“Official Statement from MATT SORUM About Guns N’ Roses and the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame Induction”
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 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,
(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!!
P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III
Slash plays Irving Plaza in NYC on May 22.