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2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’

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2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’ Empty 2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’

Post by Blackstar on Sat May 11, 2019 2:20 pm



Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan addresses gun control in schools: ‘Something's gotta be done'

Lyndsey Parker
Editor-in-Chief, Music


Some may find it ironic that a man who first came to fame in a band called Guns N’ Roses would write a protest song about gun control. But on his new Shooter Jennings-produced solo album of sociopolitical commentary, Tenderness, GNR bassist Duff McKagan addresses the issue bluntly on the Johnny Thunders-esque acoustic track “Parkland,” which he describes as a “funeral dirge.”

Sitting with Yahoo Entertainment, McKagan recalls the Parkland school shooting that occurred on Feb. 14 last year. He was in his basement recording studio at the time when his engineer came downstairs to break the horrific news, and McKagan was immediately inspired to write the song. “He said, ‘Oh, s***, have you heard about Parkland? It happened again.’ And I have this TV; we turned it on, and we just sat there and watched this fallout again. And I had a guitar, and I was just playing these two chords...”

The engineer’s actual sentence (“Oh s***, have you heard about Parkland/Yeah, it happened once again”) opens the track, which then rattles off an almost numbing list of similar tragedies (or “f***in’ heartaches”) that have occurred at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech… and Columbine, almost exactly 20 years after that high school massacre occurred. “Do we have to watch another mother cry, once again/Do we gotta see another school kid die/No, not again,” McKagan pleads on the emotional, and unfortunately still very topical, ballad.

“It’s beyond heartbreaking to look at the list [of school shootings over the years], and this thing's going on, on the TV. And that song just came out of me… I was trying to pay respect and be earnest about a very serious situation, especially as an American, this particularly American thing,” says McKagan. “I have daughters. ….When you’re fearful of your kids going to school, something's f***ed up. When you see your school’s got armed guards when you walk your kids to school — we walk to school — something's f***ed up. This is a school. And as a dad, as a human, just a f***ing human, anybody.”

McKagan, a self-described “super-nerd” who reads “an embarrassing amount of history,” and whose full, fascinating Yahoo Entertainment interview can be viewed above — stresses that “Parkland,” which fans will be able to hear in full when Tenderness is released on May 31, is “not a commentary on the Second Amendment; it's not a commentary on gun owners. But it's a commentary, I think, on if there's national emergencies that we're gonna call out, this one should've been called out some time ago.

“I don't know what the answer is, but I sure would love to explore an answer. I don't care if you're in the deepest, darkest corners of the NRA, or the most progressive whatever; something's gotta be done. I don't know what it is, but I hope with [Tenderness], I can get involved with some organizations and [use] what minimal platform I have do something. The record's about healing. It's about togetherness. But within that, I have to expose some darkness. And I expose, I think, more of fair share of darkness on the record. But there is hope at the beginning, and there's hope at the end.”

McKagan chooses not to point fingers at any one politician or political party. “I'm not gonna talk about current administrations ever. I read too much history. You and I could barrel down on one person right now; it would be a useless conversation in eight months,” he explains. But he does speak like a politician himself, the kind that could unify the masses: “I think after 9/11, here in America, I saw something extraordinary. I saw neighbors looking after neighbors. I don't think anybody asked who anybody voted for. It was people taking care of other people. At the grocery store, everywhere you go, people were like, ‘Are you OK? Is everything cool here?’ Looking around, taking care of each other. And that's the America I know. That's the one I choose to see throughout all this stuff that we're experiencing right now, all this hyped-up tension and news and crap. F** that.”

As for whether McKagan — who aside from his busy music career is a regular sports/finance/political columnist, author, and founder of the wealth management firm Meridian Rock – would ever consider becoming a politician himself, the Seattle-born renaissance man chuckles at the question. “I have thought of running for mayor of Seattle before, for sure, because our city council is so famously f***ed up,” he confesses. “And it's my city, but that would just be a local thing, like almost me helping myself out to do that. Like, ‘This is how we're gonna run the city.’ I would actually want to be like a czar of the Northwest. Like, ‘What I say goes. It's gonna help everybody, trust me! Traffic, homelessness, everything around! But what I say goes, and that's it.’ So, if they've got that position opening up, I'll run. I'll put all my resources. ‘Czar of the Northwest.’”
https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/guns-n-roses-duff-mc-kagan-addresses-gun-control-in-school-somethings-gotta-be-done-165805785.html
Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan defends misunderstood '80s lyrics: "None of our friends said, 'Grab her by the…'"

Lyndsey Parker
Editor-in-Chief, Music


Some people might be surprised that Duff McKagan, the Guns N’ Roses bassist who penned the infamous lyrics to the R-rated Appetite for Destruction track “It’s So Easy,” would release a song inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. But on his Shooter Jennings-produced solo album of sociopolitical commentary, Tenderness — which also addresses homelessness, the opioid crisis, and gun control — the father of two girls does just that with “Last September,” a fictional but all-too-real tale about a workplace predator.

