Former Guns N Roses bassist Duff McKagan recently reflected on his experience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on his blog at the Seattle Weekly, revealing that the members of the band who attended the ceremony didn’t decide to perform until less than 24 hours before the show.
“We really didn’t know if we were going to play at all. It wasn’t cemented until we actually rehearsed at 2 a.m. the day of the show.” McKagan did a book reading of his new autobiography It’s So Easy (And Other Lies) the night before the induction at Cleveland’s House Of Blues. His performance was different than most book readings: members of his band, Loaded, played backing music as he read (and he occasionally picked up a guitar or bass during the show). It turned out to be a good move on his part to bring those musicians. He said that “Jeff [Rouse] and Mike [Squires] from Loaded, and Seattle’s own Martin Feveyear — instantly became GNR’s crew! That’s right. We hadn’t even thought ahead about guitar techs, drum techs, or sound guys.”
Regarding the ceremony specifically, McKagan noted that the fans who flew to Cleveland for the event, as well as the other inductees, “rallied” around McKagan and fellow ex-Gunners Slash, Steven Adler and Matt Sorum (the members who attended the ceremony). This seems like a rebuttal to Axl Rose’s open letter at Guns N Roses’ website where the singer mentioned the “overwhelmingly positive response and public support for my decision regarding the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. With such a generous outpouring of solidarity from fans, media outlets, writers and other artists, I’m truly humbled, blown away and unbelievably relieved!”
McKagan also commented that during “all of the drama leading up to the event, (with) a few people from our camp stating publicly that they weren’t coming at all, I stuck with the mindset that I was there to honor our fanbase who had been there for us for more than 25 years,” which also seems to reference Rose’s earlier statement that he wouldn’t be attending.
Since the ceremony, McKagan, along with fellow ex-Gunners Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke (who performed at the ceremony but wasn’t inducted with the band) played a few dates in South America as part of the Rock and Roll All-Stars (a supergroup that also included Gene Simmons, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard and ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach). McKagan is now looking to get back to work with Loaded, tweeting on May 8 that “Flying to Seattle to work on some new @loadedlamf tunes with @jeffreyrouse and @insertfartnoise ! It’s TIME people!” (@instertfartnoise is Mike Squires’ Twitter handle) and “I want to tour the US finally. Hell or high-damn-water!”
– Brian Ives, CBS Local