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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!
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2011.MM.DD - Seattle Weekly - Reverb (Duff's column)

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 7:53 pm

Question for Duff: You're a History Buff, So Where Are You Going to Explore Next?

By Duff McKagan, Mon., Jan. 3 2011

Q: Duff, of all the countries you have traveled in your life, is there a certain one you would have liked to explore other than from touring, and which foreign language do you speak? And by the way, what happened to those awesome "Duff" amps from the Use Your Illusion tour days? -- Matthias

Duff: Hi, Mathias. Well, I am a true student of history, and am fascinated with a ton of different historical eras--mostly war at the moment. The Ottoman Empire and things like the Moorish/Christian conflict intrigue me as well. I am really all over the place, though.

My next big "bucket list" thing to do, though, is to take a motorcycle and follow the U.S. 101st Airborne's route from the invasion at Normandy all the way to Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Austria.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110107083050/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/01/question_for_duff_youre_a_hist.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 7:54 pm

What You Missed if You Missed the Last Three Decades

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Jan. 6 2011

I finally got a chance last week to meet and hang out with The Long Winters guru and fellow Seattle Weekly columnist John Roderick. To be honest, I was a little bit nervous when first seeing John; he seems to be the smartest guy in the room, and intellectualism has at times fed into people also being smart-ASSES to me. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe I am just an easy butt for a joke. But in my case, at least, last week, he was also the NICEST guy in the room, and he shares my low and classless taste in humor. Cool dude.

I started a new job this week as a weekly columnist for ESPN.com. I will for sure be staying here at SW on Thursdays, but I am excited to write about my other passion--sports. I tried it a time or two here at SW, but it seemed to leave a lot of people just kind of scratching their heads ("Why is the rock/book guy writing about the NBA?").

Sometimes my interests and the Seattle Weekly's do not mix. Shit, I feel very lucky to be writing now for TWO prestigious online ports. That is, of course, until ESPN catches on that I am truly just a passenger, and not any sort of a real "journalist" per se.

A story on CNN caught my interest this morning. Cornelius Dupree Jr., a Texas man who has sat in prison since 1979--wrongly accused for rape and robbery--was just freed on DNA proof that overturned his conviction. Just think of that for a minute: 32 YEARS IN PRISON FOR A CRIME THAT YOU DIDN'T DO! Just think about it:

1. Jimmy Carter was still the President of the United States (he won the election with the help, for the first time in U.S. history, of a surging Southern Evangelical voter base. That is why, boys and girls, every President since then has kowtowed so much to the Evangelical Church. They possess VOTES.)
2. 1979 is the year Prince recorded his self-titled record. That's four whole records BEFORE Purple Rain.
3. In 1979, Michael Jackson was still recording with the Jacksons (formerly the Jackson 5).
4. Led Zeppelin was still a touring band with all its original members.
5. AC/DC still had Bon Scott.
6. An actor from California named Ronald Reagan was laughably running for President of the United States.
7. The Clash did their first tour of the U.S.
8. I saw The Clash on their first U.S. tour.
9. U2 were still an Irish pub band.
10. Motörhead were making Ace of Spades.
11. Metallica was not a band yet.
12. "Ant" music and the "New Romantic" era in music were just being born in the UK.
13. Home computers were still about 14 years away.
14. The compact disc was still 10 years away.
15. Artists and bands were still actually selling records (can you smell my bitterness about that whole thing yet, AR?)
16. The Seattle Seahawks were only a 2-year-old NFL team. The cagey QB/receiver team of "Zorn to Largent" was in its infancy.
17. My wife was 9 years old.
18. I was 15 years old.
19. Kinky.
20. Stop thinking about that, you sick bastards.
21. KCMU was cool then. too.
22. My editor here at the Weekly wasn't even born.
23. I was in the Fastbacks.
24. Most of you reading this were probably not even born.
25. "Y.M.C.A.," "Le Freak," "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?", and "Reunited" were all hits that year.

Cornelius Dupree Jr., you are still a relative youngster at 51. I wish you a long life now in freedom. You deserve it and more.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110107211136/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/duff_mckagan/
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 7:59 pm

Here Are Some History Books That Won't Put You to Sleep, I Promise

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Jan. 13 2011

It may strike some as odd that I am not this week writing about my beloved Seahawks' huge playoff win last Saturday. If I didn't now also have an actual column solely dedicated to sports on ESPN.com, then yes, right here and right now, I would've spilt forth about the victory. You can read that, over there.

And so, for here at the Weekly this fine Thursday, I will get back to a place that we are somewhat all familiar with--books (and to a more direct point, MY reviews/previews of said books).

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand: I actually just finished this book last night, and it's maybe one of the best war stories I have ever read. This true story follows the young life of celebrated distance-runner Louis Zamperini. After Louie had competed in the 1500-meter race in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, many experts picked him to set a world record in the upcoming 1940 Olympics in Tokyo. The thing is, Japan started invading places all over Asia, and the Olympics were moved to Helsinki, Finland. Of course, by 1940, Germany was doing a whole ton of invading itself, and the Olympics were cancelled altogether.

Zamperini, crestfallen but still very much hopeful about the 1944 Olympics, joined the U.S. Air Force to sort of just have something to do until all this war stuff was over . . . then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Louie suddenly found himself as a bomber in a B-24 Liberator, until his plane blew its engines and ran headlong into the Pacific Ocean.

If 48 days on a life raft, sharks all the time, a Japanese prison camp, brutal guards, starvation, freezing cold, blistering heat, alcoholism, loss of hope, and the redemption of a life thought lost are things that interest you--all written in a lyrical and easy style--then this book is definitely for you. Two big thumbs up from me.

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro: I know there are some pretty pointed opinions when it comes to this author and this book. I noticed some heated comments when I simply announced that I was going to read Kazuo. It seems authors like Ishiguro and Cormac McCarthy are the type either people love or hate.

Never Let Me Go, like McCarthy's The Road, is not so much about the story itself, but how it is told, the relationship between characters, and the usage and turns of phrase. I like that kind of stuff, myself. McCarthy's writing often leaves me stunned and emotional.

But this is a book review of Never Let Me Go. If you like to go to dark places, give this book a try. If you like butterflies, unicorns, and rainbows, stay far, far away.

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present, Michael B. Oren: If you are interested in America's involvement in the Middle East--the whos, whys, and how-the-hells--then this book is a great all-in companion to the writings of Thomas Friedman or Steve Coll. Oren is as good as David McCullough when it comes to making nonfiction read like an epic, page-turning novel.

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, Thomas Friedman: Don't let the nonfiction-ness of this book's title throw you off. The World Is Flat is, like all Friedman's books and columns, immensely readable, informative, well-rounded (for a non-primary source especially), and just plain outstanding. If you want to get yourself informed on what is up with globalization and digitalization topics, get you some of this book.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Steve Coll: Al-Qaeda, counterterrorism, government fuck-ups, and all the rest. Ghost Wars won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005, and although some of you are dubious of book awards, when it comes to nonfiction, the Pulitzer stamp has for me been indicative of just how much damn jaw-dropping research was done. I'm sure that Coll must have had a ton of help in sorting through the mind-numbing amount of documents and whatnot that he used to write this book. The question is just how he made it all so goddamn readable. A MUST-read.

On deck:

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer, Nathaniel Fick: Loaded guitar player, Scrabble champion, book enthusiast, and ex-U.S. Marine Mike Squires recommended this book to me. He was the one who turned me into a Cormac McCarthy freak, too. I trust Squires' judgment. I'll let you all know about this one next time we do this.

What have you all been reading? GO HAWKS!!!

https://web.archive.org/web/20110116060149/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/01/here_are_some_history_books_th.php#more
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:06 pm

Without Lemmy and Motorhead, There Wouldn't Be Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, or Metallica. Period.

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Jan. 20 2011

I was fairly excited last Thursday to be able to attend the Los Angeles screening of the new Motorhead/Lemmy rockumentary, Lemmy: 49% Motherfucker, 51% Son of a Bitch. I only say "fairly" excited because it has been my experience that often when I see all that there is to see about an important or influential person in my life, I wish not to have known all there was to know. Lemmy's movie did the opposite. It kicked fucking ass AND made me think of what a bad, bad man Lemmy is in real life.

When I was a youngster and Motorhead's Ace of Spades came out, all of us in the Seattle punk-rock scene instantly recognized the weight of the band and Lemmy Kilmister, its bassist, singer, and songwriter. They embodied all that was good and great about rock and roll: snarling vocals and to-the-point lyrics. Drummer Phil "Filthy Animal" Taylor pounded the FUCK out of the drums; and "Fast" Eddie Clarke complemented it all with his no-nonsense and very LOUD guitar playing. Motorhead seemed always more punk than metal, because of the fact that they were always in on the joke, whereas other metal bands seemed to take it all much too seriously back then.

