Devin from The Factory 2.0, took note from Johnny Cash and dressed in all black, supported GnR at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night. To summarize, presenter Billie Joe Armstrong said/sang it best “[Axl] You’re Crazy”.
Devin reports the Top 10 moments (in no particular order):
1.) Guns n Roses dysfunctional acceptance speech.
Between Slash uncomfortably, and perhaps forcefully, trying to take the high(er) road by being “kind” when subtly addressing Axl’s psychoses and Matt Sorum taking 12 minutes (LITERALLY) to discuss bringing cocaine into a den of heroin addicts (referencing Steven Adler) I’d say GnR did the best they could- even when trying to talk over the drunk fans in the background shouting obscenities about Asshole, i mean, Axl Rose. Chris Rock made the Axl Hatin’ official and got a little jab in during his introduction of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “A lot of people are disappointed that Axl Rose isn’t here,” said Rock. “But let’s face it, even if he was going to be here, he still wouldn’t be here yet.”
2.) Bette Midler disses Cleveland…again.
You know Bette…here is a little advice…don’t come to Cleveland, be surrounded by 7,400 Clevelander’s, and refer to Cleveland as a “pit”. It wasn’t funny the first time you did it. With that attitude, I pray your limo driver doesn’t get lost in East Cleveland. Next year, just stay in New York and invite LeBron to lunch or something.
3.) Stevie Van Zandt did redeem Cleveland a bit with a a few respectful and warm words even though he did denounce the parking problem, but I cant blame him for that one. Mayor Jackson was in the audience; I hope he took note.
4.) John Melloncamp = adorable.
I now have a crush on him. I honestly had no idea of the magnitude of this man’s charisma; especially when telling stories. It might have been the combination of his pint sized stature, messy hair and serious southern twang but everything this man said was just cute. He came across as comfortable and authentic with a killer sense of humor as per referring to “stealing shit from” aka “being inspired by” Donovan.
5.) The three times I almost teared up…
#1: Flea’s heartfelt acceptance speech brought tears to my eyes; especially when he got choked up when thanking his mom for coming as well as during the finale performance when he teared up and said “I love the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
#2: Seeing how happy Steven Adler (after his long notorious struggle with personal demons and health problems) was to play with GnR again. His joy for being alive and for those moments on stage was making him literally beam like rays of bright light. It was bordering on infectious and was beautiful to witness.
#3: All of the Motown inductees. I appreciate how much they appreciated receiving the award. Perhaps it was the combination of their advanced age and respectful tuxedo attire that made me so happy for them but out of all of the inductees, I think they were the most proud and grateful and it was very sweet to see.
6.) The Beastie Boy experience.
From presenter to performance, this part of the show was perfect. Presenters: Chuck D was poised, well spoken and did justice to the world of hip hop. I think he should be the international spokesman for hip hop as his speech proved him to be well versed in the area, shining a different light on his Public Enemy persona. Also, I can now see (with my own two eyes) why ladies, really do, love Cool J.
Acceptance Speech: Michael and Adam spoke like nice Jewish boys from Brooklyn, acknowledged their families, thanked NYC for helping “raise them” and read a heartfelt letter from Adam Yauch.
Performance: Kid Rock, The Roots (whom I’ve seen live before and let me tell ya, they’ll blow your mind, tuba player and all) and Travie McCoy were perfect. Absolutely perfect. I can say no more. They were not performing for a ‘public’ audience or the fans, they were performing for each other and for all the musicians in the room that night and it made all the difference.
7.) ZZ Top for Freddie King
There is nothing better than listening to the blues live.
8.) Guns n Roses AMAZING performance sans Axl.
While Green Day presented GnR, they declined to play their songs and honestly I can’t blame them. When GnR took the stage they were toying with their instruments and were seemingly sans a front man for a few minutes. I couldn’t help but think for a second that perhaps all this Axl M.I.A. business was in fact a media ploy and for a minute I thought he might pop out on stage (especially because Alice Cooper and Slash both made comments about how they wouldn’t be surprised if he did show up). But then I thought, even if he were here, he would be hearing all of the hate messages from the crowd and would probably through an Axl style temper-tantrum and leave anyway. But alas, there was no Axl. However, there was Axl’s voice clone, Myles Kennedy, and with him as the front man, you didn’t even know Axl was missing. GnR played louder and more alive than everyone else and once again, I was reminded how great they really are. Even though I, and everyone else, is pissed Axl is…well…Axl, I still hope one day they will be able to function for at least one show. I’ve seen Slash, Matt Sorum and Duff in Velvet Revolver and I’ve seen Axl and Dizzy in the ‘new’ GnR. As of last night, I’ve seen Steven Adler with them as well. We are missing Izzy and Axl. Come on boys! I want to see you all at once.
Steven Adler lends a voice of reason in this candid interview: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/steven-adler-on-a-guns-n-roses-hall-of-fame-reunion-my-toes-are-crossed-20111207
9.) George Clinton joined the stage in the finale
10.) Smokie Robinson was just…cool. Ya, the only word i can think of is “cool” because he is just “cool” like that.