Cleveland (Reuters) - A range of musicians from rockers Guns N’ Roses to R&B legends Smokey Robinson and the Miracles where inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday in a night as notable for who was not there as who was.
Axl Rose, frontman for 1990s band Guns N’ Roses, earlier this week refused to be honored by the Cleveland-based Rock Hall after years of bitter feuding with his former “Appetite for Destruction” bandmates, and his name earned catcalls from the crowd when it was mentioned.
Boos rang out from some of the 6,000 in attendance early in the evening when Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day, asked the crowd “who was missing” as members of Guns N’ Roses were up on stage accepting their award.
“Most singers are crazy. I can vouch for that,” Armstrong told the audience. He praised Rose: “He is one of the best front man to ever touch a microphone.” Then added: “Sometimes you have to look back at chapters of your life to move forward.”
Rose was the first artist to publicly snub the honor since surviving members of punk rockers the Sex Pistols, inducted in 2006, refused to attend the ceremony.
Earlier in the week, Rose issued open letter to the public saying he would “respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame” at Saturday’s 27th Annual ceremony in Cleveland.
Two other notable absences were Rod Stewart, inducted Saturday with other band members from the Faces/Small Faces and the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and couldn’t accept his award with band members, Mike D (Michael Diamond) and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz).
Stewart, previously inducted as a solo performer, couldn’t attend because he was ill with the flu and had to stay away under doctor orders.
The Rock Hall, which has been criticized in the past for inducting lead performers over the iconic groups they led, appointed a committee to choose six additional overlooked groups this year.
Those groups included The Miracles led by Smokey Robinson; The Crickets, backing band to Buddy Holly; Bill Haley’s The Midnighters; Gene Vincent’s the Blue Caps; and the back-up band for James Brown, the Famous Flames.
Robinson told Reuters on Saturday he was at the ceremony to support his group. “I always thought that the Miracles should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am absolutely elated this is actually happening,” he said.
Performances during the more than four-hour ceremony included Green Day and Kid Rock, as well as inductees Donovan, Faces and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The artists and bands inducted at the ceremony were chosen by 600 music industry professionals. Inductees are represented in a permanent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland
Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Todd Eastham