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Guns N’ Roses Members Thank Fans During Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

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Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

After a tumultuous few weeks that saw both Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin bail from attending Guns N’ Roses induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the band members who showed up to accept the honors — Slash, Steven Adler, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan — did so with style.

The lengthy introduction from Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong did include a reference to Rose, and although he didn’t actually say his name, the inference made the crowd boo. “No, shut the f–k up, shut up, shut up!” Armstrong chided the 7,000 people in attendance. “This man’s a bad ass f–king singer. He’s one of the best frontmen to ever touch a microphone … Hey, most singers are crazy — I can vouch for that.”

Slash, Adler, Sorum and McKagan also didn’t directly reference He Who Shall Not Be Named, but they didn’t ignore his widely-publicized absence, either.

“The fans are the ones who made it possible for us to get together tonight with all the adversity and everything that was going on,” said Slash, who admitted that all the drama almost caused him to stay home as well. He then thanked his wife for talking him into attending, saying, “I was like f-k it, but she said ‘Go and do it with the guys,’ and I said ‘You’re right.’”

McKagan declared himself “overwhelmed” at the honor of the induction and added, “I don’t know if it matters who’s here tonight because it’s about the music that band created.”

Sorum, who gently teased Adler for somehow managing to get fired from GnR for a drug addiction, said, “I want to thank the other bandmates that aren’t here tonight [and tell them] that I love and respect them and I’m honored to have been on stage playing music with them.”

And Adler’s very brief speech quoted a key line from Queen‘s ‘We Are the Champions’: “You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it, and I thank you all.”

Singer Myles Kennedy (who performs with Slash’s solo band and Alter Bridge) took the mic for the three-song GnR set, which included ‘Mr. Brownstone,’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and ‘Paradise City.’

But not everyone avoided saying Axl’s name. When comedian Chris Rock took the stage at 12:30 a.m. to induct the last act of the night, Red Hot Chili Peppers, he couldn’t resist poking fun at Rose’s notorious habit of tardiness.

“A lot of people are upset that Axl didn’t come tonight,” Rock said. “But let’s face it. Even if he was coming tonight, he wouldn’t be here by now.”

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