David Letterman Replaces Neil Young at Rock Hall Show

David Letterman will replace an ailing Neil Young as the person inducting Pearl Jam into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday.

According to a statement from the hall, Young “is regrettably no longer able to induct Pearl Jam” due to illness and is “thrilled” that former TV talk-show host Letterman will substitute. Pearl Jam made its “Late Show with David Letterman” debut in 1996 with a version of “Hail, Hail.”

In addition to Pearl Jam, the new rock class incudes the late rapper Tupac Shakur, ELO, Journey, Nile Rodgers, Joan Baez and Yes. The ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland. (AP)

N.W.A. Joins Quartet of 1970s Hit-Makers in Rock Hall

The groundbreaking Los Angeles rap act N.W.A. will join a quartet of 1970s era FM radio rockers – Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple and Steve Miller – as 2016 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

N.W.A., led by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, was elected after three unsuccessful nominations in a year when a movie about the group’s career, “Straight Outta Compton,” was a box-office hit. Their hard-core tales of life on the street on songs like “F— the Police” made them a provocative chart presence in the late 1980s and influenced an empire of other acts.

Both Miller and Cheap Trick made it during their first year on the ballot.

The induction ceremony for the Cleveland-based hall will be held April 8 in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. HBO will televise highlights later in the spring.

Guitarist Miller came out of the San Francisco rock scene and became a dependable maker of pop hits like “Take the Money and Run,” ”Fly Like an Eagle,” ”Jet Airliner” and “Jungle Love.”

Midwestern favorites Cheap Trick succeeded with a highly amped version of Beatles-influenced melodies on hits “Surrender” and “Dream Police.” Their “Live at Budokan” album is one of rock’s best-known live sets. Guitarist Rick Nielsen and rumpled drummer Bun E. Carlos gave them an indelible live presence.

Cheap Trick moved swiftly to capitalize on the honor, announcing Thursday they had signed a new deal with Taylor Swift’s label, Big Machine Records. The band will release its 17th studio album a week before its induction.

“Thanks to all the fans who have supported us for all these years and to the Hall of Fame members who cast their votes,” said bass player Tom Petersson. “We are excited and honored.”

The guitar riff for Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” remains one of the most recognizable in rock history. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was a stalwart in a hard rock act that competed with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath for the loyalty of metalheads.

Before shortening its name from the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago was known for its jazz-rock fusion. The band had a string of pop hits including “Saturday in the Park,” ”25 or 6 to 4,” ”If You Leave Me Now” and “Does Anyone Really Know What Time it Is?”

More than 800 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation selected the inductees.

The influential disco-era band Chic is becoming the Susan Lucci of music, failing to win induction in its 10th year as a nominee. Janet Jackson, The Cars, Los Lobos and Yes were among the other nominees rejected. (AP)

Rolling Stones Exhibit Opens at Rock Hall Museum

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In the early 1960s, The Rolling Stones were given questionnaires by fans. Mick Jagger replied that his interests were girls, eating and clothes and his dislikes were “intolerant people (and) having my hair cut. That questionnaire is part of a huge Stones exhibit that opens today at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Other items on display include Jagger’s floor-length cape made from American and British flags that he wore on the 1981-82 tour and a 1970 letter the Stones sent Santana to ask for permission to use footage of their performance at Altamont for the “Gimme Shelter” film.

For the first time, the museum will allow fans to take photos, which will be used as part of an interactive display. The exhibit runs through March. (AP)

Axl Rose Declines Induction Into Rock Hall

There’ll be no Guns N’ Roses reunion at this weekend’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Axl Rose says he won’t attend and is declining his induction into the hall.

The seminal band is to be inducted in Cleveland on Saturday. There was some hope that the original unit would reunite. It disbanded in acrimony in the 1990s.

But in a letter to the hall released Wednesday, Rose said he won’t be at the ceremony. “I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.”

Referring to the band’s falling out in 1996, Rose, 50, says having the group inducted would be “somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.”
He adds, “I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia … this decision is personal. I certainly don’t intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with this decision.”

Calling out former band mate Steven Adler for spreading “reunion lies,” Rose says the only two original members he’d ever consider sharing a stage with again are Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan.

Of the original rockers, famous for hits like “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City,” Rose says simply, “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.”

The hall didn’t immediately return requests for comment. (AP)

Rose’s open letter is printed in its entirety below.

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!!

Sincerely,

Axl Rose

P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III

Green Day to Induct Guns N’ Roses Into Rock Hall

Green Day will welcome fellow hard rockers Guns N’ Roses into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Rock Hall spokesman Todd Mesek says Green Day members Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool will induct Guns N’ Roses at Saturday’s ceremony at Cleveland’s Public Hall.

Mesek says it’s not yet known if the original Guns N’ Roses lineup will reunite and perform. Mesek say he believes frontman Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and other band members plan to attend. The group split in 1996.

Guns N’ Roses stormed onto the music scene in the mid-1980s, awakening an industry then dominated by pop and dance music.

This year’s Hall of Fame class includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Donovan, Laura Nyro and The Small Faces/The Faces.  (AP)

Jett, GNR, Heart, The Cure Nominated for Rock Hall

Women who rock are among first-time nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Heart and Rufus with Chaka Khan are on the ballot for the hall’s 2012 class.

Also on the ballot are Guns `N Roses, Eric B. & Rakim, The Cure and The Small Faces/The Faces, which includes Rod Stewart.

The list of nominees was released Tuesday. Other new entries include The Spinners and bluesman Freddie King. Previous nominees up for induction again include The Beastie Boys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donna Summer, Laura Nyro, Donovan and War.

An act must have released its first single or album 25 years ago to qualify for induction.

New members will be inducted at the hall of fame inClevelandon April 14.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)