When I moved down to L.A. in 1984, it was the influence of guys like Lemmy, Phil Lynott, and The Clash's Paul Simonon that steered me to choose bass, back when I was still a somewhat able drummer and guitar player. I was going to Hollywood to sort of "invent" myself, and I chose bass playing as the coolest of the rock-instrument triumvirate because, hell, it was the baddest choice back then (to me at least).

And it wasn't just my choice of playing bass that Lemmy and Motorhead influenced. Dare I say that without Motorhead, there would have been no Metallica, GN'R, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, NIN, or everything between and after. Yeah, they mean that much.

There is a moment in the documentary where Dave Grohl states very eloquently what Motorhead means to him and the rest of us in the audience. To paraphrase, Grohl talks about the "human-ness" of Lemmy. Boils and all, Lemmy lets us know that you don't have to be perfect and beautiful and polished to a shine to succeed in this life. Go see the movie to get the full poignancy of Dave's quote.

Motorhead makes me both exceedingly happy and somehow ashamed. The happy part is obvious in that Motorhead helps us all to exorcise some demons through the art form of balls-out rock and roll. But also, watching the movie and seeing Lemmy progress throughout the film, it dawns on me that this guy has always just stuck to his guns and never bit in to a trend or a new technology recording-wise. Most of us just sort of naturally change with the times; our style of dress, our take on life and love, the bars we go to and all. Lemmy has changed nothing, bringing to the fore the fact that he just had it right from the beginning.

I am 46, and my oldest brother Jon is 20 years older. Jon was born during WWII, and served himself during the "police action" BEFORE VIETNAM WAS CALLED A WAR! He and I are a full generation apart. I revel in stories he tells me about the '50s or '60s or whatever. My point to this and how it applies to this column is that Lemmy is the exact age of my brother Jon. 66.

Lemmy has lived so much longer than the rest of us, and lived HARD. He has earned every right to preach down to the rest of us, but he never has. He has also earned the right and enough money to retire gracefully if he wished, but he doesn't wish it. "What else would I do?" he says in the movie.

If you are a young musician going to see this film, watch and learn and pay attention. Lemmy is the real deal, as if my opinion makes any difference to guys like this. And for musicians like me, who have been around for a while: Sit back and enjoy and take inspiration from a guy who is out there still kicking ass harder than any of us could, even when we were young enough to think we could take on a whole nation of bad-asses.

Lemmy is showing at Seattle's Northwest Film Forum Feb. 4 through 10.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110123065125/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/01/without_lemmy_and_motorhead_th.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:08 pm

Tell Him/Her/Them About It While You Can

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Jan. 27 2011

Many of you already know that I have been writing a book over the past year or more. Well, this week I got back a first and very rough edit, and I have, for the first time, sat down and read the whole thing.

Here's the deal: In writing so much about my own life, I have found so many places where for so long I have placed blame on others for this failure or that shortcoming. It's not like I haven't worked on resentment in my sober life, because I really have. Or so I thought.

Both of my parents passed away within the past 10 years. My mom was a saint in my eyes, and raised us eight McKagan kids with the courage of the whole Allied Forces in WWII. I think she knew how much I loved her and appreciated all her lessons shared, but did I tell her all this when she was still alive? Surely not like I would now.

It is common for all human beings to experience a traumatizing childhood event. I think when we are kids we have these idealized models of what life should be like and what grown-ups should adhere to. In my case, my own father didn't live up to my idealized "father-figure" model, and I ended up resenting him for the rest of his life.

To sort of throw my dad under the bus now that he isn't here to defend himself is not my intent. There were many things he did in my life that were amazing and righteous. We just didn't have a real knack for communicating, especially when I witnessed first-hand my parents' marriage falling apart. When they divorced, I placed the blame squarely on my dad's shoulders and never looked back.

After I got sober, my wife Susan sort of forced me into having a relationship with my dad again. We had a new daughter, and Susan asked me to try and forgive my Pop so that Grace (and then Mae) could have a grandpa around in Seattle. I'm glad that Susan did this.

I didn't go all the way, though, with my dad. I didn't have the guts or fortitude to address with him alone the things I address in my writing and forgive him for wholeheartedly. Sadly, it's just too damn late.

If any of you have the inclination, or are battling old resentments, may I suggest you write them down and then write about your part in these events that have caused said resentment. It may just do a whole lot of healing. Do this before it's too late.

May I also suggest saying to those you hold near and dear how much they may have changed your life for the better. For those people who may have caused you harm, the only healthy solution there may be just to examine your part in these events. Try to be honest with yourself to a fault. We hate to see in ourselves the things that we judge to be poor character traits in others. So when self-honesty starts to hurt and become really, really uncomfortable, that is when you know you are being thorough.

I feel like I am having a meeting at a sober place right now, so I will stop with this line of thought. I'm just trying to pass on some things I have learned over the past year. Some of you have paid forward with sage words to me in the comments section, and I am only trying to return the favor.

In being a parent myself now for a 10- and 13 year-old, I can sort of see through their eyes their vision of some of my own shortcomings. I get it. I was there once.

But these days, I open my mouth and say how I feel. I tell my girls that they are safe with me, or that they make being a dad an easy thing. They think this stuff is all way too damn corny and question why I am saying these things. I just tell them to store those things away and save them for a day when my goofy words may mean something.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110131095926/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/01/tell_himherthem_about_it_befor.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:11 pm

This Week in Loaded: Three New Songs, One New Movie, and Plenty of Flirting With Lemmy, ZZ Top, and Sean Kinney

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Feb. 3 2011

Last week, we touched on some heavy issues concerning life, loss, and the general hurdles that life puts in front of all of us. Speaking for myself, it was good to get it out of my system. I hope it was for all of you who commented, too. It's time now to move on. It is Loaded time, after all.

After a sort of long downtime of not much public activity with my band Loaded, things are finally starting to go public.

On Tuesday, three of our new songs and the cover-art from our upcoming record, The Taking, were leaked on BLABBERMOUTH. A few years ago, digital streams as leaks spelled doom for a band's future record sales; now they are looked at as almost a good thing, something that can get a prospective audience pumped and talking about the upcoming release of the full-length. It is almost like it is free advertising, like "Here, check out some of THIS. It is so good and precious, that someone figured out how to hack into the label's mainframe computer and unleash this new kick-ass music." Hey, for me, and everything that I have seen over the years in this business, who cares? As long as people are talking.

I'm on a flight right now back up to Seattle where we are going to do a few more segments of "RADIO LOADED" on KISW. Sean Kinney will be joining in again . . . and who knows? Maybe he and I will actually one day have a radio hour of our own--an everyday thing. But that would be way off in the future.

Loaded is making a movie, too. What? A film? Some people who know about it think that perhaps somehow we have suddenly become "actors," and hence, the film will be a shoddy attempt at scripted dialogue. Really, it is nothing like that.

I tried acting one time back in the late '90s. I got a call from a show called Sliders starring Jerry O'Connell on the Sci-Fi Channel. They needed a punk-rock vampire who could play drums (I sort of do that), who could go around killing people, and generally be a badass. Roger Daltrey had been the guest star the week before, so I thought, "Fuck it! Why not?" I was newly sober and open to try anything new at least once for the life-experience factor. I was trying to face fears. There were a bunch of speaking lines, and, long story short, I sucked (pun intended).

No, the Loaded movie will be more in line with a very twisted A Hard Day's Night, a movie where the songs on the record did all the "talking," and the band was just trying to make its way through a bunch of insane circumstances to get from point A to point B. If you like male prostitution, killing a child predator, ferries, motorcycles, hang-gliders, bi-planes, and Mary Kay Letourneau, this Loaded flick may just be for you.

Filmmaker and general visionary Jamie Chamberlin is helming this project, and I must say he may be West Seattle's best kept secret, artist-wise.

While Motorhead is in town this Friday at the Showbox, the great Lemmy Kilmister has agreed to play a cameo role in the movie, which I am psyched about.

It is very likely too, that we may be playing some surprise and unannounced acoustic shows around town for the filming: "Flash gigs," if you will.

Rumor has it that we may be recording a song for an upcoming ZZ Top tribute record this weekend too. If it doesn't happen this week, it will happen soon, I am told. Other acts include Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, Wolfmother, Stone Sour, and more. Either way, the record should be pretty interesting.

Next week, the band starts gearing up the press machine. Interview after interview after interview. It is actually one of the most rigorous things that I have to do in my professional life. It can get exhausting answering the same question over and over, without seeming like a jerk. I do realize, after all this time, that the interviewer you are talking to currently did not in fact know the questions the last guy asked me. None of them are trying to be repetitive.

All this stuff comes at the exact right time for me personally, as I just got done writing and doing a first full edit of my book. It was 14 months of huge ups and downs for me, to a level I did not expect. I can see why people get ghostwriters. I can get real, real painful and uneasy digging up skeletons and re-examining the whole sludge and effluvia of your wreckage.

