Guns N' Roses has made the 2012 induction class for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I could grouse a little about the continued rejection, at even the nominee level, of Rush, but what's the point? It'll happen, eventually, and hopefully the long wait will give them a ton of well-deserved press when it does happen.
They are, and always have been a volatile band. There's a real question about what's going to happen at the induction on April 12th. Of course, what the world (and I'm sure the Hall) wants is to see the original five members (Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler) on stage for a reunion. It seems that most of the band would be into it. Adler is very vocal about wanting to play together, even to the point of a full tour (that's not going to happen). Everyone else obviously still gets along, Slash and Duff are still associated (along with Adler's replacement, Matt Sorum) with Velvet Revolver, and Izzy, well Izzy seems to float in and out of everyone's life. "Helping" with songs for Velvet Revolver, for example.
Then there's Axl.
I have a feeling in my gut that, after April 12th, we'll have new footage of the original Guns lineup playing two or three songs. I do. Something makes me optimistic about it.
Axl, however, is the stumbling block. Thing is, I understand why he might not want to do it. I do.
Look, no matter how you feel about it, Axl is out there on the road with a new version of Guns N' Roses that he put together, and seems very committed to. This is his band. Maybe they all are ass-kissing hired guns, or maybe they're part of a cohesive musical unit.
I'll say this, very few people I know who've seen the current lineup will say it's a bad band. In fact many of them praise the musicianship on display, with the perennial "but."
"But it's not Guns N' Roses."
Axl, however, feels it is. He's also spent the last fifteen plus years working with this unit (in one form or another) to create what he feels Guns N' Roses is, now. You can bitch about his attitude, the late concert starts, the album a decade-plus in the making that was so over-ordered by Best Buy that they had it on sale for $1.99 recently.
I'd argue that Chinese Democracy deserved better, myself. It's not a bad album, by any standard. It's not Appetite, and it took far, far too long to put together, those are it's greatest sins. Those were sins, however, the public was ready to crucify the album, and Axl, for.
The Chinese Democracy lineup, and material, are what Axl is doing NOW. If he agrees to the induction gig, goes on stage with the original lineup, and kicks ass, the internet will be aflame. Much like when Led Zeppelin was triumphant with their O2 gig in 2007, the immediate question is, "where does it go from here?"
For Axl, I'm pretty damn sure the answer will always be "back to my band." You thought that lineup had a tough time now, more than twenty years after the Appetite lineup dissolved? Try it the week after the internet floods with video of the "reunion."
That is a no-win situation you can't reprogram the computer out of. The only way out of it is to...just not go. Which would be sad, it'd be disappointing, but I'd get it. So, while I honestly do have this gut feeling that we'll see the original five that night, I also see rational reasons for it not to happen.
Not like that Van Halen debacle in 2007. Where, once and for all, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony proved where the class in that outfit was located. What an embarrassment.
Slash's recent live album, or if you saw the tour. The guy can sing the stuff, and well. He's also extremely charismatic, but also respectful of the history.
Hell, according to Mick Wall, the guy almost replaced Robert Plant. He can step in for Axl, if need be.
In no way am I saying Axl shouldn't be up there, but, if he pulls a David Lee Roth, I'm offering what I think is a good alternative. Not that anyone cares what I think...but I bet it's crossed Slash's mind.