Posted in music on April 17, 2012

Matt Sorum gestures as Duff McKagan, back left, Steven Adler and Slash, back right, watch, after Guns N' Roses was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Saturday, April 14, 2012, in Cleveland.
Guns n Roses

Guns n' Roses were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame over the weekend, but as was reported far and wide, not all the original members, most notably Axl, chose to show up. Matt Sorum was there representing though, and now he just wants to clarify a few things. Red his entire statement below...

--
STATEMENT FROM MATT SORUM

"Dear Friends and Fans of Guns N' Roses,

I am releasing this statement to bring closure to the night's events at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame, and to all things Guns N' Roses. This will alleviate numerous press statements and interviews about the subject, which I have already addressed on my Twitter.

In these last few months since getting notice about being inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, many emotions and feelings have gone through my head and heart, as well as the original five members of GN'R: Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy and Steven. I was also chosen to be inducted, along with Dizzy Reed.

It was slightly awkward for me in some ways knowing some fans have the original five in their hearts for a reunion. I chose to say
to Slash and Duff, 'Please have Steven play, and let me know what you would like me to do.'

Two days before the event. Axl made his statement known. And it was apparent he wouldn't be attending. In respect to him, that is his decision and should be honored. Also, Izzy declined. So I suggested Slash call Gilby, who was left out of the proceedings. Gilby was a member of the band and contributing to the 'Use Your Illusions' World Tour, which took us around the globe for three years, as well as playing guitar on 'Spaghetti Incident' and 'The Live Era' albums. It felt like the right thing to do.

In fairness to the rest of the original line-up and myself, we decided to go ahead and attend. This is an honor that is once in a lifetime and couldn't be missed, especially for fans of the band. To us, it was honoring them as well. Regarding playing live, we agreed that we would share the stage together, joined by Myles Kennedy as guest singer, who did a fine job filling big shoes. Steven graciously offered 'Brownstone' and played two other 'Appetite' tracks, and I sang and joined him near the kit on 'Paradise City.'

It felt perfect for all involved.

In my speech, I made references to drugs and Steven being dismissed from the band, in which I referred to, "How could someone be fired from Guns N' Roses for doing too many drugs??"

It was meant to be light-hearted. But knowing the struggles Steven has endured all these years. I felt I needed to clarify that Steven was onstage, healthy, and ready to rock.

It is well known that the rest of the band has endured addiction and alcoholism and at this point in our lives, we are all healthy and sober
Not to make light of drugs and alcohol...we were all full-blown addicts when the band split. What started out as a party and what we believed was part of the makeup of the band turned on all of us in the end.

Many years of soul searching and reconnecting with our inner selves have brought glorious gifts: Velvet Revolver with millions of records sold and a Grammy, Steven with his new band, and more. We are now all playing music and making records on our own that is truly what we love, before any of the business of music came into play. The music has always been the passion, before anything else.

Stevens's passion for GN'R is something that no one can explain but him: it's a true love gone, but never forgotten. How many people have felt that in their lifetime?

I told Steven and the rest of the guys the night of the Induction that night was for them and what they created on the streets of Hollywood, and it can never be taken away. The music will live on. And that's what counts. Not about who was there at the Induction. That the music will always be theirs and no can ever take that away.

Also, I have much respect for my former band, The Cult. And all the musicians I have played with over the years. They have all taught me so much.

I also need to thank my dearest and closest confidante, Ace Harper, who is my fiancée' and has made me a better man. She has walked beside in times of darkness, and has been there for me when all the stage lights and backstage parties were over.

This is where life is for all of us now survivors of a Rock & Roll era you will never see the likes of again: Married men Slash with two wonderful boys, Duff with two beautiful girls, Steven happy with a beautiful wife.

Life is good, my friends...we are alive! God Bless the fans of GN'R.

Long Live Rock N Roll,

Matt Sorum

(GN'R: "Use Your Illusion 1 and 2," "The Spaghetti Incident," "The Live Era)"

This was Axl's statement:
To: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N' Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,

When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing. Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N' Roses were to be inducted it'd be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.

Since then we've listened to fans, talked with members of the board of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments and jabs from former members of Guns N' Roses, had discussions with the president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some contrived) and read other artists' comments weighing in publicly on Guns and the Hall with their thoughts.

Under the circumstances I feel we've been polite, courteous, and open to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking into consideration the history of Guns N' Roses, those who plan to attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen to include in "our" induction (that for the record are decisions I don't agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how (albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled things... no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn't appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected.

For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It's their show not mine.

That said, I won't be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N' Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of "Guns N' Roses".

This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from my and my camp's perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or condemn. Though unfortunately I'm sure there will be those who take offense (God knows how long I'll have to contend with the fallout), I certainly don't intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with this decision. Since the announcement of the nomination we've actively sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be a no win, at least for me, "damned if I do, damned if I don't" scenario all the way around.

In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the Appetite or Illusion lineups, I've publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing's changed.

The only reason, at this point, under the circumstances, in my opinion whether under the guise of "for the fans" or whatever justification of the moment, for anyone to continue to ask, suggest or demand a reunion are misguided attempts to distract from our efforts with our current lineup of myself, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and DJ Ashba.

