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2005.05.DD - Q Magazine - Confessions of a Boozehound (Duff)

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Post by Blackstar on Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:16 am

Confessions of a Boozehound

‘If I have another drink I will die'

Ex Guns N Roses bassist Duff McKagan used to drink a gallon of vodka a day. Then his pancreas exploded.

“With Guns N Roses, it was drink more, do some more fucked up shit, make some more headlines and we'll sell some more records. Everyone around you is doing it, your crew are doing it… "

“I had some really good time drinking and doing drugs. [ Ex-Alice In Chains guitarist ] Jerry Cantrell used to come to my house and he and I would do coke and drink all night and would play pool for, like, 20 hours. What a couple of knuckleheads we were. "

“By 1994 I was drinking a gallon of vodka a day and doing any drug that would get me high. I couldn't stop. You drink too much and so you do cocaine and that gives you a second wind, so you drink some more and do some more coke, and the next thing you know, you are up for five days and then, when you do finally go to sleep, you wake up in the middle of the night with the shakes from alcohol withdrawl, so you have to have a cocktail next to your bed. "

“The end of my drinking career came with an acute pancreatitis attack – which means your pancreas expands and bursts, which is not fun. It lets out all the bile, which causes third degree burns on the outside of your stomach and intestines. Usually, they slit you open to let some of the steam out to relieve the pain before you die."

“I was in hospital for about 12 days. It scared the shit out of me. In those 12 days I saw myself above the bed and I had experiences that I really needed. I had been looking for a way out, and I couldn't find it, so I had resigned myself to living fast, dying young and… Well, it would have been a pretty fucking ugly corpse, because at the end there I looked like a bloated Elvis."

“Afterwards, the doctors told me, If you go home today and drink, your pancreas is still exposed, so you will die. I was lucky they didn't have to take my pancreas out, that I didn't have to become a diabetic. It may sound corny, but my doctor said, There's a reason you're still alive. Make good use of it. This doesn't happen all the time."

“When I got out of hospital I went home to Seattle. I was shaking so bad they gave me morphine and Librium. The morphine was for the pain and the Librium was for the DTs from the alcohol.
“Sober, everything seemed like I was on acid because it was so real. I entered a mountain bike race where I met this martial arts teacher who took me under his wing. He broke me down and built me back up with a whole different mentality of how I look at life, how to deal with fear and anger and how to forgive and how to be honest with yourself. I was with him twice a day. I attacked it as hard as I would drinking. "

“To keep myself busy, I started going through GN'R's financial statements. I couldn't make head nor tail of it, so I started taking some classes down in Los Angeles. Eventually I got into this Jesuit business school in Seattle studying finance with a minor in accounting. I started as an undergraduate. When Velvet Revolver started I had a quarter of my masters left to do."

“I am now 41 years old, but I tell you I am in the best physical and mental shape of my life. I still kick-box. I went to school, I just started this pretty great band. I got a wife and two kids. My doctor was right, there is a reason I'm still around."

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