Ten minutes to tell you all you need to know about new Hall of Famers Guns n’ Roses

In honor of Guns n’ Roses getting elected to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame (along with the Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys), I give you the video that is everything about this band: insane coolness-turned-overwrought absurdity. Ladies and gentlemen, “Estranged”:

Generally, most kids grow out of using “Webster’s Dictionary defines X as … ” as a way to lead off their term papers by, oh, 10th grade or so. But Axl Rose is not like most kids. And the weirdness only goes on from there; at this point, these guys were already five different corporations who held periodic meetings onstage.

Did they deserve to be elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot? My inclination is to say no, and this is from a huge GnR freak. They had only one truly great album (“Appetite”) and were more defined by what they didn’t achieve than what they did. Still, this was the last of the Larger-Than-Life Rock Star Bands; Nirvana and hip-hop would combine to kick the pins out from under the rock star mystique, and the genre has never recovered. (Knowingly or not, this video is making that exact point with the whole leaving-it-all-behind scene in front of the Whiskey and the Roxy at around the six-minute mark.)

Still, if you’re going to jump the shark — or in this case, dolphin — might as well do it off the side of an ocean liner.


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