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An Open Letter To Axl Rose And Guns N' Roses Fans Everywhere

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Our columnist comes out in support of the last remaining rock star after Axl's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame kiss-off.

To: W. Axl Rose, Guns N' Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,

Greetings from New York City, which is approximately 490 miles from Cleveland, site of this weekend's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and roughly 50 bazillion miles from whatever Bedouin caravan Mr. Rose is currently encamped with — though, to be honest, it feels much farther removed from both. Especially given the reaction most GN'R fans have had to Rose's open letter to the Hall of Fame, which he published Wednesday and which has subsequently turned him into the most hated man on the Internet.

Here's the thing (and, really, the reason I'm writing this letter): Despite the thousands of comments his letter has generated — which largely run the gamut from "YOU SUCK" to "Axl Rose is a freaking whiny-ass bitch" — I'm happy to be in the minority of people who seemingly have no problem with it whatsoever. In fact, I think it's pretty awesome.

Because I support Axl Rose. And yes, I am aware that, in the past, I have called him "the creepy old guy with the Raiders jersey who lives on top of the hill" and compared him to Lil Wayne. And sure, I realize his recent, uh, output might not be on par with Guns' previous efforts (anyone can have a bad 20 years). But after reading his letter, none of those things matter. Or, if anything, they actually made it better for me. Because Axl Rose is a rock star. Maybe the last one standing. He is an anachronism and an enigma. There will never be another like him, and really, his missive to the Rock Hall is just further proof of all those points.

To wit: There are a lot of words in Rose's letter (more than 1,000 of them), none of which are "apology." This is because Axl never apologizes. Because he doesn't have to, and he doesn't care if that offends you. He also never allows himself to be backed into a corner — and everything from his unrelenting blood feud with Slash to the 15-year wait for Chinese Democracy is basically proof of this — and he intimates at several points in his letter that everyone from the HOF committee to his former bandmates was basically attempting to do just that. So rather than be intimidated, Rose just decided to walk away from the whole thing. As he writes, "No one's taking the ball and going home. ... From my perspective ... the ball's never been in our court."

It's easy to call Rose a jerk for doing this, but, really, he is a jerk. It's what makes him who he is and why he's still able to sell out arenas around the world. We've come to expect nothing less, and yet we're willing to vilify him for acting the way he always has.

In some bizarre way, by skipping the induction (and asking his name not be mentioned in absentia), Rose displays a supreme level of actual integrity. Unlike, say, Ozzy Osbourne, who previously asked that his band Black Sabbath no longer be considered for the Hall only to show up at the 2006 induction and call it an "achievement," Axl won't come crawling back. And unlike fellow 2006 inductees Blondie, he spared anyone the ugly onstage feud that surely would've erupted by simply saying, "No thanks." He does what he wants and only what he wants. And the same goes for that much-discussed GN'R reunion, which he shuts down in the letter because, really, it's "time to move on."

And that last quote should be taken to heart by all the Guns fans out there raging against Rose today. Because, really, it is time to move on. Move on from your misguided beliefs that Rose is ever going to change or suddenly have a moment of clarity. It's been, like, 20 years now, and he's never wavered from his original point: No reunion, not ever. Guns N' Roses are still a band and they still tour, and if you don't like it, then don't come out to the shows. Even though you probably still will.

So, sure, be angry with Axl today. Make claims of never listening to his music again (which would suppose he's ever going to make music again) and accuse him of putting himself before his fans. But don't take him to task for being the same person he's been for 25 years now, because, really, you wouldn't want him to change. Not for a reunion tour, not for an induction ceremony, not for anything. He will continue to blaze his own path whether you follow him or not. And I applaud him for doing so. He is Axl Rose, after all. He is rock and roll in an era where that phrase has increasingly less clout. We want him on that wall. We need him on that wall. It's about the only way we can sleep at night, knowing somewhere, Axl is watching over us all. And writing open letters to let us know he still cares.

Sincerely,

James Montgomery

Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1682996/axl-rose-rock-n-roll-hall-of-fame-open-letter.jhtml

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First article on the matter that has it right. I wonder why it is so difficult to comprehend.

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And THAT'S why I find the man so interesting. Even if I don't agree with what he does, or like it, it's fascinating to see someone with the guts to do whatever the fuck they want regardless of the consequences. It might not be how I'd live my life, but it makes for one hell of an interesting dude.

