The Rockstar Ramblings: Duff McKagan, Writer
Band Photo: Guns N Roses (?)
Duff McKagan has released an 80 page excerpt of his upcoming autobiography titled It’s So Easy (And Other Lies). For those hesitant to read another “rockography” or are burned out from reading ex-Guns N’ Roses books I’m here to say you may want to give this one a chance.
The book begins with Duff preparing for his teenage daughter’s birthday party. From this setting he reflects on his childhood (acid, sex, and stealing cars) and the height of his addiction, culminating with him in bed unable to move because his pancreas has exploded. Back to his daughter’s party; then toggle back to bad decisions and dropping out of high school. For me this was unexpected, and had something a lot of musician biographies are lacking, it was clever. Then it hit me: Somewhere between McKagan’s ten bottle of wine habit and present day, Duff McKagan became a writer.
Over the past couple years Duff McKagan has written many columns for SeattleWeekly.com, Playboy.com, and ESPN.com (fun fact: After Duff’s initial ESPN column someone commented they should not let a “meth head” write for their sports site. McKagan responded to the comment and corrected “anonymous user” that he was never into “meth”; cocaine and alcohol were his vices of choice. It’s nice to see he has a sense of humor regarding his past). Writers turn into drunks. Not the other way around. Writers want to be rock stars. Not the other way around. Make no mistake, Duff is still a rock star, the legendary Guns N’ Roses bassist continues to front his band Loaded and is still part of super group Velvet Revolver, but he has turned the tables, he is also now a writer.
During Duff’s reflection on his past he confirms that a certain animated television show (The Simpsons) did contact him and ask if they could use his name as a brand of beer. After this Axl Rose would always introduce him as Duff “King of Beers” McKagan. There is the plane ride from L.A. to Seattle, seated next to Kurt Cobain, days before his suicide. His love of punk rock and influences, and of course his move to Hollywood and the cockroach infested apartments that would follow. Intertwined with the “rock star” stories Duff inserts his recipes from the time he worked as a prep cook. Among the tasty sounding dishes are Prep Chef Pollo and Hollywood (noodle) Bowl. The book also introduces the reader early to the loss of his first serious girlfriend and best friend, both to heroin.
The first 80 pages cover a lot of ground, but leave the reader hanging at a key point in his career and rising addiction. That would be the start of the GN’R lineup that would include (Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy Stradlin, and Adler) as they embark on their DO IT YOURSELF tour up the West Coast, the trip that solidified the Guns lineup that would go on to record Appetite For Destruction. Will the rest of the book deliver? I am hopeful. Actually, I’m pretty certain…
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