So onward and forward we trudge: The fine gentlemen of The Loaded Group. Taking no names and no prisoners. Hide your daughters (and sons?), and sharpen up on your Scrabble game, because ready or not, here we come.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110207065435/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/02/this_week_in_loaded_3_new_song.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:15 pm

A Voice From the Inside of Egypt

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Feb. 10 2011

I sat last week, totally immersed in CNN, from about Tuesday night until sometime Friday when I had to finally get out of the house. The situation in Egypt--and Tunisia, for that matter--have created in me an even heavier thirst for knowledge into the political, religious, and social dynamic that is ever-changing in the Middle East.

I was talking to local but internationally acclaimed photographer Lance Mercer about all of this stuff (Mubarak, "thugs", and Anderson Cooper getting sucker-punched), when he told me about a girlfriend of his--a Seattle gal--who is living there, and won't leave because her Egyptian husband is embroiled deep into the cause. I was sort of enthralled, and asked him for more info. I received this e-mail from her the other day. She wanted me to see about getting it put into my column. I have asked the Seattle Weekly staff not to show her name.

Here it is for you all. A voice from the inside of Egypt . . . from "Heather":

Good morning, everyone:

I still have a terrible cold and am again sitting on my bed watching Al Jazeera, which is the only English channel showing news about Egypt right now. The BBC is having a show about the super-rich, and CNN is showing a documentary about Tiger Woods. Not interesting.

Right now it is quite chilly out, breezy and gray. I can see that Tahrir Square is still well in the hands of pro-democracy protesters. There have been calls for more large demonstrations Tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday. The Sinai peninsula is having trouble with gas pipelines (read: one of them exploded and was aflame for many hours this morning, but has been shut off), and we now know that it is the line to Jordan that was blown. Two countries (or I should say 3) are supplied with gas from Egypt - Jordan, Israel and Palestine. The Egyptian people have known for a long time that their Gov't has been selling gas to Israel and Jordan at 1/3 cost, while selling Egyptian gas to Egyptians at or above market price.

Kareem has gone to his shop in the small market 2 blocks away to check things out and clean up (dust and sand accumulation is very bad if not kept in check daily here), and his brother Ahmed and Mom went for bread this morning. There is a 5 pound limit on bread purchase, and the grocery prices have gone up. Yesterday and for the few days before, a small truck drove through the streets here with loud speakers asking people to only buy minimum amounts of essentials in order to keep prices from going up.

Right now Ahmed Shafik, the 'new' P.M. says that the news media have not been targeted during these days of protesting. It's handy to have the power to create an alternate reality I guess. Meanwhile, the head of the Al Jazeera headquarters here is still in jail and their offices have been looted and burned down.

Yesterday Kareem was in a discussion on FB to one of the many American friends he made and in the discussion, one of the Americans friends or relatives, and older American woman living in Spokane, insisted that her news was telling her that Mubarak is good, and that it is the Egyptian people who are looting and killing each other. She went on to say that she had to consult 'scripture' to see if Egyptians had the right to vote.

I suppose it is difficult for many people to have any sense of equality with Egyptians - they are non-white Arabs, and largely Muslim after all - a very frightening lot to a whole lot of people.

I am now watching a huge funeral procession in Alexandria today, for a young man who was shot and wounded several days ago and died yesterday. In the Islamic custom, the body must be buried as soon as possible after death, within 24 hours. The bodies are buried naked and wrapped in a single cotton sheet. You go to Allah as you came in, is the idea.

The sounds here have changed completely. There have been no donkey carts, no garbage pickers, no rag collectors yelling for peoples cast offs. I hear a lot of silence, except at night when I hear chatting and laughing from the groups of young men still patrolling. It is, though, much safer here than it was when this first began. People here in Cairo are very focused on Tahrir Square and know that this will be won or lost there.

I think Mubarak and his now somewhat disorganized Ministry doesn't understand that the people aren't going to give up. When you have silenced people for 30 years and they finally find their voices, why would you expect them to stop shouting? Indeed they are now not just shouting, they are talking and arguing and debating amongst each other and with foreigners like me about who should lead and how this transition should take place, and which opposition parties they trust. The Egyptian people themselves have made a transition from the first shouts to getting down to the business of democracy - namely talking and listening to each other whether or not they agree. The people of Egypt, I think, are simply waiting for the powers-that-be both in Egypt and around the world to catch up to THEM.

What I truly believe at this moment is that it is Mubarak's decision not to step down that is keeping the Egyptian people from moving forward. There is much stability here, made possible by the ordinary citizens who are patrolling, and delivering supplies, and knowing when to open their groceries and pharmacies safely so people can get what they need. The immediate willingness, and indeed sense of obligation, to share has been an interesting phenomenon to watch, and I wonder where this sensibility originated. It certainly isn't one enjoyed in other more wealthy parts of the world.

I also have now become familiar with the hugely important sense of dignity here in the Arab world. To offend a man's dignity is asking for a fight - it is to offend their entire sense of self. There has been much talk in the press in the last few days about Mubarak waiting until he can step down with his dignity intact. Let me tell you - this is not a joke.

So we wait, and watch the crowds in the square. I am so proud of them. I hope they continue to grow today, and continue to keep each other safe as they so effectively have, and I hope they grow in volume of bodies and voices in the next days and weeks until Mubarak does leave office. His obstinacy is hurting people. He must go.

I also believe it is the obligation of those who live with the essential rights - freedom of assembly, speech, and freedom of the press - to speak out loud for those who don't have it. I am not talking about the governments of free people - I am talking about the people themselves. It is your obligation to write letters, call your representatives, email each other, teach your classrooms and engage in discussion with each other whenever possible about how to spread the word that the people without these freedoms are supported.

I am thinking now of one of my favorite quotes from our beloved American activist and hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said: "The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict."

Know that I am not willing to leave Egypt without Kareem, and still hope to meet my Mom in Rome on February 17th.I am comfortable here, reporting on Facebook from my bedroom as I gather info from the sources I have at hand.

It is a bit lonely here although better since I have access to news in English (as long as the BBC and AJZ can stay on air!). For the first few days I felt like I was underwater, and felt panicked not being able to understand what people were saying on TV, and around me. It is very scary to suddenly have people shout, and have the men all run out the door with bats and knives in hand when you cannot understand what is happening.

Do not ask for stability - it hasn't done anyone here any good. Do not wish for the people to go home. Now is the time to ask yourselves the difficult questions about The Middle East and how world leaders have not only stood by, but supported these governments for their own gain while the people under the governments suffer. Now is the time to ask yourself the difficult questions about Israel, Hamas, Egypt, and Palestine and ask yourselves how and why you know for sure who the terrorists are and who the good guys are. Are you sure?

Talk to each other. Ask each other in synagogue and in the mosques and in church and in the grocery store. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of media surrounding the border between Egypt and Gaza in the next weeks and months, and a lot of brutality will, and should be, revealed having been done under this great banner of 'stability'.

As we have seen here, one movement has led directly to another from Tunisia to Jordan and this will continue as people begin to find their voices and anger and begin to ask for what is right. No governments here are now above this scrutiny by the people.

I hope to have a peaceful Saturday today, but I also hope to continue to hear angry voices shouting and chanting for what should be theirs - an Egypt for and by Egyptians!

Assalam Alaykum,
Heather


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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:17 pm

6 Sure-Fire Signs That You're a Seattle Hipster

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Feb. 17 2011

There seems to be a premium these days on a certain avenue and chic-ness of cool, to those young city folk who may very well be the leaders of art and culture. And then of course there are the outwardly visible hipsters who would like to think they are the ones who are really the driving force in art and culture.

Historically speaking, most of those musicians and visual artists who have inspired the rest of us with their original ideas lived the large part of their careers in dark obscurity. The legion of Velvet Underground fans didn't come into form, for example, until David Bowie and his ilk pimped them out. And while Jackson Pollock did enjoy some commercial success while he was still an active artist, it wasn't until the New York art-scene explosion of the 1970s that he become somewhat of a household name. Van Gogh too. Hell, Joy Division weren't widely known until much after even OMD.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest the possibility that your garden-variety hipster could, in the hopes of keeping the cool shtick up, be a little closed-minded to what is actually happening beyond the local record and thrift-clothing store.

OK, but right now, all of you reading this think that when I say "hipster" that I must talking about someone else. Not so fast . . .

You may not like it, but you are, in fact, dangerously close to hipster territory if any of the following apply to you:

1. You say things like "I'm a geek."
2. Your band has more than six members and none of them play a horn.
3. There is an animal in your band name.
4. You follow @JohnRoderick on Twitter.
5. You hang out at Big Mario's five nights a week while loudly proclaiming: "I hate this place."
6. You wear leg warmers in the summer.

Look, I get it. At one point in my youth, I too shunned TV and commercialism, drank tea at coffeehouses, and wore a French beret (the predecessor of the long black beanie worn today). I was so damn cool and left-wing. To be fair, the right wing back then was Reaganism. Not my type of "ism."

