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2004.07.DD - Classic Rock - Interview with Duff

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Post by Blackstar on Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:43 pm

Duff McKagan

Kick-boxing sessions, somewhat different sessions with the wife, band rehearsals, movies at home, nights on the town... they’re all part of an average week for the Velvet Revolver bassist, he tells James Halbert.

"We live in Studio City, Los Angeles. It’s a very hip neighbourhood where you can walk to a nice coffee shop or sushi restaurant. These days I wake up around 7.3Oam, the same time as my girls Grace and May. They’re six and three. I make them some breakfast, but now Grace has started making cereal for both of them and getting her little sister dressed, so I can set the alarm for ten minutes later. Grace is in first grade, and May goes to a pre-school. I take ‘em there in the car, and then when I come back I go kick-boxing at my local dojo for two hours.

"I’ve been doing the sport for nine years. Now that I’m back in LA I’m back with my old trainer, Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez. It’s a pro-fighter’s gym, but I’m not in it to be a pro. I’ll spar with the guys who are getting ready for proper fights, though. I don’t wear headgear anymore, just a mouthpiece and a cup. Have I ever been injured? Fuck, yeah! I’m injured now, I tore my hamstrings. Anyway. I love it. because it’s not just a physical thing, it’s also about meditation and discipline: when I get in the ring it’s not about anger. If I’m working with someone new, they’re full of fear, so I’m mainly trying to calm them down. I’m not gonna hurt anyone too bad, you know.

“I like watching fighters like Oscar De Le Hoya, who just don’t get hit. My teacher, Benny, was twenty years world champion at middleweight. His thing is all about playing checkers instead of chess — you can go out there and just slog it out, but you’ll lose a lot of brain cells that way.

"In the early afternoon my wife Susan and I like to plan out when we’re going to fuck. Often it’ll be when I come back from kick-boxing, because my endorphins are running and I’m ready to go. She’s a beautiful woman — really hot! She has a swimwear company and she works, like, ten hours a day, so we make use of the little respite we have. She usually gears up for sex pretty well, so that she’s all ready to go by the time I get home.

“Usually we’ll have some music on — anything from Curtis Mayfield to Prince, but if we’re just fucking, we’ll have something rockier playing. Sometimes I’ll come home to find she’s got a porno film on, which is great! Alter that, about 3.OOpm, I’m off to rehearsal with the band out in Burbank. We always end up writing a new song.

“I used to cook a lot, but my wife’s from the Midwest so it’s been instilled in her to cook for her man. She’s like the classic 1950s mum. When we lived up in Seattle she and my sister took a Thai cooking class, so she’s good with that stuff. I can cook anything, man, but I guess my speciality is Fettuccine Alfredo. I also make a good sour dough bread — I’ll let the dough sit resting for about three days.

‘We still have a house on the water in Seattle, and if we’re there well go out on the boat and fish salmon, clean it right there on the dock and throw it on the barbecue. It’s the freshest, tastiest thing in the world.

“Susan picks up the children after school. and then after dinner I help Grace with her homework. I went to university for four years, so I’m not too bad; my math and English language is pretty good. I actually wrote a few articles for some magazines — Seattle Weekly, for example. I wrote about going back to full-time education later on in life, after I went back to study business at Seattle University. Dave Dederer — he’s the guitarist from The Presidents — and I are going to write a book about how not to get screwed by the music business. I’m a dog kind of guy, but my girls wanted a cat, so we have this kitty called Pepperoni Pizza Boots Chocolate. Grace and May named him — can you tell? We adopted him, and the girls were supposed to look after him but I’ve ended up doing it. I don’t mind, though.

“Back in my druggy days I collected guns out of sheer paranoia, but now I don’t have time to collect shit. I used to have semi-automatics and handguns stashed all over the house. I still have a handgun and a shotgun, but they’re safely stored where the girls can’t get them. Even now, if anybody broke into my house or tried to harm Susan, Grace or May. I’d fuckin’ kill them, no problem.

"I don’t watch TV much but we do like movies. I just bought a huge Sony home-cinema set-up, but I didn’t get a plasma screen because I hear those degenerate in, like, three years. We have rear projection.

“What’s great is that I had these soundproof studio doors put in downstairs, so that after the girls have gone to bed Susan and I can crank up the volume on the home cinema — maybe it’s Black Hawk Down —and they don’t hear a thing.

“Susan and I get invited to so may fuckin’ red- carpet functions, and sometimes we’ll go. She was a top model, so it’s fun for her to get dressed up and get photographed. A few weeks ago we were at this car show, with all these bitching Cadillacs, and Susan was the belle of the ball. Everybody took her picture that night.

"So that’s a typical day, and I usually go to bed pretty early. On the road is a different matter, but at home I’m happy being domesticated."

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