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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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2012.MM.DD - Seattle Weekly - Reverb (Duff's column)

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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:30 am

Aerosmith and Cheap Trick Inspired Me In the '70s, '80s, '90s, and Wednesday Night at the Tacoma Dome

By Duff McKagan
Fri., Aug. 10 2012


Sometimes you go to a rock show because you just need to go. Rock and roll has gone through many fazes over the years. But once in a while we're left with bands that rise to the top, bands that stand all tests of time. Aerosmith and Cheap Trick are decidedly two of those bands, bands you just NEED to see every so often; if nothing else, but to inspire and remind you of what is great about stripped-down rock music.

Both bands played on Wednesday night in Tacoma, and after thinking of as many reasons as I could to get out of making that drive down south through gross traffic, there was nothing that could keep me from seeing Aerosmith and Cheap Trick.

These two bands had an epic musical influence of my formative years. The bands that we formed later on in the early 80s had a dose of these influences mixed with the aggression of punk rock. There was no one I knew-- hard-core punker or metal maniac- that didn't just love Aerosmith and Cheap Trick. Records like Toys In The Attic and In Color will earn a band a lifelong cool factor.

The show was sold out. That's a good sign for rock and roll.

Cheap Trick have always kept it real. They have never strayed from their original of writing great rockers with insane melody. Their live shows are -- probably because of the epic 1979 album, Cheap Trick at Budokan -- always looked forward to with a sort of loving rockticipation (is that a word? It is now!). 'The' Trick have never used tape at shows, and they have never gone to in-ear monitors or other new-fangled on-stage technology. They play loud rock music, and no one really does this type of thing better than Cheap Trick. AND, they just don't seem to lose, nor surrender, a step. (It was an honor, it must be said, to be asked to sit in with the band during the set.)

There has been drama and intrigue surrounding Aerosmith over the last decade. Questions have been asked about how much of some of their shows was actually live. Questions have been asked about them trying to capture some of that old riff-writing song-wizardry of yore. Are they getting high again? Is Tom Hamilton going to be okay? Are they going to break up?

About 25 years ago, I was given the chance (with GNR) to open for Aerosmith. Aerosmith was well on their way to being all the way back on top after a bad band break-up and struggles with some serious vice. This was a dream scenario for a band like ours. These guys were our living and breathing heroes, and I remember almost pinching myself every night when the opening piano line of "Dream On" would get played. I mean...SHIT! This was fucking Aerosmith! We were there...side-stage...and now, sort of even doing something in CONJUNCTION with these heroes of ours. It was a magical time, to say the very least.

All of that negative hoopla that surrounds a band like Aerosmith, can and will immediately be washed away and discarded by going and seeing them live. There IS no tape, of course. Brad Whitford and Joe Perry are playing better guitar than ever. Steven Tyler is playful, happy, and singing all of those impossible high notes. Joey Kramer has a drum groove like no other. And Tom Hamilton has recovered from his cancer, and continues to be the steady anchor to this ship.

Hell, I even loved the fact that both bands made more than a handful of mistakes. Mistakes make music suddenly human for us...more accessible, relatable, and hence, that much more perfect, in a way.

I was transformed Wednesday night, back to the 70s. But it wasn't in some dumb 'retro' way; make no mistake: these bands are somehow as current-seeming as anyone right now. No, I was transformed via music, to a time when there were musical heroes and inspiration and greatness.

Wednesday night, I needed to go to Tacoma, and I am so glad that you were all there, too.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120913050227/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/duff_mckagan_aerosmith_cheap_t.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:31 am

The Kids Are In School, the Band's at Slim's, and Tim Medvetz Is Bringing Another Soldier Up the Mountain

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Aug. 16 2012


My legs are absolutely toast. Have I over-trained for my climb up Mt. Rainier this Monday? I DO have a tendency to do that kind of thing.

I am an addict.

My head is kind of swimming, too. I have read more than 30 books on mountain climbing, and have had an armchair fascination with the terror that can go down up there in them hills. Am I 'man' enough?

But I HAVE two whole and intact legs, and I shrink into myself for even complaining in my lone corner.

My buddy, Tim Medvetz, is bringing along a single (leg) amputee Marine on this climb (Cpl. Kionte Storey). This whole deal actually STANDS for something. Something much, much bigger than me and my fear and my physical pain from over-training or whatever. I've got to do things like this. To be a good father, is to lead, right?

But my kids got into a new school down in LA, and that school starts a whole 3 weeks earlier than their previous school. So, they won't be here to witness their old Dad doing this climb. They won't be here to meet the veteran. I am on my own.

I found out about the school date change too late to switch the climb. I am facing a mountain of snow-covered earth. Probably thinking too much too, about schools and girls and Katy Perry and Childish Gambino at the Palladium in Hollywood while I'm not there to chaperon, and am I a good Dad? And, will the Loaded tour in the UK be the right move, and, and, and ...