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"We want him on that wall. We need him on that wall. It's about the only way we can sleep at night, knowing somewhere, Axl is watching over us all. And writing open letters to let us know he still cares."

LOVING IT!

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Finally some sense. Axl represents the spirit of true rock n roll attitude.

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"We want him on that wall. We need him on that wall. It's about the only way we can sleep at night, knowing somewhere, Axl is watching over us all. And writing open letters to let us know he still cares."

LOVING IT!

Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.

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"We want him on that wall. We need him on that wall. It's about the only way we can sleep at night, knowing somewhere, Axl is watching over us all. And writing open letters to let us know he still cares."

LOVING IT!

Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.

The one who gave you everything,

The one who took the fall.

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Axl has always been extremely stubborn. The rants, the unbending will, the need to express himself regardless of what people may say, its all been part of GN'R from the start. I suspect that many fans used to like that about him in the past but now that it stands in the way of them getting what they want, its ugly to them. I agree with the writer that he's just being who he is.

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When did we start equating Rock N' Roll with shitting on fans. It's one thing to be true to oneself, acting consistently, and being a through-and-through rock n' roller. It's another to never show an ounce of concern or consideration to the people who paid and supported for the artist to act that way. This isn't an issue of Axl owing us anything other than mutual respect. We get and accept the antics, but when it's a matter of showing the bare minimum of appreciation for his fan base, he won't lift a finger. If he wants to go tell the R&RHOF to go fuck themselves, that's fine. Sex Pistols beat him to it but fine. But at least let everyone else have their moment. I do not see how he reconciles his own observation that the induction is about the fans with the letter stating how objectionable it is for him to be treated in such a manner with respect to receiving an award that few get to receive.

Rock N' Roll is dangerous, uncontrollable, and unpredictable. It's part of the reason we all support and admire what GNR was and to some extent, what GNR and Axl is today. What Rock N' Roll isn't is being a dick at the constant expense of your fans. Axl's constant rejection of the semiotic relationship between artist, music and fans is his biggest flaw. He is part of the relationship, not its entirety. We appreciate his music, we acknowledge the antics, and we admire his theatrics. All we ask back is for a little respect. I was not one holding out for any meaningful gesture between Axl and his former members on Saturday. Hell, I put the odds at 10 to 1 that he was even going to show up. But I never for a second considered he'd withdraw his name and support of being inducted. As he mentioned earlier, this was about the fans to celebrate what we all love. He couldn't even give us that.

Edited by downzy

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When did we start equating Rock N' Roll with shitting on fans. It's one thing to be true to oneself, acting consistently, and being a through-and-through rock n' roller. It's another to never show an ounce of concern or consideration to the people who paid and supported for the artist to act that way. This isn't an issue of Axl owing us anything other than mutual respect. We get and accept the antics, but when it's a matter of showing the bare minimum of appreciation for his fan base, he won't lift a finger. If he wants to go tell the R&RHOF to go fuck themselves, that's fine. Sex Pistols beat him to it but fine. But at least let everyone else have their moment. I do not see how he reconciles his own observation that the induction is about the fans with the letter stating how objectionable it is for him to be treated in such a manner with respect to receiving an award that few get to receive.

Rock N' Roll is dangerous, uncontrollable, and unpredictable. It's part of the reason we all support and admire what GNR was and to some extent, what GNR and Axl is today. What Rock N' Roll isn't is being a dick at the constant expense of your fans. Axl's constant rejection of the semiotic relationship between artist, music and fans is his biggest flaw. He is part of the relationship, not its entirety. We appreciate his music, we acknowledge the antics, and we admire his theatrics. All we ask back is for a little respect. I was not one holding out for any meaningful gesture between Axl and his former members on Saturday. Hell, I put the odds at 10 to 1 that he was even going to show up. But I never for a second considered he'd withdraw his name and support of being inducted. As he mentioned earlier, this was about the fans to celebrate what we all love. He couldn't even give us that.

When we did start equating shitting on fans with not giving the fans what they want regardless of the person in question's feelings or preferences?

Ali

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Great post, I agree with it. Long live GNR! :thumbsup:

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Great post, I agree with it. Long live GNR! :thumbsup:

Gn'R has been dead for decades.

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When did we start equating Rock N' Roll with shitting on fans.

Isn't this more a situation of fans shitting on themselves?

