, officially “rock” enough to be in the Hall?” That’s the gist of the concern we all share. A small group of decision makers who have a powerful say in who gets in…and who doesn’t.
As we have always said, the list of potential Rock and Rollers is continually getting longer. With the current number of inductees allowed, many of us will NEVER live long enough to see many of our favorites enter such a Hall. Worse, eventually the voters will be too young to even consider the worth of a Rush, or an ELP, or a KISS, or many others that will likely never see induction although many of them should.
Okay, that’s it. I think we’ve taken on this subject one too many times. I’ll chastise myself privately the next time I decide to write something, and then try very hard to accept my chewing out and NOT write anything.
But before I go…Rod, you genuinely suck!! (You’re running out of evasive excuses.) Really, you are! Worse, we’re starting to not care anymore.