It’s official: Guns N’ Roses will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012 at a ceremony in Cleveland in April.
GNR enters the Rock Hall alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Donovan, Laura Nyro and the Faces. But it’s GNR’s induction that is the most intriguing, thanks to the utter insanity of GNR frontman Axl Rose and the unpredictability of what that induction will mean.
Will Axl Rose reunite the classic GNR lineup for one more performance? Will he bring his new crew instead? Or will he even bother showing up at all?
Here are five possible scenarios for when GNR enters the Rock Hall April 14:
1. The band gets back together. If Axl Rose decides to mend fences with Slash, Duff and the rest of the classic GNR lineup, the ramifications could be massive: A tour could follow, as well as new recordings, as well as a resolution to one of the biggest, longest-running feuds in rock history. GNR remains one of the few major holdouts in the Big Rock Reunion sweepstakes, and as much as people pretend the current version of GNR is a real band (it’s not), the “Appetite for Destruction” lineup could still pack one hell of a punch (and, perhaps more importantly, sell tickets). But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: It will be enough of a miracle to get the band back together on one stage for one night. We’ll worry about who’s going to design the tour T-shirts at a later date. Likelihood: Not very. Axl Rose does things his way and his way only, and it seems like too many things could go wrong for the notorious perfectionist to feel comfortable going forward in this situation.
2. They show up but don’t play. There’s nothing that says the inductees have to play together, and it’s entirely possible that the original lineup could show up and share a stage but not pick up any instruments and play. As pleasing as it would to see the old band members embrace and share niceties, that may be as far as they’re willing to take it, and a classic rendition of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” may have to wait for another day. Meanwhile, if Axl tries to take the stage with his current lineup of hired Guns, he should be banned for life from the Rock Hall. Likelihood: If getting the band back together and having them play would qualify as a miracle, having them just show up and shake hands might be considered a triumph, and in this case a triumph seems more likely. And we don’t want DJ Ashba anywhere near the stage, no matter what.
3. They show up but don’t interact. Axl on one side of the stage, Slash on the other and they never meet in the middle. This could be as close to a GNR reunion as we get. While it would likely be a shame, it wouldn’t be the band’s first: “The Spaghetti Incident,” anyone? Likelihood: This would be the ultimate letdown, but Axl Rose is somewhat of an expert in letdowns. And no doubt he’s already thinking of a list of scapegoats on whom he can place the blame. (Remember, nothing is ever his fault, ever.)
4. Brawl! These combustible personalities could go at it when forced to be in the same room, and Axl is no stranger to fights. Besides, this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, things should be a little prickly and unpredictable. What’s more rock and roll, hugs or fists? Let’s let these guys get in the ring and go at it, once and for all. Likelihood: Axl can probably still throw a decent punch, but the fear of ending up on the losing end of the fight is probably stifling to him. As much as we’d like to see old school GNR go at it in a steel cage, it’s not likely to ever escalate to that level. Sadly.
5. Axl blows the whole thing off. Sound crazy? Sure. But it’s Axl Rose we’re talking about. Would you really be surprised? Likelihood:You may want to hold off on buying those tickets for the show.