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"Don't damn me

When I speak a piece of mind

'Cause silence isn't golden

When I'm holding it inside

'Cause I've been where I have been

And I've seen what I have seen

I put the pen to the paper

'Cause it's all a part of me

Be it a song or a casual conversation

To hold my tongue speaks of quiet reservations

Your words once heard

They can place you in a faction

My words may disturb

But at least there's a reaction......"

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When did we start equating Rock N' Roll with shitting on fans.

Isn't this more a situation of fans shitting on themselves?

I just think "shitting on" is a little extreme for just not attending the HOF induction ceremony. I think people are just pissed that they didn't get what they want for the HOF induction ceremony, be that standing on stage together or playing together. I understand disappointment, but "shitting on" seems like the heated words born out of anger and a fresh wound or disappointment.

Ali

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Great post, I agree with it. Long live GNR! :thumbsup:

Classic Gn'R has been dead for decades.

There ya go :thumbsup:

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When did we start equating Rock N' Roll with shitting on fans. It's one thing to be true to oneself, acting consistently, and being a through-and-through rock n' roller. It's another to never show an ounce of concern or consideration to the people who paid and supported for the artist to act that way. This isn't an issue of Axl owing us anything other than mutual respect. We get and accept the antics, but when it's a matter of showing the bare minimum of appreciation for his fan base, he won't lift a finger. If he wants to go tell the R&RHOF to go fuck themselves, that's fine. Sex Pistols beat him to it but fine. But at least let everyone else have their moment. I do not see how he reconciles his own observation that the induction is about the fans with the letter stating how objectionable it is for him to be treated in such a manner with respect to receiving an award that few get to receive.

Rock N' Roll is dangerous, uncontrollable, and unpredictable. It's part of the reason we all support and admire what GNR was and to some extent, what GNR and Axl is today. What Rock N' Roll isn't is being a dick at the constant expense of your fans. Axl's constant rejection of the semiotic relationship between artist, music and fans is his biggest flaw. He is part of the relationship, not its entirety. We appreciate his music, we acknowledge the antics, and we admire his theatrics. All we ask back is for a little respect. I was not one holding out for any meaningful gesture between Axl and his former members on Saturday. Hell, I put the odds at 10 to 1 that he was even going to show up. But I never for a second considered he'd withdraw his name and support of being inducted. As he mentioned earlier, this was about the fans to celebrate what we all love. He couldn't even give us that.

When we did start equating shitting on fans with not giving the fans what they want regardless of the person in question's feelings or preferences?

Ali

Fuckin 'ay!

The article is spot on.

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When did we start equating Rock N' Roll with shitting on fans. It's one thing to be true to oneself, acting consistently, and being a through-and-through rock n' roller. It's another to never show an ounce of concern or consideration to the people who paid and supported for the artist to act that way. This isn't an issue of Axl owing us anything other than mutual respect. We get and accept the antics, but when it's a matter of showing the bare minimum of appreciation for his fan base, he won't lift a finger. If he wants to go tell the R&RHOF to go fuck themselves, that's fine. Sex Pistols beat him to it but fine. But at least let everyone else have their moment. I do not see how he reconciles his own observation that the induction is about the fans with the letter stating how objectionable it is for him to be treated in such a manner with respect to receiving an award that few get to receive.

Rock N' Roll is dangerous, uncontrollable, and unpredictable. It's part of the reason we all support and admire what GNR was and to some extent, what GNR and Axl is today. What Rock N' Roll isn't is being a dick at the constant expense of your fans. Axl's constant rejection of the semiotic relationship between artist, music and fans is his biggest flaw. He is part of the relationship, not its entirety. We appreciate his music, we acknowledge the antics, and we admire his theatrics. All we ask back is for a little respect. I was not one holding out for any meaningful gesture between Axl and his former members on Saturday. Hell, I put the odds at 10 to 1 that he was even going to show up. But I never for a second considered he'd withdraw his name and support of being inducted. As he mentioned earlier, this was about the fans to celebrate what we all love. He couldn't even give us that.

When we did start equating shitting on fans with not giving the fans what they want regardless of the person in question's feelings or preferences?

