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Slash Says Axl’s Letter Inspired Guns N’ Roses’ Hall of Fame Performance

Guns N Roses
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

What, you thought we were finished talking about Guns N’ Roses and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Not a chance. You’re in a jungle of Slash and Axl quotes, baby, and you’re gonna be here ’til you die.

The latest salvo in the long-squabbling duo’s PR war was fired yesterday, with the publication of a 77 Square profile on Slash that focused on his upcoming solo disc, ‘Apocalyptic Love’ — but made sure to leave room for a look back at all the drama surrounding GNR’s Hall of Fame induction, including Axl’s infamous open letter to the Hall and the band’s subsequent performance without him at the ceremony.

“It was a really nice event all around, and it was a special moment for all the guys that showed up,” Slash reflected. “It was a nightmare going into it, but when it actually happened it was like, ‘This is pretty cool.’”

According to Slash, it was actually Axl’s letter that inspired the band to reconvene on the Hall of Fame stage. “The funny thing is we never would have played had he never written it,” he chuckled. “I think at one point he alluded he was at least going to go, and so we hadn’t really prepared to play at all. We were just going to show up as almost an obligatory thing — more for the fans than anything. But that letter set a fire that was like, ‘Okay, (bleep) it. We’re going to go play.’ So it really almost didn’t happen. And if it hadn’t been for that special letter, it wouldn’t have.”

Ultimately, in spite of all the years of bitterness and turmoil leading up to the ceremony, the performance was a positive experience. “Going up there you feel very much part of something that is bigger than…all the stories, drugs, the fights and this and that and the other,” he explained. “There was a body of a music that had a significant impact. When you think about where we come from, which is really like sort of the back alleys of Hollywood and being just scourges of the neighborhood…it was like, ‘Wow. It was a pretty big thing we ended up doing.’”

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