My head feels like a mound of snow-covered earth.

------------

I saw Jack White at the WaMu on Tuesday night. He used the all-girl band here in Seattle, and it was really pretty damn magnificent.

That guy is a figure ... but he is somehow not full of himself. Those are the cats that will stay around for awhile. He hasn't drunk the punch. He didn't get the memo that he was supposed to believe the hype. Cool.

His band kicked real, authentic ass.

------------

The weather here in town has been absolutely incredible. When I go to good gigs here and hang out with good people who could give two fucks about what other people think of them, it reminds me of the soul and character of this city.

I love it here. I love the coffee. I love the people. I think Kasey Anderson is a fucking genius, and John Roderick too. I love Seattle. Maybe we aren't as sexy as some other places, but who cares? We have salmon and Mt. Rainier as our backdrop.

Oh crap. Mt. Rainier ....

------------

If you are in town on Friday, and like some good-ass chili and rock and roll and climbers, come down to Slim's at 6 p.m. The Walking Papers will be playing (Mike McCready and myself with be joining then. They are GOOD!). Jeff Rouse's band, To the Glorious Lonely, will be playing, too. Hell, LOADED may play a song or two also!

Climber Tim Medvetz (Discovery Channel's Everest: Beyond the Limit) will be there, as well as Marine veteran Kionte Storey. It's 15 bucks, and we are hoping to raise enough money to help get these guys to the South Pole to climb Mt. Vinson. Storey served us, its time for some good old Seattle payback.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120819031819/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/duff_mckagan_2.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:35 am

Coming Down the Mountain

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Aug. 30 2012


When I wrote recently about the Heroes Project-sponsored climb of Mt. Rainier for Cpl. Kionte Storey, there was really no way I could have forecasted just how awesome this undertaking would be.

The 23-year-old Storey lost his right leg to an IED in Afghanistan one year ago, and this climb would be a test of whether he was choosing to go in this life, as opposed to wallowing or feeling sorry for himself. The Heroes Project provides a healthy outlet for some of these kids. What could be a better physical and mental symbol for overcoming than some huge mountain?

Mt. Rainier ain't no joke. I was given the opportunity to tag along for the climb.

Prosthetic limbs take some time for a user to get accustomed to. Carrying a pack full of real weight up slippery snow, rock, and ice can put stress on these prosthetics that they were probably not designed for.

The climb up to Camp Muir (10,000 feet) is test enough for anyone. To Muir, the eventual Rainier summiter must carry everything needed for a few days' stay: tents, pads, stoves, food, pots and pans, shovels, rope, crampons, ice axes, helmets, food, layers of different types of clothes . . .

The initial push to Muir is arduous as hell. Kionte Storey listened to Linkin Park on his iPod, and did not utter one word of complaint about his leg or the climb. He just smiled and marveled at the impossible scenery. Snow and mountains and glaciers are not the norm to a kid from Stockton, Calif.

Our leaders were three gregarious men with Everest on their resumes. On the mountain, these dudes were the rock stars. At Muir, you would hear constant whispers about the three dudes Kionte and I were with. We were safe as one could be with these three, so they strongly suggested that we take an extra day to rest at Muir and acclimatize to the altitude. A sound plan.

Now listen: For my part, I had trained my ass off for this climb. Being invited on this climb meant that I should also be ready and able to help wherever and whenever I could. I climbed stairs all over Seattle. I ran and lifted weights. I did lunges and strange-looking "burpies" that exhaust the body. I ate right, and tried to rest my body before this climb. I was ready, damn it . . . READY AS HELL.

On summit night (you "wake up" at about 10:30 p.m., get ready, eat, and begin the actual summit push at about midnight in the dark), Kionte was looking strong and I felt ready and able. The weather was good and somewhat stable, and before we knew it we were cramponing up some icy ledges and hopping over crevices and running across dicey rock and ice fall areas.

Some people adjust better than others to altitude. I have read countless books on different climbs and climbers, and the fact remains that modern science still hasn't really figured out why altitude affects different people -- regardless of their fitness levels -- in different ways.

My right eye suddenly blurred at about 11,000 feet. I kept it quiet. I didn't want to be the guy who held up the group. Pride plays a factor up there, and pride is dangerous in those slippery, steep, and treacherous places.

In the dark, I suddenly saw the outline of "little" Tahoma, the sister mountain of Rainier; its summit was actually below me. My body felt strong, lifted by the sight of young Cpl. Storey and his headlamp arduously making its way higher, just above me. Blurry or not, you just carry on.

