Guns N' Roses Reunite For Hall Of Fame Event

One of the biggest bands in music history Guns N' Roses reunited before thousands of fans as they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

But there were boos for frontman Axl Rose after he refused to attend the ceremony.

The rockers reunited for the first time in nearly 20 years for three songs before 6,000 people in Cleveland, Ohio.

However, Rose said he did not want to be part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame event because it "doesn't appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected".

There were jeers when his name was mentioned on stage - but for the most part neither the crowd nor Rose's bandmates appeared to let his absence stop them from enjoying a triumphant moment in music history.

Guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steve Adler played on stage together for the first time in two decades to the delight of the sell-out crowd inside historic Public Hall.

Their fellow inductees included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, folk icon Donovan, late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro and British bands the Small Faces and Faces.

As he inducted Guns N' Roses, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong recalled the first time he saw the band on MTV.

"I thought one of these guys could end up dead or in jail," he said.

Guns N' Roses' debut album "Appetite For Destruction" shook a music world that at the time was consumed with pop ballads and dance music.

"It's the best debut album in the history of rock and roll," Armstrong said. "Every song hits hard. It takes you a trip to the seedy world of Los Angeles.

"The thing that set them apart from everyone else was guts. They never lost their edge for one second."

Armstrong spoke about each of the Guns members, talking about Slash's mastery and Adler's pulsive, pounding beats before pausing: "Let's see, who am I missing?"

The reference to Rose drew boos and catcalls that Armstrong tried to shout down.

"He's one of the best frontmen to ever touch a microphone," Armstrong said.

McKagan and Slash did not mention Rose during their brief remarks but then took the stage with Myles Kennedy, a member of a side project with Slash, singing lead vocals.

Like Guns N' Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers emerged from Los Angeles during the 1980s when the rock scene was dominated by "hair" bands more concerned with their tight lycra pants and eyeliner than their sound.

Not the Chili Peppers, who found their unique groove by blending punk, funk, rock and rap.

While their line-up has undergone some changes - founding guitarist Hillel Slovak died of a heroin overdose in 1988 - singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea have survived personal highs and lows and the band remains one of music's top live acts.

Comedian Chris Rock, a long-time fan and friend of the band, inducted the Chili Peppers.

"If (Beach Boy) Brian Wilson and (funkmaster) George Clinton had a kid he would be ugly," Rock said. "But he would sound like the Red Hot Chili Peppers."

The Chili Peppers took to the stage at 1am and opened a four-song set with "By The Way."

The Beastie Boys were initially dismissed as three white, middle-class beer-swilling frat boys following their 1986 debut album "License To Ill," which featured songs like "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)".

But their follow-up, "Paul's Boutique," was acclaimed by critics and brought the Beasties credibility in the black hip-hop community.

"It broke the mold," said Public Enemy's Chuck D.

Only two of the three Beasties attended the ceremony. Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz read a speech by Adam "MCA" Yauch, who has been fighting cancer.

The Beasties are just the third hip-hop act to enter the hall, joining Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five and Run DMC.

Stevie Van Zandt, one of Bruce Springsteen's sidemen in the E Street Band, inducted the Small Faces and Faces, bands that included Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, two rock superstars.

Van Zandt credited the underrated bands for having a major influence on generations of rockers. He said both were blessed to have strong lead singers in the late Steve Marriott and Rod Stewart.

"Not many bands get two lives or two of the greatest white soul singers in the history of rock and roll," he said.

Stewart came down with the flu this week and could not attend. Simply Red's lead singer Mick Hucknall, a friend of the band, filled on three songs including the classic "Stay With Me," with Wood, previously inducted with the Rolling Stones, on guitar.