It’s obviously a very different time now from the heavy-metal ‘80s, when GNR first exploded onto the scene and “everything was unprotected — drugs, needles, sex, all of that stuff,” McKagan acknowledges. But the 55-year-old rock legend tells Yahoo Entertainment that even back then, he and his bandmates had a sense of right and wrong.

“I'm sure stuff was going on, Harvey Weinstein stuff and all that, but we hated that! If we saw that stuff going on around us, we didn't allow it to happen around us. We were still good dudes,” he says. “None of our friends said, ‘Grab her by the p***y.’ You know what I mean? Who would say something like that? And I don't mean to be political against the dude who said that; it's just an idiotic, stupid thing to say, for any man. And that's the way I've always thought. So '80s, or now — I could've written ‘Last September’ in the '80s.”

As for the songs Guns N’ Roses did write in the ‘80s, McKagan stresses that tracks like “It’s So Easy” and “Used to Love Her” were supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, and that the controversial “One in a Million,” which employed two shocking slurs, was told from the point of view of a racist and homophobic character (similar to the bigoted protagonist in Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” which was also censored at radio). It was disappointing to Duff at the time when GNR’s songs were misunderstood.

“I went on BBC's Hard Talk for my first book, right? I did Hard Talk, and it was the woman on there, and she was very nice to me in the green room: ‘Oh, excuse me, what a great book, and you've got a lovely family, and this is so nice,’” McKagan recalls. “And the light goes on the camera, and she goes, ‘So: Turn around, bitch, I've got a use for you. You wrote that lyric. How do you explain that to your daughters?’ So, I'm glad we're talking about this in a different way [today].”

McKagan especially ruefully recalls the “One in a Million” backlash: “We were supposed to play David Geffen's big AIDS benefit in New York a couple months [after that song’s release]; we got pulled off of that. I remember getting on a plane flying back to Seattle, and an African American flight attendant came up and sat down next to me and said, ‘Do you really hate black people?’ I'm like, ‘Oh, f***.’ Part of my family is African American. [Guns N’ Roses guitarist] Slash is half [black]. So, people didn't put that together. Hopefully now, later, people can examine that song. And I think it's brilliant and super-brave of [GNR frontman] Axl [Rose] to step out and do that.”

As for whether the political-correctness pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, in this era of “cancel culture” and constant social media outrage, McKagan muses, “I think ‘P.C.’ is an overused word itself. Just come correct at all times. I don't remember anybody I hung out with using the N-word, or using the C-word. Just come correct at all times, then you don't gotta worry about, ‘Oh, s***, was I politically correct here?’ …If you're a dude, be a f***ing man. Just be a human being. Use common sense. Don't be a dick.

“I gotta be a man for my daughters and for my wife, and I don't mean a ‘macho’ man — a man of thought, and a man of understanding, and a man of action. And I hope to take some action with this record, and it's positive, healing action for what's transpired, especially in the last few years here in America.”

McKagan isn’t the only GNR member who’s been politically outspoken lately. Axl Rose has become very vocal on Twitter, prompting a new hashtag, #wokeAxl. “Is that right?” McKagan laughs. “He is woke. ... If you're gonna try to outsmart him, or out-intellectual him, it ain't gonna work. You're gonna be in trouble. When Axl says something, I know how much he thinks about it first and he does research. If he says anything publicly, or tweets it or whatever, he's thought long and hard about it. It's not some anger tweet. So, go ahead and unfollow him, I suppose, if that’s the worst thing you can do.”
https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/guns-n-roses-duff-mc-kagan-defends-misunderstood-80-s-lyrics-none-of-our-friends-said-grab-her-by-the-180822900.html


Last edited by Blackstar on Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:26 am; edited 3 times in total
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2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’ Empty Re: 2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’

Post by Misfit79 on Sat May 11, 2019 10:31 pm

Duff’s next book....

How to be A Mayor Very Happy

Wonder why he is so reluctant to talk about Trump and what he thinks of that :/
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2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’ Empty Re: 2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’

Post by Blackstar on Sat May 11, 2019 11:56 pm

@Misfit79 wrote:Duff’s next book....

How to be A Mayor Very Happy

Wonder why he is so reluctant to talk about Trump and what he thinks of that :/

Haha!

I guess he doesn't want to alienate potential buyers of his solo album and of his wife's book. :/
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2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’ Empty Re: 2019.05.10 - Yahoo Music - Duff McKagan talks bold, socially conscious solo album ‘Tenderness’

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