At 12,000 feet, both my eyes went blurry, and nausea was overcoming me. It was a sort of step, step, heave . . . step, step, heave type of gait. But I still felt strong, and I hoped that this phase would pass. Just keep going, Duff . . . it ain't about you. Don't be "that guy." Think of punk rock. Think martial arts. Think of your family, and think of Kionte.

At about 12,800 feet, a guide from another climb came up to me and announced that he thought I had a cerebral edema "and could die soon if he doesn't get down very quickly." Hey climber-dude-alarmist-guy . . . chill the fuck out. Without me really realizing it, I guess my eyes were rolling around a bit and I was stumbling like a drunken sailor. What the?! I felt strong as a bull! Kionte went into "Marine mode," and it was time to turn this climb around. The mission was now to get your erstwhile columnist down the damn mountain. Heaving, stumbling, and talking nonsense (I guess).

Life is funny sometimes, and a situation that's supposed to go one way can often go quite another direction. I had to pull everything I had from deep inside of me just to get down. Cpl. Storey, I am sure, gained confidence. He took another one for the team, and made sure his fellow brother was OK.

Cpl. Storey will now attempt Mt. Vinson at the South Pole.

Me? Well, that mountain is still there, and I have, after one week away, trained my eyes back to the summit.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120902074447/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/coming_down_the_mountain.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:43 am

Refused Aren't Dead, They're Killing!

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Sep. 6 2012


I felt a bit late to the game at the end of 1978 as I sheepishly bought my first copy of the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks. As awkward young teenagers, most of us have this experience where we have to raise our hand to the fact that we are not as cool as some of the other kids. This first punk-rock record purchase opened my eyes to a new fact and dictum: I didn't HAVE to act cool anymore. The ensuing punk records I bought, and gigs I went to, made me realize that the celebration of being different and unique was where I felt most comfortable.

I didn't get turned on to Refused until about 1999. Again, I was late to the game. Their epic The Shape of Punk to Come had been made in 1997. This time I had the excuse of being a new father to two young children; there was just no way I could keep up with new music.

Besides, what new rock-and-roll music was there in the late '90s to really get excited about? There were a couple of Swedish bands, like the Hellacopters and the Backyard Babies; Zeke; and the beginnings Queens of the Stone Age, but other than a few holdouts, it seemed that rock music was otherwise overwhelmed by post-grunge commercial, uh . . . crap! I didn't feel the need to try to keep up with what was going on. There seemed to be a general malaise in music in the late '90s/early 2000s. It made me feel lucky to have been old enough to have witnessed the likes of Black Flag, Killing Joke, and the Germs. I'd always have THAT, at least.

As fate would have it, though, rock was anything but dead (well, what I should state is that there WAS a gigantic and earth-moving rock record made in the late '90s). Sweden's Refused released the epic The Shape of Punk to Come in 1997, and even though this record didn't cross my consciousness until sometime in 1999, it's a standout that should be on every rock fan's all-time top-10 list.

But alas, just as I was getting into the band, I discovered they had broken up. News on the street was that they would never again play as a group. Singer Dennis Lyxzen had formed International Noise Conspiracy, and the rest of the dudes were nowhere to be found. That was it. I had missed the chance to ever see a band that was as suddenly familiar to me as any one person can be with an album.

They were committed to their message of punk honesty and strife, and they seemed just as committed with their message that Refused were fucking dead.

Fourteen years can mellow even the most ardent messages, and thankfully for a lot of us, Refused somehow found a way to get back together and play some shows this year, something most thought would never happen.

I saw that they were playing at Coachella last spring, but life is busy with me, and those aforementioned "babies" are now growing kids who are in middle school and high school. Fourteen years will do THAT too. I can't really peel off any old time I want to go to Coachella.

That was it then. I missed my chance.

But I would get another chance, and not at some huge festival off in the Southwest desert somewhere, but in my hometown of Seattle. Last week, I finally saw Refused, and it was everything that I had hoped it would be musically and energetically.

I went on my own; a Refused show ain't a fucking social event. It's not a gig to video so that you can YouTube it later. They are not a band that attracts a casual fan. No. Shows like this actually live and breath and have movement. An experience and a moment in time. To be remembered as an event.

There is no need for me to do some dumb show 'review'. If you were there you simply saw and heard what I did. If you were not able to attend but know the band? Yes, well...the band live was better than the records.

The crowd that night were people like me. We all knew every word and kick drum nuance. We air-bass'ed and air-guitar'ed and yelled our lungs out. There was a girl to the front and right of me who was losing her shit, like at a My War-era Black Flag show. There was a couple to my left who kept looking at each other as if to say "Can you BELIEVE this? We never thought we'd see this fucking day!!". There were jock guys there, and punkers, and hipsters and old-schoolers like me. But that night, there was no distinction separating any of us. We were simply there in that moment. Like a Stooges or Prince show...it was that fucking cool.

