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Interview with Duff - Youngstown News, April 10, 2012

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Interview with Duff - Youngstown News, April 10, 2012

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:09 pm

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony has had its share of sideshows over the years.

There’s the 1993 event where John Fogerty wouldn’t allow his former Creedence Clearwater Revival bandmates to play during the all-star jam. In 2007, the highly anticipated Van Halen reunion didn’t play out as David Lee Roth, along with Eddie and Alex Van Halen, stayed away while Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony took the spotlight.

That leads us to this Saturday’s ceremony taking place at Public Hall. Most notable is the highly-anticipated induction of Guns N’ Roses (GNR), which may or may not include Axl Rose and his former bandmates Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Matt Sorum. What we do know is McKagan is using the opportunity to promote his new book “It’s So Easy (And Other Lies)” with a multimedia show and live performance reading Friday at the House of Blues.

The autobiography details McKagan’s struggles with alcohol, drugs and being a member of GNR. Diehard fans will find plenty of nuggets, including how McKagan turned to drugs to deal with Rose’s penchant for going on stage ridiculously late (something that has become his trademark), as well as how smoking crack on the band’s plane seemed like a logical choice. He also goes into detail about his road to sobriety. The Vindicator talked to McKagan about his new book, his old band and whether or not he thinks GNR will ever have an appetite for a reunion.

Q. First of all, what stands out about “It’s So Easy (And Other Lies)” is how it eschews de rigueur topics (sexual escapades) of most rock star memoirs.

A. I know there are plenty of stories out there like, “I played a gig for 20,000 people, [expletive] some chicks and did some drugs.” That’s not my story and that’s not how I ever thought, even when that was happening in my life. That’s not what I chose to write about because those weren’t the informational points in my life that really changed me. The changes were these weird different things that I think some are darker and some are lighter, like my mom. What? A rock guy is talking about his mom and dog? Anybody would understand that. I’m just a guy, I have kids, I’m a dad. I’ve been through [expletive], almost died. And that’s it.

Q. What’s interesting is as a 20-year-old you came from Seattle’s early ’80s punk scene and joined a decidedly Sunset Boulevard rock act during the spandex and hairspray heyday. How did you make the jump without feeling like you sold out?

A. I think for me, when hardcore turned into suburban, jock things, punk rock was dead. If you were 20 years old, whatever the next thing was going to be, it was going to be you. It was on your shoulders, and when I met Slash through an ad, it was culture shock to me to see his long hair, but he was a cool guy. And when he started playing his guitar — that’s the universal thing, the equalizer — it was like, “Oh, he’s not some long-haired metal guy, he’s like an old blues guy.” And Izzy was like Johnny Thunders living across the street from me. Just cool as [expletive]. So our thing was like our own thing and Axl is punk rock without that true hardcore guy. He was just born that way.

Q. As far as the original GNR lineup leaving the band, public perception is Axl Rose is a megalomaniac who kicked everyone out. In reading the book, it seems as though you just left the band in 1997. Is this accurate?

A. What you’re saying is the public perception is that Axl went crazy, kicked everybody out of the band. Now our band is a partnership, and actually is still a partnership. So you can’t kick out your partners, to clear that up. Look man, it’s not so easy for me to say, “Yeah, we left and that’s it.” It’s not easy for me to talk about because it’s tricky, but we left. Things had changed and it wasn’t what it once was, which is fine. That’s life. Things change and you move on. I have nothing but really good relationships with the guys and memories of our time.

Q. Finally, the elephant in the room is whether or not you could foresee the classic lineup of GNR ever reforming?

A. Could I see it? I don’t know if I could see it, but it would be fun. That’s probably the first time I said that. The question you just asked me, you kind of asked it differently, which I appreciate. I’m not taking life as seriously. It’s funny how seriously some of these people take this. It’s a serious thing because of all the business it would generate, but take all that away. Take all the business away and just pretend that five guys would get in a room and rock. That would be fun as [expletive]. Are you kidding me?

Source: http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/apr/10/duff-mckagan-looks-back-on-gnr/
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Re: Interview with Duff - Youngstown News, April 10, 2012

Post by puddledumpling on Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:11 pm

Hot damn Duff is cool.
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Re: Interview with Duff - Youngstown News, April 10, 2012

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:54 pm

More mature than anyone else from the AFD lineup.
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Re: Interview with Duff - Youngstown News, April 10, 2012

Post by Johan on Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:01 pm

Definitely.

Izzy might also be, but how can one know if he's never talking.
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Re: Interview with Duff - Youngstown News, April 10, 2012

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:23 pm

True.
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