In Seattle, obviously, Capitol Hill is central to the area's hipster culture. Down in L.A., the equivalent is an area called Silver Lake. I remember in the mid-'90s that living in Hollywood was seen as passé and uncool. Silver Lake and Hollywood butt up against each other, and I would overhear back then people claiming they lived in "east" Hollywood (the eastern edge of Hollywood is nearest to Silver Lake). There IS a West Hollywood, but not until the mid-'90s was there ever an "east."

It has been a long, long time since I have been considered a hipster, and with the success of my "rock" band Guns N' Roses, those days would never return in the eyes of those who hold the keys to "Club Hip," but that was and is OK. I had kind of outgrown that need to be outwardly "anti." Besides, I had started to like going to movies, as well as going to the "cinema" to see a "film." I also started to outwardly cheer for my sports teams, as opposed to being anti-jock, wearing black socks with my low-top Converses while wearing shorts, and pretending that I couldn't jump. I'm a sellout.

Anyway, about a year ago I went to see a band at the ultra-hipster Silver Lake Lounge. I like seeing good music and I also like talking to people. (Those of you may have encountered me anywhere probably already know that particular fact about me. I'm not afraid to ask people questions about themselves.) But at the SLL this night, I was kind of left alone. No one wanted to be seen, perhaps, talking to some "rock guy," particularly one not wearing the standard-issue hipster uniform (I should've changed before I went, damn it!). No, I would be alone on this night--left to watch the music without conversation between bands. Oh, well.

But a funny thing happened as I went outside to go to my fancy and non-hipster car: A few of the people who were inside came outside to stop me. They asked if they could take a picture with me . . . but they wanted to do it quick, before any of their other hipster friends could come out and very likely shun them from the aforementioned "Club Hip."

The good news is that there is a surefire way to be broken of the hipster yoke: procreation. Yeah, even most of you who think having kids is never going to happen for you, your time is coming, and your days of being anti-commercialism and not owning a TV may very well be numbered. There is just nothing better that going to Gap Kids, you may find. Also, Dora the Explorer is pretty damn necessary, as well as all of those kid DVDs (if you want to do anything like go to the bathroom or talk on the phone to a friend, you will find the TV of paramount importance). Gnomeo and Juliet is guaranteed to get you teary-eyed. Face it: Baby Bjorns will get in the way of continuing your further development into hipsterism.

There is the issue of the aging hipster, but that's a completely different story.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110221102457/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/02/6_sure-fire_signs_that_youre_a.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:19 pm

Questions for Duff: Tell Us About Your Dog

By Duff McKagan, Tue., Feb. 22 2011

Q: Hi Duff, I would like to know what your pug's name is. I saw her on Susan's show and she is darling! We have a little Pug named Petunia, and she's so much fun and so sweet!

 Thanks,
 Suzanna Dwyer


A: Yeah, well, I feel kind of goofy answering a question about my dog. Truthfully, if it was a big dog, like the ones I used to have, I would probably feel less chick-like in my answer. But OK, here goes....

Our pug's name is Twirlz. When our girls each turned 9, they got a dog for Christmas. Mae wanted a pug. She was so scared of that whirling dervish of a dog for the first few months that--yeah, you guessed it--Susan and I ended up being the feeders, cuddlers, and walkers of Twirlz. On those walks that I did on my own (but of course, in public), I called her . . . Chopper. I couldn't have anyone hearing me say "Go potty, Twirlz" in public, now, could I?

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:21 pm

Questions for Duff: What Was Your First Time Playing Onstage Completely Sober Like?

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Feb. 24 2011

Q: What was your first time playing onstage completely sober like for you? Were you nervous? What did you do to prepare and keep yourself focused?
Thank you, CJ Gunn, Cleveland, Ohio

P.S.: I am now 21 months sober myself and you are a big reason and influence why, thank you.

A: I was so completely terrified of playing sober, that I actually for a time thought my career was over. Luckily for me, though, the Neurotic Outsiders formed and played a bunch of shows at the Viper. All those guys were sober, and they eased me into it. I was so totally stunned by how much easier and natural it was without the hindrance of an inebriant. I could tap into my animalistic self much better.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110226083305/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/02/questions_for_duff_what_was_yo.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:22 pm

Questions for Duff: How Do You Keep That Spark and Connection With Your Wife Lit?

By Duff McKagan, Fri., Feb. 25 2011

Q. I'm curious to know . . . with your busy tour schedule and your wife having her business and you both having children, how do you manage to stay connected as partners? If you have date night, what are some of the fun ideas you can share to keep that spark and connection lit? Without getting too personal, of course?

A: Yeah, we have date night. Let's just say that lingerie and "how to" videos are key in cutting that fact that we have kids and homework and play dates and all of that stuff. You've got to keep it sexy, San Diego!

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:29 pm

Questions for Duff: Have You Ever Seen Someone With a Portrait Tattoo of Yourself?

By Duff McKagan, Mon., Feb. 28 2011

Q. Have you ever seen someone with a portrait tattoo of yourself? How did you feel about that?

Cheers, Liam

A: I have seen a few. It is so utterly surreal if you are me. I mean, can you imagine? In the end, I am completely honored.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110305132620/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/02/questions_for_duff_have_you_ev.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:30 pm

Questions for Duff: If One of Your Daughters Dated a Guy Like You, How Would You React?

By Duff McKagan, Tue., Mar. 1 2011

Q. Hi Duff! I was wondering, if one day one of your daughters dated a guy, maybe a musician like you when you were in your 20s (and maybe with the same vices and bad habits), how would you react? And what would you say to her?

Laura

A: Even though I was perceived as somewhat of a rebel and whatnot in my 20s, I WAS still a good guy. But I get your point. From what I know of the boys at her school thus far, they are pretty damn scared of me. I hope to keep it that way. Of course, if I start shutting my daughters down on whom they date or whatever, it will just cause them to go other directions (away from me). For now, I just cross my fingers and plug my ears!

https://web.archive.org/web/20110306210704/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/03/questions_for_duff_if_one_of_y.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:31 pm

Questions for Duff: What's Your High Score on Guns N' Roses Pinball?

By Duff McKagan, Wed., Mar. 2 2011

Q. Duff, what is your high score on Guns N' Roses pinball? GNR Pinball is one of the top pinball machines of the '90s, and is still highly rated among today's pinball circles. Can you tell us a couple cool factoids about the pinball machine from your unique view? Do you still own one?

Will

A: I do own one, but that shit never worked for me. I suppose one day I should get it fixed. The only thing that is kind of funny to me about the machine was when we went in to record the "sound bites" for the game. My "ah, dude" was just an outtake that we decided to keep for the game itself.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110305031910/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/03/questions_for_duff_whats_your.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:33 pm

Questions for Duff: Any Good New Music or Hidden Gems You Think I Would Like?

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Mar. 3 2011

Q. Hi Duff! I got some iTunes credit at Xmas and I thought you might be able to recommend some good new music so that I can put it to good use? I usually listen to rock and punk styles of music, so what do you think--any good new music or hidden gems you think I would like?

Thanks! Chloe

A: Anything by Glasvegas. Anything by Manic Street Preachers. Get the Germs collection (it's called MIA). Killing Joke's "Requiem." Black Flag's My War. And of course, the new Loaded record!

https://web.archive.org/web/20110306030415/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/03/questions_for_duff_any_good_ne.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:39 pm

A Meeting of the Minds

By Duff McKagan, Fri., Mar. 4 2011

Many of you readers of this column are also quite active in the comment area. If you are one of those people, then no doubt you are probably keenly aware of a gentleman who posts under the screen name "AxlReznor."

AxlRexnor can at times post difficult retorts that either fly in the face of an article's stated point, or stun you with a certain stark wise-assiness. But for sure, he always posts with thought and intense intelligence. It can be intimidating.

I remember the first time I became aware of this guy. It was on a Velvet Revolver fan forum, at the very beginning of the band's formation. I had never before this gone to any forums, and was caught unawares of the ridicule and insanity that an anonymous public can pile onto a rock band. AxlReznor was there then . . . and his screen name alone intrigued me. His critical posts back then always seemed to hit the mark--whether I liked it or not.

I have since met this dude. Sometime in 2004 or 2005, I was talking with some fans after a show somewhere in England, when a tall fella came up to me and suddenly claimed that he was AxlReznor. I flinched a bit. Judging from all his posts, I wasn't sure if he was quite sane or not. Was he going to pull a knife? Was he going to start slagging me off in public? No. He was just a nice guy--who just happens to like questioning things . . . in general. Not just rock bands, but EVERYTHING.

I am in Birmingham, England, this weekend, and as it happens I am sitting right now having a coffee with one Anthony Hillman (AxlReznor), his fiancee Katy (she posts as "Katy(just me)"), and Sophia (she posts as "Sophia Shaikh"). I have my computer. I thought it would be kind of cool for him and I to try to write this column together. In a way, just "riff" back and forth. So here it goes.

