Say what you will about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it at least has a tendency to reunite bands that no one thought would ever occupy the same zip code ever again. Will it bring back together the feuding original lineup of Guns 'N Roses?
GNR is among the class of 2012 to be inducted into the hall of fame, announced this morning. The other inductees are:
• funky rock group the Red Hot Chili Peppers
• iconic rap pioneers the Beastie Boys
• '60s pop singer Laura Nyro
• pop-rock greats the Small Faces (as well as the Rod Stewart incarnation, the Faces)
• '60s folk singer Donovan
Also on the roster is blues guitarist Freddie King in the early influence category. In the non-performing, sideman categories, there's Monkees craftsman and TV host Don Kirshner, revered New Orleans engineer Cosimo Matassa, influential Atlantic Records engineer Tom Dowd, and producer Glyn Johns (from the Kinks and Stones in the '60s to Ryan Adams more recently).
That means Joan Jett & the Blackhearts were passed over (boo), as well as the Cure, Heart and hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim.
Still, it's a strong class this year -- at least it sounds a little less like your grandfather's record collection.
In a recent conversation with GNR bassist and former member of the Replacements Tommy Stinson, he told me a Replacements reunion was "about as likely as a f---in' Guns reunion."
The classic GNR lineup, which produced 1987's multi-platinum "Appetite for Destruction" album, included guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin. That group splintered in the following years, and singer Axl Rose still vows never again to be in the same room with Slash. Rose is currently on tour with a band of hired Guns, which put on a decent show last month at the Allstate Arena.)
However, the Police, Led Zeppelin, Cream -- these original lineups, most of whom can't stand each other anymore, wound up on stage together again post-Hall of Fame inductions.
Original GNR drummer Steven Adler is hopeful it could happen for his band, telling Rolling Stone this morning: "My fingers are crossed. My toes are crossed!"
The nomination process is shrouded in secrecy. A committee of around 30 music critics and music business insiders narrows the year's field of eligible (25 years after the release of their first single or album) to 15 artists. Then a larger committee, maybe 500 strong, votes on the inductees.
The induction ceremony will take place April 14 at the museum in Cleveland, airing on HBO in early May.