"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Duff McKagan Wonders 'What If' He Could Have Saved Kurt Cobain

Photo of Guns N Roses

Band Photo: Guns N Roses (?)

Former Guns N' Roses, current Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan was one of the last, if not the last, person to talk to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain before his suicide. They flew together in first class from L.A. to Seattle in April 1994. "He said, 'Man, I just escaped from Exodus' [a treatment facility]. I didn't have any foresight that the guy was going to do what he did. I could tell he was bummed out, and I'd been that way before. We were at baggage claim, and I thought I'd ask him to come stay at my house. I turned around and he was gone. What if. Only if. A lot of my friends have died. If only he'd ... " McKagan's voice trailed off. "But we're alive. We had a band meeting the other night to talk about business and just kinda take inventory, like, 'Is everybody cool with each other?' And we toasted this thing that we've done, that we've done it on our own terms. And it was so powerful. We didn't say it, we didn't vocalize it, but you could tell it was also like — and we're all still alive. When all five of us could have been dead. And we're not only alive, we're stronger than we were when we were 20 years old."

Source: Rockdirt

What's Next?

Please share this article if you found it interesting.

You can get related band news and info in the sidebar and on the respective band pages.


20 Comments on "McKagan Wonders If He Could Have Saved Cobain"

Post your comments and discuss the article below! (no login required)

PorcupineOpeth99's avatar

Member

1. PorcupineOpeth99 writes:

Damn, thats sad to have to live with that.

I think we trump up Cobains legacy a little more than is needed, but he did leave a pretty big impact (like it or loath it) on rock music in general....

And he was a decent guitarist and his lyrics were off-kilter and unique. Highly original music has been sorely missing from mainstream rock scene since the grunge era, which is sad...while I'm not a rock radio listener it is where alot of metal fans got their start.

# Apr 19, 2005 @ 2:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Andrew writes:

Well said PorcupineOpeth99, it would be very bad having to live with that, im not a big fan, but i respect kurt cobain for what he did.

# Apr 19, 2005 @ 7:07 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BLACKDOG's avatar

Supporter

3. BLACKDOG writes:

It's the worst way to go.I mean he had everything to live for and gave it up.I would not know what drives someone to take his or her own life and I really hope I never ever find out.Not to mention how Duff must feel knowing that he might have been able to help him in the way he's apparently helping Scott Wielend.That's gotta be some painful knowledge to swallow.

# Apr 19, 2005 @ 7:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
4. zaratan writes:

although im not a very big fan of nirvana or kurt cobain, it sucks that someone would think that taking their own life would make them and those around them feel better and escape from life's hardships. Although ive never personally dealt with a suicide, death sucks, and its really ashame that so many people dont give a damn about their lives and the impact that their lives had on others. Mckagen must have had a hell of a time living with that for all these years.

# Apr 19, 2005 @ 8:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Queen_Nothing's avatar

Member

5. Queen_Nothing writes:

What sucks is that when any random eprson gives up and decides to take their own life, not only is it a tragedy, but they are looked at with shame and disappiontment, but if Kurt Cobain decides to do it, people think "oh... that's sad... but he was so awesome!" and then the whole world praises him like a saint for the next ten f***ing years!!! I wasn't a big fan of Nirvana either, zaratan, and I AM sorry that he's gone, but maybe he shouldn't have killed himself. What I will sympathize with is Duff"s pain over all these years... no one should have to live in that kind of hell.

# Apr 20, 2005 @ 9:46 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

6. RememberMetal? writes:

wow, this is an uncharacteristic outpouring of sympathy here. Everyone here has a good heart and sound mind just for these contributions....

I imagine Duff is hoping to atone for missing out on attempting to help Cobain by helping Scott Weiland, which I find to be a very noble thing. And it's pretty well known McKagen has his own demons to manage as well.

Suicide has never once crossed my mind in my near 25 years. But I have had more than one longtime friend who have endured some dark and miserable chapters in their life.

While I can't celebrate Cobain for committing suicide, I can UNDERSTAND...When things are so bad that each waking moment is spent in anguish, regret and dispair, an endless nap of sorts stops sounding like a bad thing....

It was the wrong thing to do. We all know that, but none of us have been in his shoes either....He had a rough and tumble childhood and life in general...thats normal...but then he had a crippling stomach condtion, as it turns out he had a nerve ailment with symptoms not unlike Crohns disease. He had a horrible drug addiction, and then a genetic predispostion to depression....

Then having your life turned upside down and made public (his own fault some could say) would be enough for a sturdy person to pick up a bad habbit or two.