I got home that night, and got a text from my just 15 year-old daughter, Grace. She wanted to know if it was okay if she went to a concert in downtown LA that weekend (I would be back down there by then). There was a bunch of bands on the bill, and she wondered if I wouldn't get her a ticket online, and she would pay me back (I'll cover kids "paying you back" in another column). I looked online at who would be playing.

At the top of the bill?

REFUSED

Yes, Grace. Yes...you can indeed go. No. You will not have to pay me back.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120911001955/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/09/duff_mckagan_refused_arent_dea.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:45 am

Depression Ain't No Joke

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Sep. 13 2012


Once in a while, life can kick our asses. Some of us have the chemical makeup that can rise to the occasion of these ass-kickings. Some of us have a great network of family and friends that somehow help us through. Others of us perhaps have neither of those favorable winds at our back.

Depression often will make us isolated from others and run from life in general. Being alone with one's own thoughts can and will be the most terrifying and dangerous place for the sufferer of most types of depression.

Some of us are born with the trait. Some of us go through something early OR later in life (or both early AND later) that can suddenly trigger a downward spiral.

I had never experienced real depression in my childhood or early adulthood. I had plenty of friends who did, but still I would scratch my head . . . and think to myself "Just snap out of it!" when friends did tell me of their issues regarding depression. But I HAVE suffered panic attacks for most of my life, and I do understand that chemical imbalances and other inputs can stack up against someone . . . way beyond the "Just snap out of it!" realm.

And then September 11, 2001 happened.

The world seemed to be in upheaval, and all fronts were under attack. Everything was suddenly fearful, and my own place on this earth seemed muddy and without bedrock. My daughters were 4 and 1, and suddenly my idealistic vision of being the perfect dad was acutely obscured by movements beyond my ability to control. I sunk into a thick, black state of being. Depression for the first time.

Ah hah. Yep. I get it. Depression IS in fact a real thing.

And once the door was opened to depression in my case, the monster became a living thing in my life. I could look at it and examine it after time, but in that initial instant, I did not see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The world seems to get scarier by the day. Bad jobs reports. Some asshole making an indie movie decrying another people's belief. The failing of our Republicans and Democrats to act in actual Congress. People getting hurt and killed in places like Afghanistan . . . and on . . . and on. But what I have found in fighting thoughts and feelings of depression is to actually talk and get out -- face the day head on if you can. "Today is going to be the best day in my history" is not a bad place to start. Share your "stuff" with others. Don't be afraid to do it. You may just be surprised by how many like-minded people there are out there. Depression and anxiety have touched most of us to some degree or another.

And some types of depression do need medical treatment.

Last week, there was a brave essay shared by man on the Internet. He has suffered a horrible fight with some serious depression, and decided to write about his journey thus far. I back this kind of guts and fortitude.

As you will see, Andrew Lawes has come through a ton of darkness, and has had the gift of a new baby to help him sort through his "stuff." Mr. Lawes was probably overwhelmed by the huge response he got back from fellow sufferers. You are not alone, my friend. Thanks for letting us in.

Again, THIS space is a forum for us all to exchange ideas. The world may seem dark and fucked-up and overwhelming, but we are the ones who will effect change, if there is change to be had.

There is a way out of depression -- you just got to get to a place to examine the monster.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120916111539/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/09/duff_mckagan_sept_13.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:47 am

13 Twitter Accounts Everyone Should Follow

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Sep. 20 2012


Social media can be a useful means to stay connected, but for many, it can become as addicting as crack cocaine, and as serious as a heart attack.

If you tweet, and feel you need to constantly check your Twitter account, may I suggest some "people" to follow who may shed some humorous light to your day, or otherwise help you from going completely off of the rails.

This list is bit dude heavy. For my fashion advice, I just look for something black in the bottom of my drawer. But if you're a girl, go to @SuHolmesMcKagan, where there's plenty of chick stuff going on.

At any rate, here's my list of disposable social-media boredom solvers and mysticists:

@JonesYsJuKeBoX: Yes, Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols does tweet. His morose humor at unexpected times borders on mad genius.

@JoelMcHale: We all know him from Community and The Soup, but it takes true comedic wit to be truly funny in 140 characters or less. Any guy who is from Seattle, and has a Twitter-handle of 'PROUD MOM', has got my vote.

@KJRGas: If you are a Seattle sports fan, or even a casual student of life, follow Mike Gastineau of KJR 950. He often has one-liners that come from the same part of outer space that Funkadelic and JP Patches came from.

@MMFlint: Michael Moore of Fahrenheit 911 fame, keeps me informed and alert of the miasma that often pollutes our American politics. Smartest guy on Twitter? Perhaps.

@insertfartnoise: Guitarist Mike Squires' public commentary often rivals the ranting of Michael Moore.