Izzy came out with us a few times back in '06 and I invited him to join us at our LA Forum show last year. Steven was at our show at the Hard Rock, later in '06 in Las Vegas, where I invited him to our after-party and was rewarded with his subsequent interviews filled with reunion lies. Lesson learned. Duff joined us in 2010 and again in '11 along with his band, Loaded, opening in Seattle and Vancouver. For me, with the exception of Izzy or Duff joining us on stage if they were so inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that's enough.

There's a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light, there isn't room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.

Maybe if it were you it'd be different. Maybe you'd do it for this reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We're there for each other when the going get's rough. We love our fans and work to give them every ounce of energy and heart we can.

So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn't owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another's, or in this case several others', expense.

But hey if ya gotta then maybe we can get the "no show, grandstanding, publicity stunt, disrespectful, he doesn't care about the fans" crap out of the way as quickly as we can and let's move on. No one's taking the ball and going home. Don't get it twisted. For more than a decade and a half we've endured the double standards, the greed of this industry and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of wannabes and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Not to imply anything in this particular circumstance, but from my perspective in regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball's never been in our court.

In closing, regardless of this decision and as hard to believe or as ironic as it may seem, I'd like to sincerely thank the board for their nomination and their votes for Guns' induction. More importantly I'd like to thank the fans for being there over the years, making any success we've had possible and for enjoying and supporting Guns N' Roses music.

I wish the Hall a great show, congratulations to all the other artists being inducted and to our fans we look forward to seeing you on tour!!

Sincerely,

Axl Rose

P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III

Slash plays Irving Plaza in NYC on May 22.

---

      

Comments (29)

Class act that Matt Sorum. Well said.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 10:57 AM

Too eloquent, didn't read.

TE/dr

Posted by prof. shorthair (!) | April 17, 2012 11:06 AM

WHAT A LONG WINDED SUICIDE NOTE- DAVID SANDERSON

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 11:15 AM

well said.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 11:15 AM

Matt Sorum = Aces in my book.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 11:24 AM

Axl Rose was there as a hologram.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 11:37 AM

I always thought that GnR was a waste of time, but in Matt's words I realize that I was only part correct - the addiction was a waste of time, and the music was a product of that. Matt seems like a good guy, and glad that they are all now sober.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 11:58 AM

Sorum always acts an authority of all things GnR. Fact is he wasnt an original member, didnt play on the most important album, and by this point has been out of the band nearly 20 years which isnt all that much longer than Adler in the grand scheme of things.
In the end they are a group of self indulgent dicks with no sense of humility.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 1:45 PM

^ operative word there being "were"

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 1:54 PM

Axl you are a total piece of shit. That statement reaks of such utter self importance but you have always been about that. This is why you will never understand how the band you tour with today is a reflection of your statement above. Bloated with lots of elements that never jell into something important. That recent Webster Hall, excuse me Ritz, show was so over inflated and lengthy with nothing special to show for it.

I truly wish one of these days someone beats the living shit out of you. Maybe knock some sense into you finally. What a sad excuse for a 50 year old man you have become.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 2:26 PM

I agree Matt is a class act and I like his statement (they are all survivours of a rock n roll period we will never see again). They all deserve to be honoured and it was awesome:)

Posted by purple22 | April 17, 2012 2:49 PM

I actually respect Axl for not taking part in the RoRHOF. The Rock Hall has no relevance.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 3:03 PM

Izzy = only class act among them...

Posted by Smack | April 17, 2012 3:15 PM

^ I wouldn't necessarily say that "class act" is really the same as simply staying out of it though. But yeah, I hear ya on some level.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 3:32 PM

I'm really not sure that what they accomplished deserves to be recognized. They had maybe like 5 hits total and four where with the original members that broke up without doing more material. There has to be bands with stronger resumes that are available to be inducted.

Posted by Steve | April 17, 2012 4:08 PM

Axl fucking Rose

The lyrics have incited a lot of protest, so let's go over them line by line. Let's start with one of the verses, "Police and niggers, that's right/Get outta my way/Don't need to buy none/ Of your gold chains today."

I used words like police and niggers because you're not allowed to use the word nigger. Why can black people go up to each other and say, "Nigger," but when a white guy does it all of a sudden it's a big put-down. I don't like boundaries of any kind. I don't like being told what I can and what I can't say. I used the word nigger because it's a word to describe somebody that is basically a pain in your life, a problem. The word nigger doesn't necessarily mean black. Doesn't John Lennon have a song "Woman Is the Nigger of the World"? There's a rap group, N.W.A., Niggers with Attitude. I mean, they're proud of that word. More power to them. Guns N' Roses ain't bad. . . . N.W.A. is baad! Mr. Bob Goldthwait said the only reason we put these lyrics on the record was because it would cause controversy and we'd sell a million albums. Fuck him! Why'd he put us in his skit? We don't just do something to get the controversy, the press.

How about the next verse? Immigrants and faggots/They make no sense to me/ They come to our country/And think they'll do as they please/ Like start some mini-Iran or spread some fuckin' disease." Why that reference to immigrants?