To queen nothing
I dont thing anyone views Cobain as a saint, save for some over the top fans....He was an inovator, and a voice of reason to some degree when rock music was at it's all time worst....

He was generally considered kind and generous and a bit odd and tempermental...He was a very average joe kid who felt like an outcast in his own town and he turned to music for release. He just ended up killing himself at the height of his fame.

Had this happened today his legacy would not be this grand....If you want to blame anyone for grandstanding about Cobain, take it up with the media.....They gave cobain the modern Hendrix/Lennon treatment.

# Apr 21, 2005 @ 1:09 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Queen_Nothing's avatar

Member

7. Queen_Nothing writes:

To RememberMetal
I understand what you're saying about the media, and he was very good at what he did... but not everything is the media's fault. Lots of things are... and maybe "saint" was a little overkill, but I clearly see these people giving Cobain far more praise than is deserved by a man who completely gave up on life! I believe that of all the selfish things that a person can do, suicide is the most selfish. I understand that he had A LOT of problems, but don't we all?! I mean he had a family for f**k's sake!

# Apr 21, 2005 @ 10:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. metal is the answer writes:

you can blame anything on the media. conservatives call it the liberal media, and vice versa. blame it for corrupting the kids, desentitizing us to moral issues. its a two way street, so i believe that we are somewhere in the middle of all these accusations, and people need to quit whining about everything is the medias fault

# Apr 22, 2005 @ 12:19 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Queen_Nothing's avatar

Member

9. Queen_Nothing writes:

Your post sounded a lot like f**king whining to me!

# Apr 22, 2005 @ 12:22 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. metal is the answer writes:

i was posting my opinion, wtf is wrong with that?

# Apr 22, 2005 @ 12:27 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Queen_Nothing's avatar

Member

11. Queen_Nothing writes:

There's nothing wrong with posting your opinion... that's what you should be doing... it's just that your "opinion" is a little contradictory of itself!

# Apr 22, 2005 @ 12:38 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. metal is the answer writes:

how so? its just an observation. actually dont answer that this a really gay argument anyway

# Apr 22, 2005 @ 12:47 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Queen_Nothing's avatar

Member

13. Queen_Nothing writes:

lol... alright then.

# Apr 22, 2005 @ 12:53 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
14. the commenter writes:

i feel for Duff havin to live with that it's sad.....but if cobain had already made up his mind to kill himself then thats what he was going to do weather Duff had invited him to his house or not.........this is Modena siging out : (

# Apr 23, 2005 @ 9:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BLACKDOG's avatar

Supporter

15. BLACKDOG writes:

The truth is Cobaine came along at a time when Music in GENERAL was begging for a change.Although I agree the saintly thing is a bit extreme he was still a very talented wrighter with a pentient for darkly insightful lyric's not to mention over the top stage antic's.However The larger than life image obviously hid a deeply introspective although troubled personality that used music as a mean's to deal with his personal problem's.In a way that most of us only wish we could.In any event love him or hate him I think his talent was legendary.I would put him up their with the other fallen great's.I realize the EMO scene owes a lot to Cobaine even though Emo's fan's probably don't.This alone solidifies his greatness even if we don't necessarily like this So called new genre.Every genre has a great one. I think Cobaine was ahead of his time for this reason.Although I was not the biggest fan of what came out of Seattle back then(the grunge movement)The only band's I really liked were Sound Garden ,Alice in Chains,Stone Temple Pilot's and Nirvana.I still recognize the contribution to music in general.Their won't ever be another Cobaine.Let's face it Hair metal was ruling the world till he came along.Then certaine forgettable careers that were started as a result of corporate greed.The 3rd tier hairmetal band's that were flooding the airwaves finally came to a merciful halt.(add most despised hairmetal band's name here).

# Apr 23, 2005 @ 10:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Queen_Nothing's avatar

Member

16. Queen_Nothing writes:

Nicely put, BLACKDOG. I don't entirely agree, but what you say does make a lot of sense and unlike a lot of comments found on this site (some of my own included), it was said well and without offense.

# Apr 24, 2005 @ 1:50 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
17. y tytgfh writes:

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

# Apr 25, 2005 @ 12:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
18. The Commenter writes:

Well put BLACKDOG.......well put.....

# Apr 27, 2005 @ 7:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
19. The Commenter writes:

(M)

# Apr 27, 2005 @ 7:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
20. becka writes:

aaaaaaaaawwwwwwww

# May 10, 2005 @ 12:26 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

To minimize comment spam/abuse, you cannot post comments on articles over a month old. Please check the sidebar to the right or the related band pages for recent related news articles.