Velvet Revolver man says it's about the songs and the fans – and not the singer's decision not to attend

Ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan has insisted it doesn’t matter that Axl Rose won’t be attending the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction.

Rose made his decision not to attend the ceremony public earlier this week via a lengthy letter, and explained that he wanted nothing to do with either this Saturday’s ceremony (April 14) or the band’s induction. He decided to boycott the ceremony due to the media coverage of the build-up to the ceremony and “jabs from former members of Guns N’ Roses”. He also told the group’s fans that “‘life doesn’t owe you your own personal happy ending.”

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame responded by saying they were “sorry” that the frontman had chosen not to attend, but Velvet Revolver man McKagan has now said the ceremony is “not about” Rose’s decision to stay away.

Writing on Seattleweekly.com, he said: “My band, Gnr, will be inducted into the so-fancy Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And on that night, I will honour not myself or the chicken dinner they will most surely provide, but I will be honouring all those people who call themselves the fans of our group called Guns N’ Roses.”

He went on to add:

In the end, it’s not about who does or doesn’t show up from the original band, and I back whatever reason this guy or that has for not coming. It’s all good. The songs are the important bit here… and the message they most certainly still must carry.

Former Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Steven Adler and Matt Sorum are all still likely to intend the ceremony this weekend, but are unlikely to perform at the show.

To read a new feature about Guns N’ Roses, pick up the new issue of NME, which is on UK newsstands and available digitally now.