Flu Keeping Singer From His Second Induction Ceremony; Simply Red's Mick Hucknall to Fill In
Just like that, the Faces reunion with Rod Stewart has been called off. The remaining three members of the legendary band announced today (April 13) at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum that their lead singer was too ill to perform and is held up in Los Angeles with throat issues.
"Lead singers are dropping like flies. Rod, Axl Rose…" guitarist Ronnie Wood told reporters, a wink and a nod to the Guns N' Roses frontman who declined his invitation on Wednesday. When Billboard suggested asking Rose to fill in, Wood joked, "He might do it for us. He definitely won't do it with GnR."
The Faces, circa 1971
Wood told Billboard that, "We were completely gutted by the news. Rod was totally gutted by the way." The band suggested to Stewart that he should still attend the ceremony, but accept his award silently. "[His doctors] aren't even letting him fly," Wood told us.
Stewart and the Rock Hall released a joint statement later on Friday, explaining that Stewart has the flu.
"I'm absolutely devastated," Stewart said. "Shattered that I'm going to miss my second induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - and this time alongside my mates."
The band -- drummer Kenney Jones, keyboardist Ian McLagan and Wood -- said occasional Faces collaborator Mick Hucknall, lead singer of Simply Red, will take Stewart's place on vocals. They appeared supportive of their famous frontman and wished him well. Stewart missed his own Rock Hall induction in 1994 due to an earthquake in Los Angeles two days prior.
"Unfortunately Rod is complaining of a sore throat..... wonder what will happen now…" Jones tweeted earlier on Friday.
Jones, McLagan and Wood broke the news that Stewart wouldn't attend while presenting a copy of "Faces 1969-75," their deluxe limited edition book published by Britain's Genesis Publications, to the Rock Hall's Library and Archives.
Earlier this week, Jones inadvertently predicted a "surprise" while chatting with Billboard about the group's game plan for their first performance together in nearly 20 years. "We haven't made our mind up totally on what we're gonna do 'cause everything in the Faces, it's always a surprise and things change," he said.
Despite the lack of their high-powered frontman, Wood intimated that there could very well be more guests pick up the slack. "Between everybody here we've got a great band," he said.
The Rock Hall induction ceremony will be broadcast by HBO, debuting at 9 p.m. EST/PST on May 5.
Gary Graff reported from Cleveland.