AR: It seems that Duff had the same thoughts as I did when we first met each other in person. After so many years of posting on the Velvet Revolver, sometimes being less than complimentary, I was wondering how my introducing myself would go down. Would he want to kick my ass for some of the things that I'd said?

The first clue that my impressions were completely off was when I had to wait in the queue for far longer than I liked, because Duff was actually taking time to chat with everybody. "What is this?" I was thinking, "he's not supposed to take an interest! He's a rock star! He's supposed to sign whatever is put in front of him and all, but tell them to fuck off and move onto the next person in the conveyor belt!" But no, he genuinely took an interest in chatting with and finding out about his fans. And, I quickly discovered, was more than willing to put up with whatever criticisms that I had thrown his way over the years . . . even the ones where in retrospect I feel I have gone too far.

Over the years since, we have met on various other occasions whenever he was in town with his band Loaded, and have struck up a friendship that seemed completely unlikely a few short years ago. In a shocking twist, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Duff (and everybody else from Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver), because without this music I would have never met the woman who is now my future wife . . . our first contact was arguing with each other on the Velvet Revolver forum, funnily enough.

Duff: OK, now the niceties have been served here, I am going to ask a few pointed questions . . . just to maybe highlight how different our tastes are:

Top 5 movies:

AR's choices--
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The Matrix
The Dark Knight
Gladiator
Star Wars


Duff's choices--
The Godfather
Citizen Kane
The Wrong Man (Hitchcock)
No Country for Old Men
Scarface


Books:

AR--
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
The Twilight Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
Watchmen by Alan Moore (it's a comic, but it was in Time's list of the top novels of the 20th century . . . if they say it counts, so do I).

Duff--
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
From Beirut to Jerusalem, Thomas Friedman
The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair

Musical Artists:

AR--
Guns N' Roses
Nine Inch Nails (now we've got the obvious out of the way)
Tool
Pearl Jam
The Dresden Dolls (this will change, but I've been listening to them so much lately I have to mention them).

Duff (at the moment)--
Black Flag
Queen
Prince
Germs
Zeppelin

Top things that bother you:

AR--
Crowds (I often have to duck into a coffee shop in busy shopping centres to stop myself having a panic attack)
People who only listen to rock, and believe anything else is not really music
People who only like music that isn't popular/in the charts (different extremes of the same thing)
Having to not say what I think when a customer is being an unreasonable little bitch
My favourite songs in commercials (yes, I went there)

Duff--
People asking me if VR has a new singer.
People asking me when "GNR is getting back together."
People not knowing to take off their belts and shoes at airport security (shit, my DAUGHTERS know to do that!)
Politicians
Corporate greed

The thing you missed out on, the year you were born:

AR--
I missed the Jackson 5/Michael Jackson Victory Tour.

Duff--
I missed the Bay of Pigs conflict.( by a year)

I forgot to mention, that Anthony is 26, and I, 20 years his senior.

I am a young older-guy.

He? A grumpy, young older-guy!

https://web.archive.org/web/20110306030404/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/03/a_meeting_of_the_minds.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:46 pm

Goodbye to Mike Starr, and the Story of My First Bass

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Mar. 10 2011

Before I get to my planned post, I want to take a moment to express how sorry I am for the family and friends of former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr. Your loss must be suffocating in scope. A brother lost much, much too soon.

In my ongoing exploration of human interaction, through my stalwart backers at Seattle Weekly, it has become somewhat eye-opening to me what some of you have sent to me as questions that you seek my end of the query on. My answers to some of these are often snide or meant for a chuckle, but on other, more serious subjects, I hope that I have at least been a little helpful, as opposed to a pain in the butt!

It's fun for me too, to sort of find out things about myself in a bit more brutal detail (cause I gotta be honest with you guys, right?). Have fun, guys, and ask anything you want--well, at least ask those things that you think I may answer. The less about my personal experiences with old rock-band members, the better! If they want to tell their own story, fine. But it is not my place to break a confidence or trust. These are facets of life that I hold to a high benchmark.

With that in mind, here's the first of several questions I will answer this week:

How did you get the money to buy your first bass guitar? --Anonymous

Duff: I started pretty young, and hence I was still of the age to have a paper route when I first fixed my eyes upon a used Gibson SG bass guitar. I had my older brother's Gretsch six-string at home, and so with a bass, I thought, I could just complete my full complement of guitars for life (50 guitars later, I still haven't finished this quest!). Week by week, I saved up the $125 to get that Gibson . . . and it was the BEST feeling ever. It instilled a work/reward ethic that I still adhere to.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110315081340/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/03/goodbye_to_mike_starr_and_the.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:48 pm

Question for Duff: What Should I Do About This Guy Punking My Kid on Facebook?

By Duff McKagan, Fri., Mar. 11 2011

Q: Hey, Duff: What do you suggest I do to catch the kid who has set up a Facebook page pretending to be my 11-year-old son? What do you suggest I do once I have caught the little shit? I know what I would like to do, so please be reasonable! Thanks! --Holly

Duff: Report them to Facebook and put in a claim that the profile is not legit. It may take a couple of days, but Facebook is pretty darn good about this type of stuff. Once you find out who the kid is? Call his parents!

https://web.archive.org/web/20110314063700/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/03/question_for_duff_what_should.php
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:50 pm

Question for Duff: Will You Tell Me One of Those Secrets You Won't Even Tell Your Wife?

By Duff McKagan, Mon., Mar. 14 2011

Q: Hey, Duff: You said once you still keep some secrets with GN'R members that you have never even told your wife (and she's the one you go to bed with every night). Will you tell some of them in your book?! Or at least tell me?! --Igan

Duff: Yes, there are things about my past bands--and otherwise--that I haven't told anyone, including my wife. There are a few reasons for this:

1. Why tell my wife maybe something that could gross her out? Or also, anger issues that I have since dealt with handily. I don't want to frighten my dear wife . . . and a lot of these stories would.

2. I would never, EVER betray confidences with people who have entrusted them with me. Bands are a place where emotions get pushed to the top so often--and reactions to those emotions and breakthroughs because of them have been witnessed by me. Breakthroughs are not always good and fraught with relief. They can be searingly jagged. A friend helps another friend in those times. Period.

3. I have written a book that examines MY part in things. It would be wholly unfair, in my opinion, to make a few bucks off someone without giving them a chance for rebuttal within those same pages. They didn't ask to be put in MY book. Make sense?

4. Hmmm. #3 is not a bad idea for another and largely different book!

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:51 pm

Writing a Great Song Is No Longer Enough

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Mar. 17 2011

As I write this, I'm sitting in the exit-row seat of a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas. Thursday afternoon I will be speaking about the business of music to musicians and perhaps some industry types who are maybe interested in what I have to say, and the angle in which I shall try to deliver it all. But the real reason for my trip is that I will be playing my first public gig with my band Loaded since December 19, 2009.

The South-by-Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) started in 1987, and used to be primarily ALL about unsigned bands making their way to Austin in hopes of securing a record deal with the many labels who would also flock to that city hoping to catch a rising star. That made a bunch of sense for the music-business model that was in place at the time.

These days, the whole scope and breadth of the commercial side of music has observed a radical sea change. SXSW has changed along with it, and now the focus down there seems to be on news frontiers in digital music, film, and all things Information Age. The subject that I will be speaking on is the ever-changing field which a touring and recording band must adapt to. Most of the younger bands I know about have become mini-geniuses at things like inventory control, Tune-Core, and the price of gasoline in different regions of the country. You have to be smart and have the ability to adapt quickly these days, as WELL as write a great song.

Back in the 1980s, when I got my first major-label deal, I simply couldn't have cared less about how everything worked in a business sense. It all seemed so massive and beyond my scope of knowledge that I just sort of shut down intellectually and turned a blind eye to some really important things. I didn't realize that, as a principal business owner in GNR Inc., I was paying everyone who worked for us, and that they should have provided me with sober and clear-cut reportage of our growing empire. Luckily--and it was only by the fact that we sort of ruled by fear--no one really ripped us off. Sure, we overspent and were not that smart about our personal dough--but in the end, no one who worked for us blatantly stole. They could have.

Our Loaded gig Friday at the Austin Music Hall is a perfect example of how things are changing in my industry. Partnerships with outside sources are now just a personally agreeable way to make touring affordable. Monster Energy Drink is sponsoring the gig, and also sponsoring a bunch of our tour. It was mutually agreeable to me because Monster just wants to be associated with certain rock bands. They don't want you to overtly advertise or publicly pimp their product. It is just more of a word-of-mouth thing that seems to work.

Monster is by no means the only company doing this sort of thing. Chevy and Ford support a lot of country acts. Toyota and Coca-Cola are behind a ton of the larger rock and pop artists. Clothing companies are in on this thing too, and as long as it doesn't rub the fan in some sort of cheesy sales pitch, I certainly don't see the harm for a number of reasons:

1. Artists aren't making the money from records any more. Period.

2. Fans have less money to spend on T-shirts and such these days (hence, artists are not able to use that income to help offset tour costs).

