Truth rating: 10
10:20 am, April 15th, 2012
Axl Rose was booed in absentia as his band Guns N’ Roses was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Saturday night.
The frontman controversially pulled out of the event just days before the ceremony, declining to be inducted and torpedoing the possibility of the first full, reunited Guns N’ Roses performance in nearly 20 years.
While some disappointed fans broke into sporadic chants of “F**k Axl!” and boos, the band’s induction (by Green Day) highlighted an epic parade of speeches and musical sets that stretched to nearly six hours.
Billie Joe Armstrong honored G N’R, calling their “Appetite for Destruction” the greatest debut album of all time and saying, “The thing that set them apart from everyone else was guts. They never lost their edge for one second.”
Chris Rock inducted Red Hot Chili Peppers, joking about first seeing them by accident while trying to see Grand Master Flash.
Chuck D and LL Cool J honored inductees Beastie Boys in a speech, with Kid Rock and the Roots performing a medley of the Beasties’ songs.
Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band inducted the Small Faces and Faces, while John Mellencamp did the honors for 1960s balladeer Donovan.
Bette Midler gave an emotional speech for the late inductee Laura Nyro, while Smokey Robinson honored a number of previously overlooked backing groups including his own Miracles, the Comets, the Blue Caps, the Famous Flames, the Midnighters and Buddy Holly’s Crickets.
Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top inducted late guitarist Freddie King.
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