CLEVELAND - Less than a week after he wrote a lengthy letter declining induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Axl Rose wrote another letter to the city of Cleveland.
The Guns N' Roses frontman was supposed to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Saturday with his former bandmates, but refused because of ongoing tensions. Slash, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Matt Sorum were at Cleveland Public Hall to accept the honor and jam with fellow inductees.
During the induction ceremony, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day spoke of the contributions of each band member. Armstrong didn't call Axl by name, but commented on his strong vocals and mental instability.
Every mention of Axl brought boos from the audience, while the crowd cheered for Slash. The legendary guitarist thanked his wife for encouraging him to come to Cleveland and "do it for the fans."
When the members of GNR performed, Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy took over vocals, screaming along with "Sweet Child O' Mine."
Towards the end of the night, comedian Chris Rock, who was on-hand to induct the Red Hot Chili Peppers made a few jokes at Axl's expense.
"Let's face it, even if he was coming tonight, he wouldn't have been here by now," Rock said.
Read Rose's letter in-full below (as requested by Axl in the last paragraph):
"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."