Ali

And there's the difference. All Axl had to do was nothing; he could have just sat at home and been his same old passive-aggressive self. All the fans of the band that's being inducted wanted to do was to celebrate that band. We didn't absolutely need Axl there (though that would have been nice). He didn't have to give us anything. This was not a night for Axl's feelings. What is he, a four year old? This was a night about the fans, something he has admitted several times in interviews. He could have just said he wasn't coming, but he had to pull the rug out from everyone else by revoking his own name from the process. How much harm is he being subjected to by having his name included. It's not like it was something he was fundamentally opposed to. It's just his feelings were hurt or he didn't get everything he wanted so not only did he fuck himself, he did the only thing he could do to fuck it up for the fans by requesting his name be removed. How sensitive is this guy that because he couldn't have it his way, nobody gets to enjoy the evening. Now, instead of talking about how great the band was in the AFD/UYI days, all people will be talking about is Axl's bullshit power play that takes the focus off of the band and the members who have the decency to show the fans a little appreciation. In my opinion, as a long time GNR fan who has been there for Axl through the thick and thin, this is way over the line.

As a GNR fan, we're not allowed to ask for certain songs in the set, we're not allowed to ask for new music, we're not allowed to ask what exactly happened when something goes wrong, we're not allowed to ask why certain members left; we're not allowed to ask why things take so long. There's not a lot we're allowed to do or ask without being labeled a whiner or hater. Those are Axl's antics and you either accept them or not. That's fine, most of us have, some haven't and have moved on. But now we're being told that he won't even let us celebrate the original/classic band or whatever label you want to call it with him in it because his feelings are hurt. Bullshit Axl. Man up, be there for your fans considering they have been there for you through a lot of abuse and neglect, and swallow what you see as an imperfect situation. But I suppose that's why Axl ultimately gave the middle finger to the fans in this situation; his insistence on perfection (ie. his way) supplants anything and everyone else. Perhaps this is why it took ten years to get one damn album. Perhaps this is why he chose to sit at home when Chinese Democracy came out because he didn't agree to 100% of the marketing that the label had picked out for him.

Understand that it has been a consistent theme with this guy: respect and appreciation for the fans is always at the mercy of his demand for complete control and pursuit of artistic perfection. I'm just one fan who no longer accepts this paradigm. If he doesn't want people to be fans for the very reason why he has fans, then why support a guy who's done figuratively nothing to merit new found support? If, according to Axl, we're not allowed to celebrate the past, and he's done dick all in the present and with no word of any music to be released in the future, why even bother with this guy. And that's what his letter and his intentions concerning the R&RHOF really said to me.

Cheers,

Andrew

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Great post, I agree with it. Long live GNR! :thumbsup:

Gn'R has been dead for decades.

It must be awesome living in denial.

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Man up, be there for your fans considering they have been there for you through a lot of abuse and neglect, and swallow what you see as an imperfect situation.

THIS is what you use to measure being there for your fans???? Really????

If, according to Axl, we're not allowed to celebrate the past

What the hell are you talking about???

The Hall of Fame REALLY means that much????? It's some sort of watershed in Guns history???? Pfftt....

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Axl Rose is a fucking joke since 2011,his way singing a completly joke,i wasnt going to see GNR until he sings like he used to,but after reading AXL ROSE LETTER,its true, is an asshole,he knew all the things he said were going to happen,poor Adler is a joke,yes,but he was kicked of the biggest band in the last 30 years and its like winning the lottery and lose the ticket.I mean a rock star legend should know to handle.The rest is the same old shit.

AXL ROSE ....you are an asshole

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When did we start equating Rock N' Roll with shitting on fans. It's one thing to be true to oneself, acting consistently, and being a through-and-through rock n' roller. It's another to never show an ounce of concern or consideration to the people who paid and supported for the artist to act that way. This isn't an issue of Axl owing us anything other than mutual respect. We get and accept the antics, but when it's a matter of showing the bare minimum of appreciation for his fan base, he won't lift a finger. If he wants to go tell the R&RHOF to go fuck themselves, that's fine. Sex Pistols beat him to it but fine. But at least let everyone else have their moment. I do not see how he reconciles his own observation that the induction is about the fans with the letter stating how objectionable it is for him to be treated in such a manner with respect to receiving an award that few get to receive.

Rock N' Roll is dangerous, uncontrollable, and unpredictable. It's part of the reason we all support and admire what GNR was and to some extent, what GNR and Axl is today. What Rock N' Roll isn't is being a dick at the constant expense of your fans. Axl's constant rejection of the semiotic relationship between artist, music and fans is his biggest flaw. He is part of the relationship, not its entirety. We appreciate his music, we acknowledge the antics, and we admire his theatrics. All we ask back is for a little respect. I was not one holding out for any meaningful gesture between Axl and his former members on Saturday. Hell, I put the odds at 10 to 1 that he was even going to show up. But I never for a second considered he'd withdraw his name and support of being inducted. As he mentioned earlier, this was about the fans to celebrate what we all love. He couldn't even give us that.