3. I drink the SHIT out of energy drinks, so what the hell. Monster is a PERFECT partner for my band.

AxlReznor (a constant, if not sometimes cynical, commenter to this column) and I got into a fairly lengthy conversation about this stuff when he and I met in the UK a couple of weeks back. He was dead-set against this sort of tour-sponsorship thing. When I started to explain to him how much it costs to tour, and the dwindling revenue streams, he suddenly rose in his seat and partially saw the light. Even the most ardent "anti-corporation" fan like him understands the economics, and suddenly things just seem less offensive and crass. It's not as if I or my band is out there suddenly hawking condoms or jeans.

These are indeed changing times in my industry, and everywhere for that matter. I love to tour and play music live. There are people who still love to see live music as much as they can. More and more, there will be new ways for different industries to marry and help each other. The ultimate winner, I believe, will be the fan.

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:54 pm

Try, a Short Story By Duff McKagan

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Mar. 24 2011

I have yet to write a fictional short story for Seattle Weekly. But in my quest for new and interesting ways to engage readers, I thought it would be sort of different to start a story, and see where it leads. I never know ahead of time what might come out when I write from week-to-week, and my editor, Chris Kornelis, encouraged this latest idea. If some of you want to take a stab at trying to add to this piece, please do.

* * * * *
She sensed that this was the point . . . the very stark moment that she had lost him. He hadn't come home for three days. The sheriff had stopped coming by to check for news.

His drunken yet cheerful voice gone--a drunk who was dampening down his intellect from the outside world--James was too smart for this place and its noise.

James had crossed the river bridge to the other side of town, a crossing he made to escape into a seedier life. It was a place where few would inquire about his intentions in this life, where no one cared what he was going to do with all of his credentials and intellect. No, the people on this side of the tracks would leave him be with his drink; unquestioned and intoxicated.

He would bring extra bottles over that river bridge, and sometimes buy folks at the bar a shot of their poison. He had no interest in making friends. But he knew this was the kind of favor that kept a mouth from wagging. The locals obliged, and the sight of James passed out in the gutter, or in the corner of the last watering hole of his evening, was met without even a whisper.

His liver would not work so well anymore, and his kidneys rebelled--causing his back to ache when he pissed. When the chance came to puke, and there was scant booze around, James would drink back up the fleeing fluid from his belly. He convinced himself that made sense.

Melanie wanted James to change his ways. To redirect his downward spiral into an abyss that would surely end with an early grave. Melanie knew James long before the problem had grown this bad. Sure, he drank then too--but not with the bad intention that it now had. He loved her, there was no doubt of that. But he couldn't say the same about himself. All that everyone else had expected of him was never attained. And he never wanted it. Ever. Any of it.

James was once a good-looking man, and he and Melanie were a couple whom others envied. They had the world in their back pocket, and youth was rarely better served. Melanie kept her beauty, but lines now appeared prematurely on her face, and her neck was habitually arched forward from worry and stress and heartache. James hated himself even more for this fact.

He had tried to quit many times. The shakes and panic would come in waves when he tried. His bowels would loosen and his skin would crawl as if a fire lay just beneath the surface. He had no one to go to for help. By now all of his friends had either died from the sickness or moved far, far away. Melanie and James had no family that they knew of. They were alone. He was alone. She was alone. They never thought that it would get this far. Those who had expected so much of James early on had long since abandoned all hope and fellowship.

They tried everything. In those days, a doctor would simply suggest sending James to an institution for the mentally infirm. James would not. Melanie too tried with the traveling salesmen of potions and medicinal elixirs. They, in their one-horse-drawn buggy, with gaudy signs telling of "cure-alls" and opium for "frontier boredom" and sunburn.

Melanie was a good customer, and salesmen sought her out. They kept coming well after James had given up on their snake oil.

The footbridge across the river was new. On one side lay the fertile fruit-crop fields fed by melted snow from the mountains 20 miles west. But on the east side of the river, the desert crept all the way to its edge, choking all hope of a crop or shade. It was a good place to put all of the saloons that were recently banned by the civic community in the west-side town of Natachee. The saloons were the perfect place for James to push back on his gift. He was too smart for this life, his mind and soul were just too aware of the dark things that man was capable of. He felt he could no longer do anything to protect Melanie from the evils.

Melanie slept with another man just after she and James were married; just after she lost her baby in its second term; just after they had to cut her inside, to save her life, but ending her ability to ever give one again herself.

James didn't give up. He said there were plenty of babies that they could give a home to, babies whose parents had perished in a mountain pass crossing, perhaps, or the unmentionable, a baby whose mother had become pregnant out of wedlock. Shame was too oppressive back then.

But Melanie couldn't bring herself to think of not having a baby of her own. And by the time the idea did start to come around to her, James was too far gone.

James kept thinking of the story his mother used to tell him as a child about a frog who lived at the bottom of a well. The frog was so very happy with life, what with plenty of water, just enough bugs, and a little bit of sunlight each day. A few times a day, a bucket would come down, but other than that, life was divine for this frog. But one day he was scooped up by this bucket. When he got to the top, the frog was dumped out gently onto the ground. "Oh, my!" said the frog. He did not realize that up here there was sunshine ALL the day long, and more bugs than he could ever want, and other frogs to talk with.

James crossed the river again to the east.

She would mutter to herself until she was hoarse: "Try, James. Try. Try. Just try," until she cried herself to sleep.

A frog croaked out in the moonlight. Tomorrow there could be sun. If it is not too late.

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:56 pm

Come Forth, a Short Story by Duff McKagan

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Mar. 31 2011

James was born into the famine. The blight on the potato crop--while affecting all of Europe in an economic fashion--laid waste to Ireland and its inhabitants.

James' dad left his mother to fend for herself and the five hungry children, none older than 12 years. As her physical health started to fade, her mental stability began to slip. Slowly at first, and somehow in check. When she started to put glue in the children's nose to "keep out the devil," the orphanage came. James' mother leapt from the cliffs above Belfast soon after.

The children were spread out all across Ireland, and instantly lost all contact. James' soul ached and his heart was broken into a seemingly unmendable state. He couldn't keep down any food. Well, what food there was anyway. The orphanage he was sent to--while probably doing their best--could only manage a thin soup and stale bread twice a day. It was all that charity could afford. So many broken homes. So much hunger. So much death. Despair, to the breaking point.

A story began to spread around those orphanages, about boats that could take you to America. There was plenty of food and sun, and no blight on any crop. There was gold in the mountains, and silver in the streams. A land teeming with anything and everything. James was not immune to these stories, and soon he began a plot with another boy to forge a check from the Church. James was too smart, even at the age of 13, to ever get caught.

James devised a plan whereas at night he would sneak into the office of the orphanage and copy a check out of the book of debt notes made for the bank. He knew that he had a steady hand. He also had heard of pubs down in town that would cash checks with no proof or documentation of their validity. The pub-owners would simply take a cut.

James' knowledge of the outside world was informed by jeers of "CAT-LICKER" from the vacationing English kids, and bullies at school calling him unwanted. He would day-dream of one day having a big family of his own, and he would NEVER leave them... never EVER leave.

He grew to despise something called the "Church of England." They seemed to be the ones behind the growing discontent with Catholics like him. But James was not a large boy, and instead, would win his daily battles by outsmarting the bullies and blowhards. When they yelled and jeered he would silently plot. One day, before the town was awake, he went to every house and put finely crushed glass into the milk bottles that sat on their porches. James had kept a watchful eye of who lived where. Those bully-boys didn't come around for more than a week. Nothing could be proved. No one took a fall for it. James picked up steam.

The Protestant churches seemed to have more luster to them. The church-goers had fine horses and tailored clothes. James figured that this Church of England must have a whole lot of money, and surely wouldn't notice if a few hundred pounds went missing. Or at least he would be safely on a New York-bound boat by then. His forged check would have the carefully hand-stenciled "Bank of England - in trusted care and erstwhile prudence of the Church of England" emblazoned across it. Pub keepers wouldn't even blink twice at James' crafty hand.

James never let on to anyone, his brilliant plan. His mother once told, "Don't ever let your tongue cut your throat"...and as grand as a station that he held every word that he remembered her saying, James lived by this rule. He wrote the check for 200 British Pounds, and played a mute when he broke out of the orphanage, and made his way to the bustling town of Dublin.

The docks in Dublin were bustling with the hum of urgency, commerce, and thuggery. James had heard to be very careful down there when looking for a boat to buy fare to America. There were bands of roaming hulligans who would abscond with young men, to be slave deck-hands on sea-going ships.

He was going to find his boat, and then cash his check to buy the fare. He had forged a birth certificate that gave his age at seventeen. James Joseph Harrington cashed his check for a 10-Pound fee at the pub, and bought his ticket in steerage class for another 20 Pounds. He was on his way now. To the land of plenty, away from this nightmare of a life. He would come back rich, and find his brother and sister. The boat weighed anchor, and James' heart skipped a beat.

