Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Here’s what happened…
In recent days Axl Rose and Rod Stewart, two of the biggest stars entering the Hall of Fame this year, pulled out of the show, making complete reunion performances by The Faces and Guns N’ Roses impossible. Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante opted not to come, and the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch stayed home as he continues to recover from cancer. So really, it was looking like this was maybe not all the organisers would have hoped, but the reality was very different!
"I don’t know that it matters who’s here tonight, because it’s about the music that these bands played," Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan said during his induction speech. “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,” said Slash. He particularly thanked his wife, saying, “When all this drama was going on, I was like fuck it, but she said ‘Go and do it with the guys,’ and I said ‘You’re right.’” Drummer Matt Sorum took the high road, saying, “I want to thank the other bandmates that aren’t here tonight and tell them that I love and respect them and I’m honored to have been on stage playing music with them.”
Minutes after making that point, he walked over across to the stage to play an explosive three-song set of Guns N’ Roses songs with Slash, Duff, guitarist Gilby Clarke, Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy and Steven Adler.
There were boos from the crowd and chants of ‘Fuck Axl’, but it seems the minute the guys took to the stage the absense of Mr Rose and Izzy Stradlin were forgotten. They played Mr Brownstone, Sweet Child of Mine and Paradise City.
The Faces also soldiered on without their lead singer, recruiting Simply Red's Mick Hucknall to fill his slot. The Beastie Boys had no intention of performing without Adam Yauch, so The Roots were joined by Kid Rock and Travie McCoy to deliver their own tribute to the trio.
Chris Rock stepped up to induct the Red Hot Chili Peppers and provided much amusement. "A lot of people are upset that Axl didn’t come tonight," he said. "But let’s face it. Even if he was coming tonight, he wouldn’t be here by now." The band also did a 3 song set of By The Way, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie and Give It Away.
So a pretty great night all round then? All the worry and speculation for nothing, as in the end, it is the music that wins over all.