The original band members, minus Axl Rose, performed three songs – including “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City” – for 6,000 fans Saturday night, as they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
It was the first time in nearly 20 years that guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steve Adler had reunited for a performance. Frontman Axl Rose declined to attend, saying he didn’t want to be part of the ceremony because it “doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected.”
The ecstatic fans didn’t seem to miss him, though.
Guns N’ Roses were one of the headliners for this year’s batch of inductees, that also included Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, folk legend Donovan, British bands Small Faces, and Faces, and late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro.
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong introduced inductees, Guns N’ Roses, recalling the first time he saw the band on MTV. “I thought, one these guys could end up dead or in jail,” he said. He spoke about the band’s members; Slash’s mastery and Adler’s pounding beats before pausing to say, “Let’s see, who am I missing?” The reference to Axl Rose drew boos that Armstrong tried to shout down. “He’s one of the best frontmen to ever touch a microphone,” Armstrong said.