@DadBoner: Starting usually on a Thursday, Karl Wetzein from somewhere in Michigan, will inform us all that he is "So pumped for the weekend, you guys!". His Twitter platform has covered everything from partying from your boat when it's still on its trailer in a 7-11 parking lot ('cause there are more chicks there than in a lake), to his ex-wife Ann still wanting to "get carnal" with him at the drop of a hat.

@myMotorhead: Duh.

@johnroderick: This dude kills me. As stated earlier, it takes a special type of humor to get to a real and cognizant point of delivery in just a few sentences. Roderick should be on everyone's 'Follow' list. He turned serious this week, and changed his theme to the Cold War...but he was back to bacon and breakfast cereal before one could say "Glasnost"!

@ESPN: Yep. I like sports.

@tomwaits: Who knew? Yes, even the weighty and the dark have entered the sphere of the public instamessage. Anything this guys does is worth at least a cursory glance by us humans.

@KFUCKINGP: Kenny Powers from HBO's Eastbound And Down has been a bit MIA as of late, but no other has been quite as publicly bold as our man from Florida.

@refusedband: The Refused are NOT fucking dead.

@swreverb: Yes, yes, I know. But Seattle Weekly is a primary source for news, which means they don't simply re-title someone else's articles and re-circulate.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120922235709/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/09/13_twitter_accounts_everyone_s.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:53 am

The Rock-and-Roll Lifestyle: Single Moms, Students, and Upton Sinclair

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Oct. 4 2012


With a couple of tours coming up, and the inevitable round of interviews, I know I'll be asked a lot about what my "rock-and-roll lifestyle" is like.

I tend to take a breath at this line of questioning. I could just make some shit up (I HAVE done that), or get kind of pissed off about the laziness of the question (yes, I have unfortunately done THAT too). I like to talk about music to a knowledgeable questioner, but sometimes . . . you've got to put up with some malarkey (and there ARE plenty of good music journalists out there).

What does that term actually mean? What IS a rock-and-roll lifestyle? Is it simply listening to loud rock, getting tattoos and a leather jacket, drinking Jack, and spitting every so often? Riding a Harley? Limos and a pimp cup?

The use of well-placed terminology does help us all to identify certain things, of course.

I DO love the term "ROCKER." The word itself imbues a ton of imagery and romance. But I don't think a rocker needs to have AC/DC and Metallica and the Black Keys rumbling through their car speakers speeding headlong into the night.

Words and titles can be used as dictums and guides for all of us. A certain word can suddenly snap us back to a good place. "Rocker" works for me.

Prince is a rocker.

Upton Sinclair is a rocker. He exposed all kinds of wrong in the American workplace 100 years ago.

That person who stops a blind person from crossing the street into traffic is a rocker.

That single mother of a child with special needs who works hard to make ends meet is a fucking rocker.

Yes, for sure, there are rockers like Jack White and the Refused who embody more of the pigeonholed idea of what we think rockers are. But after living and observing this rock world, I think the ethos of rock is so much more far-reaching than guitars and Marshall stacks.

Have you ever observed those people who seem to strive to be truthful and honest more often than the norm? Or someone who seems to be searching for the "truth" in life? Those people who are more calm, and are not racing to some sort of nonexistent finish line?

Henry Rollins is a rocker.

Lemmy Kilmeister is most certainly a rocker.

We can talk about politics and Second Amendment rights and illegal downloading and bad TV and "provocative" entertainment news all we want, but as long as we just want to spell out what is wrong with other people or how they feel about certain subjects--without first making sure "our side of the street" is as clean as possible--we cannot be rockers.

Being a rocker, to me, is equal to living as much of the truth as possible.

Personally, I have to keep telling myself to slow the fuck down. Life is NOT a race. We are all so damn quick to "get there." Shit, aren't we "here" now? Goals are great and should be applauded, but this journey should be a blast, too. Laugh now. Laugh all the time, as often as possible. We all certainly have enough humor that we can direct at ourselves. We are funny fuckers, us humans.

When you don't fight with your loved ones, you are a rocker.

And when you go see bands at a live venue and celebrate the fact that you are in a shared moment that will never happen again, you are living the rock-'n'-roll lifestyle.

I don't think all this traffic-revision crap in Seattle is very rock.

Crack in Belltown is not rock.

I met a 20-year-old at the gym the other day in Seattle. Tattooed, and into some new and hard Metal, but also into poetry and into asking questions about life, and admitting that at 20 years of age there was a LOT to learn. The conversation was refreshing and positive, and made me glad to be alive and a fan of music and writers of words.

THAT 20-year-old is a rocker.

And there are those who think they know it all, and believe that they are better than others because of their knowledge or lofty monetary perch. Not rock.

John Cage was a rocker, as was his partner Merce Cunningham. Being openly gay WAY before it was condoned like it is somewhat now in 2012: THAT is a rock-and-roll lifestyle.

