As Grantland has previously pointed out, this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony has — in a break from the institution’s time-honored commitment to having no one ever give a crap about it at all ever, at all, ever, ever, ever — some potential to entertain. And that’s because this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony has Guns N’ Roses. GNR long ago split into two factions: Axl and the Zombie Guns on one hand, Slash and the Rest of the Guys on the other. (Original drummer Steven Adler, who has spent some time on Celebrity Rehab recently, is probably more of a looking-for-cash free agent type.) So how would the actual ceremony shake out? Would everyone, with years of animosity festering, show to accept the honor? And would everyone then refrain from attempting to strangle one other while accepting the honor?
Making things a touch more interesting is the recently released list of the inductees’ presenters. Notables include Chuck D for Beastie Boys, John Mellencamp for Donovan, Bette Midler for Laura Nyro, Steven Van Zandt for the Small Faces/Faces, and ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons and Dusty Hill for Freddie King. Red Hot Chili Peppers, somehow, got Chris Rock to pay tribute. (There is some history there: according to the Internet, Rock directed the video for RHCP’s “Hump de Bump” on the set of Everybody Hates Chris because “their videos are very arty I said, ‘They need to do a straight down-the-middle party, girls, ass-shaking, Rolling Stones-type video.’”) Big win for the Chili Peppers — as his recent Oscars appearance reminded us all, having Chris Rock make fun of you for four minutes is still about as entertaining a four minutes as you can have.
And inducting Guns is … no one! Well, at least so far. According to Billboard, a presenter “is still being finalized and will be announced soon.” Interpret this, if you want, as a non-issue; perhaps a scheduling mix-up, or a simple miscommunication? I’m going to go ahead and interpret it as nothing other than the most appropriately ominous harbinger. Just speculation here, but I bet Axl is demanding that either, like, David Bowie does it, or Donovan is getting tackled to the ground as if he were a St. Louis-area photographer. Poor Donovan.