LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Axl Rose, the mercurial front man for rockers Guns N' Roses, has declined his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week saying he does not feel wanted or respected at the ceremony.
In an open letter made available on Wednesday by Rose's spokeswoman, he said other members of the L.A. band were welcome to attend and be honored at Saturday's event, but not the lead singer of the band that gained fame in the late 1980s with smash hit album "Appetite for Destruction."
"I won't be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N' Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame," Rose wrote in the letter.
"I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf," he said.
"Appetite for Destruction," with songs like "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City," was a mega-sized hit of 1987, and it propelled Rose, guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler, to global rock stardom.
But by the early 1990s, drug abuse had taken hold of several band members and Rose and Slash openly feuded. By the middle of that decade, the original lineup was no more.
Rose eventually gained the right to use the band's name, released a long-awaited album "Chinese Democracy" in 2008, and still tours with a group of the same name but none of the members are original, except for himself.
"When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing," Rose wrote in his letter.
"Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N' Roses were to be inducted it'd be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation," he added.
Rose goes on to write that over the past few months, he has met with members of the Hall of Fame's board, spoken with its president, and read in the media what fans and other members of the band had said.
He describes his efforts to find a way to appear as being "polite, courteous, and open" but adds, "no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn't appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected."
A representative for the Hall could not immediately be reached for comment late on Wednesday. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on Saturday, April 14, in Cleveland, Ohio.
(Reporting By Bob Tourtellotte, Editing by Jill Serjeant)