Blind hate does not rock.

The presidential debate last night was a serious affair for sure. This country seems divided in a way that many of us are afraid to say out loud. The liberals are more timid than usual, and the conservatives are louder and more boisterous than before. The fact-checking of the debate talking points by the different news agencies later last night and this morning exposed expansions of the truth by both the President and Mitt Romney.

Not being straight-up in a public debate does NOT rock.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121009061334/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/10/the_rock_and_roll_lifestyle_si.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:58 am

Your Teenage Daughter's Secret Language, EXPOSED!

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Oct. 11 2012


Now that my kids are older, I get to enjoy the behind-the-scenes onslaught of teenage slang and acronyms. Of course, we all know the tired (OG) LOL, which eventually got augmented to LMFAO (Laughing My Fudging Ass Off). Since AWOL acronyms have been a popular part of how we communicate in the English language, here are a few more that I have learned, having kids . . .

PIR (Parent in Room) Used to warn off one teenager from another when texting or video-chatting from home when an unknowing parent suddenly enters the room.

G2G (Got to Go) Self-explanatory.

BRB (Be Right Back) Used when having to leave the text conversation for a moment.

ROFL (Rolling on the Floor, Laughing) Used to express wondrous joy, I suppose.

TTYL (Talk to Ya Later) Self-explanatory.

Now for the slang!

Swag Short for swagger; often used as an adjective/noun thingy. As in "That dude is so chill, swag."

Trill A mixture of true and chill, as in
Person 1: "Hey, we are hanging out Saturday."
Person 2: "Trill."

KK SWAQ Means somehow (OK, cool).

https://web.archive.org/web/20121015002150/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/10/your_teenage-daughters_secret.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:05 am

How to Say No to Drugs (Even When You're Unzipped)

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Oct. 18 2012


Don't get me wrong, I think it's actually a genuinely sweet offer when someone passes a joint to me. "I don't smoke weed", I say. I know the intent is probably good, so I never want to be the guy who passes judgment or otherwise looks at that situation with scornful disdain.

Drugs are a funny thing. No one really wants to get high alone--when they are still in the "casual use" stage, anyway. Rarely will you hear of someone doing bumps of cocaine, or hits of crystal meth on their own. There'd be no one to jabber and talk mad nonsense with.

Rock and roll definitely has the stereotype of being connected to drug use. I get it. The cliche has been earned. But in our modern era, it seems like drugs have finally lost their mystical and romantic part of the rock persona. Maybe we've seen too many people implode, with public meltdowns, and worst of all, death.

Ok, but wait, this isn't supposed to be a poignant and down column. No. Actually, something happened to me just this week--twice, actually!--that I always find pretty damn funny. If it happened to me twice this week alone, I must assume that we can extrapolate this occurrence to a certain degree.

I played 3 shows this (well, I am actually on my way to the third right now, but our car broke down in the desert. But, yada, yada, yada, that's a story for another column). One of the gigs was a musical-esque version of the book that I wrote about my dive into addiction and my way out. By now, it's a pretty well known story, I think. If you are buying a ticket to this particular show, it's a fair assumption that you probably know I don't do drugs. Right? Apparently not.

There are always those people who just love to go to different gigs to 'hang out' and maybe party a little bit. That's cool, too. But when these two things meet, here is what happens:

Places like The Viper Room--and the old CBGBs, come to think of it--only have one set of bathrooms. Everyone shares. Your columnist went into the men's room at the Viper Room in LA. Your columnist simply has to urinate. Your columnist is nervous for the show, as he patiently waits his turn for the urinal. Your columnist gets offered a bump of cocaine right there--dick in hand and everything!

I played a standard rock show the next night, and same thing happened--except this time...with weed!

Now listen, I will state it again: I find no fault with the people who offer me such things, it's just fuckin' odd sometimes.

If I were in my "heyday" of getting fucked up, these same people would have only offered me free drugs only once. Guys like me aren't dainty in their usage. All of the drugs in that men's room would have been gone in an instant.

I guess my only point with this column is how all relates to our recent presidential debate: with all of this sharing of drugs, the economy MUST be on the mend. NOW, let's focus on getting our troops out of Afghanistan!

https://web.archive.org/web/20121021061029/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/10/how_to_say_no_to_drugs_even_wh.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:08 am

From the Fag House to Music for Marriage Equality

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Oct. 25 2012


As we are all very much aware, it's time to put down our mark for president, governor, sheriff, and, in four states across America, the right for same-sex couples to marry. In our state, Referendum 74 has been a hot point in this election season. Marriage equality for all can pit some belief and moral systems against each other.

Everyone has the right to believe in what you believe in. I respect religious beliefs and personal opinions, and celebrate our different lifestyles, food choices, and preferences in music.