When I use the word immigrants, what I'm talking about is going to a 7-11 or Village pantries - a lot of people from countries like Iran, Pakistan, China, Japan et cetera, get jobs in these convenience stores and gas stations. Then they treat you as if you don't belong here. I've been chased out of a store with Slash by a six-foot-tall Iranian with a butcher knife because he didn't like the way we were dressed. Scared me to death. All I could see in my mind was a picture of my arm on the ground, blood going everywhere. When I get scared, I get mad. I grabbed the top of one of these big orange garbage cans and went back at him with this shield, going, "Come on!" I didn't want to back down from this guy. Anyway that's why I wrote about immigrants. Maybe I should have been more specific and said, "Joe Schmoladoo at the 7-11 and faggots make no sense to me." That's ridiculous! I summed it up simply and said, "Immigrants."

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 4:34 PM

How about the use of the word "faggots"?

I've had some very bad experiences with homosexuals. When I was first coming to Los Angeles, I was about eighteen or nineteen. On my first hitchhiking ride, this guy told me I could crash at his hotel. I went to sleep and woke up while this guy was trying to rape me. I threw him down on the floor. He came at me again. I went running for the door. He came at me. I pinned him between the door and the wall. I had a straight razor, and I pulled the razor and said, "Don't ever touch me! Don't ever think about touching me! Don't touch yourself and think about me! Nothing!" Then I grabbed my stuff and split with no place to go, no sleep, in the middle of nowhere outside of St. Louis. That's why I have the attitude I have.

Are you anti-homosexual then?

I'm proheterosexual. I can't get enough of women, and I don't see the same thing that other men can see in men. I'm not into gay or bisexual experiences. But that's hypocritical of me, because I'd rather see two women together than just about anything else. That happens to be my personal, favorite thing.

How about gay-bashing? Have you ever beaten up somebody simply because of their sexual preference?

No! I never have. The most I do is, like, on the way to the Troubadour in "Boystown," on Santa Monica Boulevard, I'll yell out the car window, "Why don't you guys like pussy?" 'Cause I'm confused. I don't understand it. Anti-homosexual? I'm not against them doing what they want to do as long as it's not hurting anybody else and they're not forcing it upon me. I don't need them in my face or, pardon the pun, up my ass about it.

The "One in a Million" lyrics about "faggots" who "spread some fuckin' disease" got G n' R bounced from an AIDS benefit in New York by the Gay Men's Health Crisis, one of the groups that was involved with putting on the show. How did you feel about that?

We're in no way associated with the Gay Men's Health Crisis, except that David Geffen is on the board of directors for the concert and he's the owner of our record company. We were asked to do this, and we wanted to contribute some money to help stop a deadly disease that's killing humans of all kinds. A friend of mine who's homosexual and was largely responsible for the record companies taking notice of us was upset about it because we didn't even get a chance to clear ourselves, to make good. AIDS is something very scary. The concert was something we wanted to do and felt it was important to do but we were denied the opportunity. We were even denied the opportunity to say anything about it. It was just publicly announced that we weren't allowed to do it because the Gay Men's Health Crisis wouldn't let us. I don't feel they have the right to deny the money and attention they would have gotten from us playing. It's pride, it's ignorant and it's childish.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 4:35 PM

sure buddy, and mel gibson has plenty of respect for jewish culture.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 4:37 PM

what the hell is going on in this thread

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 4:41 PM

I gotta say after reading this interview I have more respect for Axl than ever before.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 5:13 PM

Axl loves nigs

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2012 5:32 PM

Yea Izzy was the soul of this band once he left it was all downhill.

Posted by Unanymous | April 17, 2012 9:04 PM

God I hate that stupid fucking top hat

Posted by Pete | April 18, 2012 2:41 AM

fuck the rock n roll hall of fame and fuck guns and roses

Posted by rico | April 18, 2012 4:01 PM

what the hell is going on in this thread

Posted by Souq | April 23, 2012 2:46 AM

Fuck Axl Rose, fuck the moon, fuck corn on the cob, fuck squirrels. Fuck everything

Posted by bobcat goldthwait | October 5, 2012 4:27 AM

Cool, btw have a look at http://goodvillenews.com/Top-5-Things-to-Have-on-Your-New-Years-Resolutions-List-H6CXNE.html - very inspirational articles , bye for now. The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.~Mike Dooley A brand new year is upon us, and just when we think that all the stress from the holiday season is over that mad rush that kept us running around shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking and baking leaving quite the mess behind we find ourselves ...

Posted by George Price | January 21, 2013 7:27 PM

as usual wicked

Posted by jordon | August 3, 2013 2:23 PM

Adler is holding on too tight. Sheesh.
Though it was ironic he was booted for his abusive behavior from....a man who's addictions and ego broke up the band.

Sorum who is still looked upon as a fill-in despite having two LPS and multiple tours feels he's best to speak on behalf of the band. Ummm, no.

MOVE ON. G N' R had two good LPS. And yes, Izzy was a good songwriter.

You people know that Slash was not an original member? Check Hollywood Rose....

Posted by Anonymous | October 5, 2013 1:17 PM

Leave a Comment