When we did start equating shitting on fans with not giving the fans what they want regardless of the person in question's feelings or preferences?

Ali

And there's the difference. All Axl had to do was nothing; he could have just sat at home and been his same old passive-aggressive self. All the fans of the band that's being inducted wanted to do was to celebrate that band. We didn't absolutely need Axl there (though that would have been nice). He didn't have to give us anything. This was not a night for Axl's feelings. What is he, a four year old? This was a night about the fans, something he has admitted several times in interviews. He could have just said he wasn't coming, but he had to pull the rug out from everyone else by revoking his own name from the process. How much harm is he being subjected to by having his name included. It's not like it was something he was fundamentally opposed to. It's just his feelings were hurt or he didn't get everything he wanted so not only did he fuck himself, he did the only thing he could do to fuck it up for the fans by requesting his name be removed. How sensitive is this guy that because he couldn't have it his way, nobody gets to enjoy the evening. Now, instead of talking about how great the band was in the AFD/UYI days, all people will be talking about is Axl's bullshit power play that takes the focus off of the band and the members who have the decency to show the fans a little appreciation. In my opinion, as a long time GNR fan who has been there for Axl through the thick and thin, this is way over the line.

As a GNR fan, we're not allowed to ask for certain songs in the set, we're not allowed to ask for new music, we're not allowed to ask what exactly happened when something goes wrong, we're not allowed to ask why certain members left; we're not allowed to ask why things take so long. There's not a lot we're allowed to do or ask without being labeled a whiner or hater. Those are Axl's antics and you either accept them or not. That's fine, most of us have, some haven't and have moved on. But now we're being told that he won't even let us celebrate the original/classic band or whatever label you want to call it with him in it because his feelings are hurt. Bullshit Axl. Man up, be there for your fans considering they have been there for you through a lot of abuse and neglect, and swallow what you see as an imperfect situation. But I suppose that's why Axl ultimately gave the middle finger to the fans in this situation; his insistence on perfection (ie. his way) supplants anything and everyone else. Perhaps this is why it took ten years to get one damn album. Perhaps this is why he chose to sit at home when Chinese Democracy came out because he didn't agree to 100% of the marketing that the label had picked out for him.

Understand that it has been a consistent theme with this guy: respect and appreciation for the fans is always at the mercy of his demand for complete control and pursuit of artistic perfection. I'm just one fan who no longer accepts this paradigm. If he doesn't want people to be fans for the very reason why he has fans, then why support a guy who's done figuratively nothing to merit new found support? If, according to Axl, we're not allowed to celebrate the past, and he's done dick all in the present and with no word of any music to be released in the future, why even bother with this guy. And that's what his letter and his intentions concerning the R&RHOF really said to me.

Cheers,

Andrew

You just proved what I said. You're upset that you didn't get what you want. I understand and respect that. However, as I said:

"I just think "shitting on" is a little extreme for just not attending the HOF induction ceremony. I think people are just pissed that they didn't get what they want for the HOF induction ceremony, be that standing on stage together or playing together. I understand disappointment, but "shitting on" seems like the heated words born out of anger and a fresh wound or disappointment."

I think you're making a misinterpretation in saying he doesn't want his fans to celebrate the past. You're allowed to. He just doesn't want to be a part of that, possibly due to strained relationships with Steven Adler and Slash and due to wanting to stand alongside his current band. That's all it is. You're upset, hurt, feel personally attacked/insulted and that's understandable (although a little extreme in my opinion). But, I think you're bending the truth a little because Axl isn't doing what you want him to do.

Ali

Edited by Ali

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What I don't understand is how HOF became the most important thing for fans ever. I mean, I do understand one thing: it was the opportunity to see Axl and Slash sharing a stage (which I really think its still nothing I care about), but the induction itself isn't that important.

If it would ever happen, a reunion should not be forced down the throat. Saw lots of comments here about how "everyone was OK except Axl" - so you should just give up because the majority wants you to jump and be good? Its like my family loves my ex-girlfriend, so should I get back to her just because everyone is OK? Fuck that. Or maybe let someone represent me on the Valentine's Day with her even though I don't want to be there and I disagree with a celebration of an old relationship with me? Fuck that too.

Can't believe how people are all claiming Axl is immature but they cant just stand by Axl's own decision and entitlement.

Edited by Voodoochild

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