I grew up in the Seattle music scene. Seattle music and its myriad characters--in an exceedingly large way--have been a bastion and safe haven for liberal thought and general open-mindedness.

In the early 1980s, there was a cool-as-hell art/punk band called the Fags. Actually, "band" is probably too simplistic a word; they were more of a collective. They had a house in the U District where they lived, threw parties, and rehearsed. It was an open house. You could crash there, get a meal, or even just stop by to get out of the rain. It was fun over there at the Fag House all the time. Good people, they were. The very last thing you thought about was their sexuality. Yes, a couple of their members were gay. It just wasn't a big deal.

Growing up in the Seattle music scene also meant that if you worked in a restaurant or theater on or around Capitol Hill, it was more than likely that you worked hand-in-hand and back-to-back with more than a few people who were homosexual or lesbian. It just wasn't a big deal.

The music scene up here--from the time of the Faghouse through Nirvana to the Music for Marriage Equality coalition, which I have supported--has been harmonious with the gay community. It's hard even to give examples, and that probably speaks volumes for the fact that there is no outstanding need for anything to get all exemplified about.

I have never had to think too much about an issue like lawful equality in marriage. There used to be laws that banned interracial marriage in parts of America. That seems archaic as HELL these days, doesn't it? So now that I am asked to think about this referendum, all I can really think about is how archaic this issue already seems. It's a no-brainer to me.

It's just a matter of equal rights, no? Or is it a matter of shellfish? Or getting stoned to death for looking at a neighbor's wife's tits? . . .

I'm in a van right now with eight rock dudes. I just took a poll about this issue. These guys are all heterosexual rockers from England and the U.S. All we are really talking about is how kooky it is that an equal-rights issue is at stake in the same country in which a little town can elect a cat as mayor (Texas).

I don't think we need to think of this as an issue of artists versus religion, or gays versus straights, or red state versus blue state.

Referendum 74 is about an equal-rights issue. A human-rights issue. Simple. A no-brainer.

The world is a funny place.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121109095830/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/10/from_the_fag_house_to_music_fo.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:09 am

Rad Is Reem

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Nov. 1 2012


Nottingham is beautiful this time of year. So is Cardiff, Wales; London; and Edinburgh. But if one were just to think that all of the United Kingdom was the same, they'd be gravely mistaken.

I first thought of writing a narrative here on the actual geography of the UK, but it's the language usage over here that has piqued my interest on this trip.

First off, if you are called a slang term for a woman's hoo-hoo over here, it is a term of endearment. In the States, this same term is looked at as simply gross.

"Reem" is a great word that has come into common usage over here. When one says something is "reem," it simply means kick-ass, as in "Don't be jealous 'cause I'm reem."

"Jel" is short for jealous, hence "Don't be jel 'cause I'm reem."

Off-topic: In the 1970s, the word "choice" had far more wind in its sail, as a preferred way to say things were reem. "Choice" was replaced at some point in the later '70s by "rad" (short for "radical"). "Rad" sort of lost its way until . . . now.

We are on the road over here with Ugly Kid Joe and Alice Cooper. The wondrous lead singer of UKJ is the one and only Whit Crane. Wondrous, you say? Yes, wondrous. This dude is so full of spirit and good intent that it is impossible to be grumpy or tired in his presence. Whit uses the word rad all the time, and now so does everyone else on the tour. Rad is back, people.

Now when you need directions in England, Wales, or Scotland, don't expect to hear anything close to "Just go down two blocks and make a right." No, the directions from a local in, say, Plymouth, England, will take the form of the more poetic (but way less informative) "Carry on down the road, and it's just there." That sounds nicer, but can leave an uninformed outsider like myself cold and lost in the rain.

HERE is another good one. When you see some large man come out of a communal loo at a truck stop . . . and the odor is indisputable . . . you can say "That had some thump in it!"

Useful stuff here, I know. You're welcome.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121103134225/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/11/duff_mckagan_rad_is_reem.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:13 am

Duff McKagan's 10 Secrets to Surviving in a Touring Band

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Nov. 8 2012


There is definitely an art to the dance that is being in a band. All kinds of crap can happen if band members let some of the following things go unattended. (As an aside, it IS healthy for a band's creative juices to have a bit of a rub within the band. The release of tension onstage CAN be magical.)

That said, here's how to survive in a touring band:

1. Don't be a dick. Yes. That simple.

2. Get used to having little to no personal space for weeks at a time. A tour bus or a van, and traveling through airports together, can be small enough, but add small backstage dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, and studio control and you have the condition for someone in your band to blow their top.

3. Personal hygiene. (see #2)

4. Respect off-limits places. For example, when you draw the curtains to your bunk on the bus, no one should be allowed to fuck with you. No punching in the dick, even. Each others' girlfriends/wives/husbands/boyfriends are also off-limits.