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:58 pm

The Seattle Sound(s)

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Apr. 7 2011

Leading up to next week's release of The Taking, the new record from my band, Loaded, I've been put once more through the endless gauntlet of music-press and rock-radio interviews. I'm not complaining. I suppose there would be a need for a modicum of worry if the interview requests suddenly waned.

Next week also brings to public display a new installment at the Experience Music Project here in Seattle, Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses. My editor here at the Weekly asked me if I could somehow tie these two things together in one single column (Nirvana/EMP, and Loaded/The Taking). I actually think I can. It goes like this:

In doing all of this press for my new record, one constant theme has arisen from almost every interviewer: "This new Loaded record sounds very Seattle." The interviewers then go on to ask me if, by my living back in Seattle, this has given the new Loaded song-making process a Northwest slant. "Uh, no," I answer. I've lived back in Seattle since '93.

One thing that has struck me as obvious ever since I started listening to the early punk-rock singles and records that were coming from places outside of Seattle is that it was totally evident that our wet and cold environs here in the Northwest totally influenced the sound of its rock bands. We play in cold basements with jackets and hats on. The strings are damp. The guitar and drums are made of wood, which is also damp. The paper-speakers in the amp-cabinets are damp. We are playing music with LAYERS on! This makes the actual act of playing much more uncomfortable and a lot less fluid. The "Seattle Sound" is a by-product of our environment. Literally.

When I moved to L.A in 1984, I noticed gear just plain sounded different. I'm not kidding.

Another big difference that I noticed outside of Seattle was a real sense of competition between bands that were playing on the same bill or in the same "scene." In Seattle, there was just really none of that. Bands would loan each other gear and the use of a rehearsal basement and van or pickup for getting to gigs. Musical ideas up here were thought to be a thing to share, not to closet. This really led to a identifiable "sound" of sorts.

I'm not quite sure just why Nirvana has become arguably the most beloved band from this era that made the "Seattle Sound" famous. Alice In Chains were among the first of that era, and have withstood the test of time (and . . . death). Soundgarden pushed the edges of musicianship to the edges of genius, and are seemingly back. Pearl Jam have been the clarion-steady thing--always selling out arenas everywhere they go (no matter if there is a current "radio song" or not). The Melvins? Mudhoney?

This Loaded effort can also be associated with the Seattle sound and some of the aforementioned bands in that it was produced by a fella by the name of Terry Date. Terry produced or recorded a whole slew of these early demos and records, and he produced our new Loaded record. The studio is the same, too (Studio X nee Bad Animals). The way he mikes-up drums and guitar cabinets is the same. The way he pushes a vocal through on his mixes is the same. Dry and hard and tough, and without bluster or shine. Just brutal. In other words: the same old Terry Date. He sorta rules.

So what does the "Seattle Sound" mean today? If you are over, say, 35 years old, well then you probably equate it to these bands above. But one of the great things that happens up here is a change of identity, a constant evolution. Today the "Seattle Sound" is being defined by alt-folks, the likes of Fleet Foxes and The Head and the Heart. And what about bands like Death Cab? They sort of scrubbed the "old guard" rock out of this town. Not in a bad way either. DCFC are fuckin' genius!

I know that I am bouncing around a bit here, and that's just the point. This town has really done a fine job of providing a variety of musical identities. And yes, I didn't even get to the Sonics, Hendrix, Heart, or Queensryche! . . . heh, heh . . or The Fartz.

The Nirvana exhibit is a fitting time capsule of one of the sounds that has defined Seattle. But there have been many sounds that have defined this great musical city.

Loaded will be playing two upcoming gigs in Seattle. At Easy Street Records on Mercer on National Record Store Day (April 16), and a record-release party at Neumos on April 23. The gig on the 23rd will include an auction of rock and sports and fishing items of greatness, to benefit the VA Puget Sound Health Care System.

Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses opens April 16 at the Experience Music Project.


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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:00 pm

Dear Duff: Do You Think the Technology Age Will Hurt Future Generations of Rockers?

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Apr. 14 2011

Q: Hey Duff: Do you think that the Technology Age will hurt future generations of rock musicians? I read so many stories of guys like Kurt Cobain who had their guitar and little other worldly possessions, and it's no wonder to me how they became such accomplished players when they devoted most of their waking hours to their craft. But now that almost every kid has a computer with an Internet connection, if not a gaming console (or three), there are so many more outlets for time consumption than there were when you were coming up.
-- Kerry Frye, Seattle

Duff: Yeah, I've thought the exact same thing before. That is, until I heard my nephew's band recently (I'm not trying to pimp his band or embarrass him, so I won't name which nephew or what the name of the band is).

Here is a kid that seemed to be the epitome of what the rest of us grown-ups would think to be a technology-drained youth. He grew up with a computer and video games always at his fingertips. A good kid to be sure, but a REAL guitar player? I thought it couldn't be possible.

Rumor in our family was that he was indeed in the basement, playing his guitar "ALL of the time." Right, I thought to myself . . . between his video-gaming, web-browsing, and YouTubing, this kid didn't stand a chance.

A couple of months ago, I was in a situation where my nephew had a captive audience to play his new band's CD for. I gripped for what I surely thought was going to be sub-par. I mean, right? These kids didn't SUFFER for their craft like we of my generation did. Oh, I was really wrong. ALL of the kids in his band are top-notch players. The songs were REALLY good. I felt like such a heel.

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:03 pm

Dear Duff: What's the Future of the Music Business?

By Duff McKagan, Fri., Apr. 15 2011

Dear Duff: You're renowned not only as a musician, but recently as a business insider who gets "the biz." So how will musicians make a living "in the future" (i.e. now)? It's interesting to see you releasing an "album" (last quotes, I swear) rather than some kind of multimedia/socially networked/available-for-free expression of your art. Recently, I've been looking up your playlists scattered around the web, and making Pandora playlists. I personally would rather listen to your recommended influential music than many new albums released nowadays. Is there a way to make that pay? Then again, sometimes I just gotta crank Appetite in my car and drive. What's the future of the music business?
Best,

-- Rob Selover

Duff: I haven't got the slightest fucking notion!

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:05 pm

Hey, Duff: Why Are American Talk Shows On So Late?

By Duff McKagan, Wed., Apr. 20 2011

Hey, Duff: Why are American talk shows on so late?
-- Holly Moore

Duff: Well, Holly, that is a good question, and I would hazard to guess that back when late-night TV started, it was a time when television as a medium as a whole was new.

America has never been a hotbed for humor and sex liberties. We were founded by some serious right-wing religious zealots back in the 1600s, and things haven't changed much. By the time that television came around, any sort of off-color shows were thought better to have been shown at 11:30 p.m. Well after the kids and the holy-rollers went to bed.

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:08 pm

A Walk Back Home

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Apr. 21 2011

Going back in time is just not a thing I spend a lot of time doing. Nor is keeping "current" with everything around me something that I strive for. I have kids, so that naturally keeps a parent's headspace in the here and now. I have had "new" rock bands over the last 15 years, too, and this keeps my striving for a current musical "voice" somewhat relevant, I hope. Or is that it?

Last Friday, I was invited to the opening of the new Nirvana exhibit at the EMP here in Seattle. I am a fan of the band, and understand and totally respect the sheer weight that the band had (duh). But I am one of those guys who has never been into seeing a guitar or drum kit or item of clothing that some historical rock artist played or wore. That kind of stuff just doesn't have much parity to the live rock experience for me. So in saying that, I wasn't quite sure just why in fact I found myself in my car driving down to the EMP during rush hour last week.

Seeing a band live has always been the "thing" for me. When I was young, and music was either on the 12" or 7" vinyl format, finding a new band at the record store was just too damn exciting. Punk rock had a young and small-but-mighty little scene in Seattle. Flyers on telephone poles around town announced whenever and wherever there were gigs. Often times, I would buy a single by some band, and I would see them play a show downtown somewhere within the same month or two. There was no Internet. There were no cell phones. It was all word-of-mouth and what you might read in some rare but hard-won fanzine like Maximum Rock 'n' Roll or Punk or Sniffin' Glue.

I kind of forget about this time. Well, I mean, that era still does everything for me in the most base way. I think of that energy then, and it still pushes me on to this day. In playing live shows, writing songs, being a dad, being a husband. "Punk Rock" to me is just truly about being honest, upstanding, and virtuous. Period.

So I walk in the EMP. In front of me is a stage where various dignitaries and financial backers are speaking about the exhibit. They are about to unveil it at any moment. I'm just kind of standing there, and I suddenly notice that the whole walk-through Nirvana exhibit is to my left. Empty. No one has gone through yet. I make my way over as I feel an odd pull.

