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SoulMonster
APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2007.09.06 - Vancouver Sun - Duff Calls Vancouver His 'Second Home'

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2007.09.06 - Vancouver Sun - Duff Calls Vancouver His 'Second Home' Empty 2007.09.06 - Vancouver Sun - Duff Calls Vancouver His 'Second Home'

Post by Blackstar Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:13 am

Duff calls Vancouver his 'second home'

Velvet Revolver bassist reminisces about the city's punk scene

By Amy O'Brian

Listening to Duff McKagan reminisce about his days in Vancouver's punk scene, when he would sneak across the border from Seattle at the age of 15, you might think those were the best days of his life.

And maybe they were. But since then, the guitarist has experienced a few other things that have made him a legend in the eyes of many rock fans.

He spent 13 years playing bass in what many consider to be the best rock 'n' roll band of the 1980s and early '90s -- Guns N' Roses. His life of famous hard living caught up to him and nearly killed him when his pancreas exploded in 1994. But McKagan kicked his booze habit and went on to form the band Velvet Revolver with two other former members of Guns N' Roses and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots.

And now, Velvet Revolver -- which plays Friday night at Pacific Coliseum -- is one of only a few contemporary rock bands that has the respect and admiration of those who worship at the feet of the rock greats and shun the new generic rock formula. Velvet Revolver has a widespread credibility that is quite possibly unrivalled by any other rock band formed this decade.

Despite his success though, McKagan talks with humility and honesty about his current life with Velvet Revolver, his years with Guns N' Roses, and -- most enthusiastically -- about Vancouver and the punk scene that thrived here in the late 1970s and early '80s.

"Vancouver's like a second home to me," McKagan said over the phone from a tour stop in Detroit. "That scene up there in Vancouver was the best. There was D.O.A., the Subhumans, the Pointed Sticks, East Van Halen." McKagan talked excitedly about an e-mail he received recently from Randy Rampage -- bassist for D.O.A. -- who asked him to participate in a documentary about the Vancouver punk scene.

"Randy Rampage, you've got to realize, when I was a young teenager, he was the s---, to me. He was the man," McKagan said.

"It's funny, years later, when Guns [N' Roses] was big, he got a hold of me and I almost freaked out. I didn't know what to say on the phone. I was really nervous and it's still kind of that way. I think it's kind of cool he has my e-mail address."

McKagan said he's unclear about the focus of the documentary, but has obviously already started mining his memory for Vancouver punk vignettes and anecdotes.

"I started to come up there when I was about 15, back when you could forge a note from your Mom to cross the border," he recalled.

"Playing Vancouver for me is awesome. I remember the first time I was back there, playing an arena [with Guns N' Roses]. I'm sure we were opening for somebody, but I really felt like I'd made it. A lot of my old punk rock buddies came to the show."

Adjusting to life in Guns N' Roses was difficult for McKagan, who said he struggled to make his punk rock mindset mesh with the reality of being in a band with tremendous commercial and mainstream success.

"I let punk rock define me for a while, almost to a fault, like, 'I'm not doing this because it's not punk rock.'

"There were times when Guns got so big that I just rebelled. I wouldn't do s--- because it wasn't punk rock."

But the 43-year-old said he's over that now. And as much as playing music is part of his identity, he said he no longer lets it rule his life.

"I realize now, since I've had my kids, that punk rock doesn't define me. Booze doesn't define me. Velvet Revolver doesn't define who I am. It's what happens at my house, within the four walls of my house that defines me," he said.

"What I'm doing now is cool in that it's not so overblown, like Guns N' Roses got. It's kind of back to being just a real rock 'n' roll band. We write songs for ourselves -- not that Guns didn't do that, but with Guns, the machine just got so big it was almost unmanageable. It was unmanageable.

"[With Velvet Revolver], we're doing gigs on our own terms, and doing tours on our own terms. . . It's a commercial venture, make no mistake. This is what I do for a living. It's a business.

"But it's impossible for me to take the turn into being just a commercial rock band and just doing it for the money. I'll never be able to do that, I think, thankfully."

And as for the big question -- whether Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose is getting any closer to releasing the long-awaited comeback album -- McKagan said he knows nothing.

"You're probably more tapped into what's going on in the entertainment world than I am. I have no idea. I get asked that all the time," he said abruptly.

"I'm busy with my band and my wife and kids and I really don't know what's going on. When I'm not playing a gig and not on the road, the last thing I feel like doing is getting on the Internet and finding out what's going on in the rock world."

Fair enough. McKagan would rather live it than read about it.
Blackstar
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