On the wall is a display of records that Kurt or Krist or Dave all probably listened to in the early 80s: Black Flag's My War and the Germs' GI, among others. The same records that I listened to. Seeing those record covers on the wall brought back amazing memories.

On another wall was a sort of tapestry made from all of those local punk-rock flyers that I also have in a box somewhere in my attic. If those records were the soundtrack of my youth, then those flyers were the artwork that informed my young visual journey. An absolutely stunning moment there, suddenly, and out of nowhere there at the EMP, I was transported back in time.

I feel so damn fortunate to be playing gigs to this day. Those experiences in my youth still inform my whole being. Every time I get on a stage, I suddenly and instantly turn into a seething and drooling punker. I'm the luckiest man in the world to have had those early imprints that filled my cupeth to overflow.

I came out of that exhibit, and there was Ben Sheppard and Kim Thayil. Two friends that I know share a lot of the same experiences from our youth. Those dudes are still as real as it gets because of it. I was glad to see some guys right then and there who could somehow bring me back to the present . . . without talking about the past.

Have you ever just had one of those days, where you are just plain glad it happened? That was my day last Friday. Punk rock is alive and well on the insides of your author. Long live!

2011.MM.DD - Seattle Weekly - Reverb (Duff's column) Dufffa11

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:12 pm

Dear Duff: Is There a Band Playing Today That Sounds Like the Fastbacks???

By Duff McKagan, Fri., Apr. 22 2011

Hi, Duff !!!: How was your experience in the Fastbacks? Are there any new punk-rock bands that sound like they did? Thank you !!!!
-- Daniella

Duff: First off, Daniella: My experience in the Fastbacks was indeed killer and definitely influenced the rest of my career to this day. And, no, there really can be no band that can ever be quite like the Fastbacks. They were just so damn unique and off-beat.

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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:21 pm

Cinema Verite and Debunking the Myth of American Innocence

By Duff McKagan, Thu., Apr. 28 2011

I am a product of the '70s. To this day, a lot of how I think and act out on different scenarios are informed by the barrage of childhood imprints that happened during that decade. FM radio. The Vietnam War. Punk rock. The Nixon impeachment. PBS television.

Television, for me as a kid, was not at all the babysitter it is now; there just weren't that many good shows and only five channels back then: CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, and a local channel that played reruns of older shows. Going outside was just a funner and better option then.

Daytime network TV was filled with soap operas, much as it is now. But there were some forward-thinking exceptions in the day, like the weirder-than-weird Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Nighttime network TV was just then experimenting with the "mini-series" concept--great events like Roots, Rich Man, Poor Man, and The Thorn Birds came to form in this arena.

But PBS was always the sort of go-to place if you wanted something different. I guess it kind of still is, but there are just so many channels now that PBS just kind of gets thrown into the drone and hum of it all. But in the 1970s, Monty Python, Benny Hill, and The Saint were all very exotic TV shows. A chance to really escape to places with a different humor, or simply a different accent than our American one.

Just this month, HBO has released a new full-length movie called Cinema Verite, starring Diane Lane and Tim Robbins. The producers of HBO have decided to sort of re-examine a 10-part documentary that PBS released in 1973 called An American Family. The original documentary planted a camera crew inside the home of a rich, seemingly decaying, Santa Barbara, California family. It was supposed to expose the viewer to the REAL America "behind closed doors." The first reality show, one could say.

I remember the TV event being something of shock to the American system back then. But at the age of 9 or so, I was obviously too young to really be able to understand the documentary and its multilayered complexities. From the outside, Bill and Patricia Loud and their kids (aged 16 to 21) seemed like a West Coast counterpart to the Kennedy's Camelot: rich, good looking, and seemingly very happy. In reality, Bill was having numerous affairs, Pat was drinking herself into a dark and lonely corner, and the oldest son Lance was celebrating his homosexuality on camera, as his parents put on blinders to it all. Really quite fascinating.

The late 1960s and early '70s was a time in America when the innocence of the smiling and tanned superpower nation finally woke up and smelled the napalm which it was socially mired in. If you weren't around yet to understand the transformation of the '70s, catch HBO's Cinema Verite for a peek inside.

The interesting inside view that Cinema Verite shows is how the lead producer of An American Family probably manipulated the situation with the Loud family to get as much drama as possible.

You must understand that this documentary was meant to be observation in its purest form, and the camera crew and producers were supposed to be an invisible element inside the home and in the Loud family in general. The producer may have done things like push Pat to ask Bill for a divorce on camera, and perhaps even pushed Lance to act as gay as possible when the cameras were rolling.

We all know these days that "reality shows" are often far from "real," but back when An American Family began to air, the Loud family went into complete shock at what they saw.

I don't usually give movie reviews here in this space, but this HBO film really got me thinking, and gave me some scope and history to real situations being filmed on TV these days.

Enjoy!

https://web.archive.org/web/20110501131810/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/04/duff_mckagan_cinema_verite.php
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2011.MM.DD - Seattle Weekly - Reverb (Duff's column) Empty Re: 2011.MM.DD - Seattle Weekly - Reverb (Duff's column)

Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:23 pm

Can We Now Get Back to Being Human?

By Duff McKagan, Thu., May 5 2011

By now there is scant little that I could possibly add to the actual detail of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. Well, nothing at least that hasn't been said or printed hundreds of times by now.

This column of mine started a couple of years ago with me writing from a more personal slant. I write about things like mountain climbing, rock tours, being a dad, and flexing the fact that I am a badass (in spite of the fact that my wife always wants me to get a gallon of milk on my way home--even though I may very well be on my damn Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle).

I've been getting away from some of these personal stories in the last few months. Sometimes it is because I have been too busy. Other times because I just don't feel that I have anything of substance to offer that particular week.

I received an e-mail on my Blackberry Sunday night from a friend, who insisted that I urgently turn on CNN. I did. When the screen flashed a message stating that "OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD." I was completely awestruck and silenced. My wife and two daughters gathered around me, and together we witnessed this story unfold. As a family. My now 10- and 13-year-old girls will never really know of the dire concerns I had about their safety and future nine and a half years ago when 9/11 happened.

I woke up at 7 a.m. PST on the morning of September 11, 2001. I was looking forward to starting a new semester at Seattle University the following week, and with two babies at home, I was probably one of the happiest and most content men on this planet. Things were just plain good for me.

Like every morning before and since, I have either CNN on the TV or BBC News on the radio. This particular morning, CNN's Headline News was on as I was making coffee.

The news usually is just a way to start the day somewhat informed for me, but that morning, there was a strange story on about a small plane that crashed into one of New York's Twin Towers. What? Well, they WERE very tall, and aviation accidents DO happen. But THIS? Right in the middle of Manhattan?! I sat down to watch.

The next thing that we all saw on TV was the horrible sight of a massive passenger plane slamming into the second tower. With no previous experience of this kind of thing happening before in history, the newscasters were left stunned and speechless, and my brain just could not comprehend what the hell was going on. I sat there in my living room, silently locked on to the television.

The following reports of the Pentagon attack and the plane going down in a field in Pennsylvania quickly illuminated the facts that the U.S. was under a terrorist attack. For what act? And, by whom?

All I could think of was to get my family safe.

As all the facts about Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda started to get dispersed to all of the news agencies, and all the facts about people jumping from the higher floors of the towers, and then the Twin Towers imploding to the ground with all the innocent people inside, and the firefighters trying to rescue them . . . I sat and tried to figure some of this shit out. 10 years later, I am still trying to figure this shit out.

In the two weeks that followed, I started into a sort of downward spiral that I believe all of America experienced as a collective. WE as a people, we realized, were not our government's foreign policy. WE as a people, had no interest in "empire building" or even the Middle East. I, like most other people around the world, just wanted my family safe, and to work hard so that their life could be better than mine. That is just a HUMAN thing, isn't it?

My neighbors, family, and friends all came together then. I hugged complete strangers in the street. Everything was cancelled. Major League Baseball. Commercial airline travel. Schools. The streets and skies of America were silent and empty. It was scary and profoundly eerie.

But there was a strange sense of unification through all of this. Those of you reading right now who may not have been old enough then to remember missed out on a poignant and beautiful time of collective mourning and healing. I had never cried so much before then, or since. It seems corny to some of you, I am sure. But that was a time in my life that will just forever stay static and precious.

I immersed myself in educating myself on all things present and past pertaining to tribes and countries in the Middle East. I studied Islam. I read about the Koran, and had previously read a few books of poems and ruminations by the prolific and profoundly sensitive Muslim poet Rumi.

It was my previous experience with Rumi that actually had me convinced from the get-go of the 9/11 terror attacks that this was not at all an "Islam-versus-the-world" jihad. No, the killing of innocents was nowhere in any doctrine that I could find. These were just fundamentalist assholes like the ones we can find in any state or province in any country around the world . . . at any time.

I hope now, with this particular fundamentalist gone, we can as humankind get back to being human . . . and kind to all . . . all of us, together.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110508163744/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/05/can_we_now_get_back_to_being_h.php
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