5. Share everything. Clothes, chocolate, drugs, whatever. If it's expendable, it is a "band" item.

6. Hug it out.Being in a band is the best place I can think of to be as up-front as possible. If you let something stew, it'll grow into a mountain of nonsensical black mud in no time.

7. Read books and keep informed. The conversation can get old if you don't have some good new topics to bring to the table. Gossip and cock-talk only go so far.

8. Keep in touch with Mama Kin. Yes, definitely phone home and text as much as possible. It keeps one a bit sane, and leaves one with at least a modicum of a cornerstone.

9. Write a riff.Keep bringing fresh ideas to your band.

10. Don't poo in the same room that someone else is eating in. Unless of course said eater gives the "poo OK." If a "poo OK" is granted, you have a band that will NEVER break up!

https://web.archive.org/web/20121113090940/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/11/duff_mckagans_10_secrets_to_su.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:15 am

This One's for the Road Dogs

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Nov. 15 2012


As a traveling musician, I have been blessed with a modicum of durability in my career. I have met and stayed friends with a whole heap of people who have been out doing the same thing as me for a long time. We cross paths often, and whether it is another musician, guitar tech, bus driver, sound guy, or promoter, we all have developed a sort of road family. We understand the triumphs and tradgedies even, that become an almost blase and everyday occurence in this field of work.

Lemmy from Motorhead is one great example. He knows that I am into history (I'm reading Battle Of Britain while I've been on this most recent trip to the UK). Instead of talking music and distances between this town or that, Lemmy will instantly start up a conversation about some WWII book he has read, or some historical war factoid about whatever European city we happen to be in.

On a recent tour I was on with Alice Cooper, he and I spent more that a few hours talking about raising girl-children...in depth!

I've known people so long out here that I see their own kids now starting bands and flourishing.

Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols' own daughter, Hollie Cook, has a flourishing career and just recently did Jules Holland. Her career is taking off, and the whole Cook family has become like a second family of mine, always asking about my wife and daughters, and trying to make me feel like I have a real and anchored place in London.

And there are new bands that you realize you are being somewhat watched by. They want to learn something--ANYTHING--from a guy like me I think. NBA'er Charles Barkley famously said "I'm not a role model," but in fact in music, I think it would be a dis-service to helping rock and roll flourish, to NOT be a role model of some substance...if you can muster it. Hell, maybe they are even watching guys like for what NOT to do! Who knows?

(Speaking of new bands, there have been some finds on this trip, indeed: Try BUFFALO SUMMER, HEAVEN'S BASEMENT, and SAINT JUDE)

You meet interesting people if you are open to conversation. Touring is like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on steroids. Ferries, buses, splitter-vans, cabs, trains, friends' cars, and lots of walking.

On a ferry from Ireland to Wales, you might have a whole conversation with someone (in the English language), but their Newcastle accent will be so thick that you only nod in what you hope are the right places in the conversation.

On a train from the UK to Paris, I met a couple where the wife is a "brander" of entertainment personalities and the husband is the guy responsible for flavoring and getting the smell right for a large portion of all packaged foods coming from France. And they are rockers. They ended up coming to my show that night, and now I have a good contact of some nice people (with two girls, too!) in Paris.

At the Classic Rock Magazine Awards this week, I got to see Lynyrd Skynyrd play, and their bassist, Johnny Colt OG Black Crowes. The Black Crowes emerged at about the same time as GN'R did, and Colt and myself have been bumping into each other ever since. Skynyrd killed it, by the way.

I've gained many friends out here on the road. Longtime fans of bands I've been in have become a second family, too, and it has become a thing I look forward to (meeting up with @axlreznor is ALWAYS good).

But all of us out here on the road do count the days until we go home . . . well, at least those of us fortunate enough to have something to go home to.

I've showered in a skid-row hotel room and dined at the finest London eatery on this trip . . . but it is the in-between that keeps life interesting and fucking killer.

This column is dedicated to all of you Road Dogs. I'll see you again soon.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121120023154/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/11/road_dogs.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:17 am

Getting to Know Ralph Waldo Emerson and "Self-Reliance"

By Duff McKagan
Fri., Nov. 23 2012


Considering what a profound influence a book can have on one's life, it's amazing that the tiniest things can send us off in search of a new read. It can be word-of-mouth book gossip in line for an espresso, a note from a friend, or a movie about espionage.

I received a card a couple of weeks ago from a friend. I'm not one for the usual Hallmark "life-will-get-better-just-forge-ahead-let-the-sun-warm-your-face" type of malarkey, and usually skip quotes on the fronts of cards. But this particular card caught my eye, as the quote was by Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose writing I had yet to be exposed to. I gave the quote a second read:

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

I reread this about 28 times over the next few days, and became sort of enamored with this Emerson dude. How did he know I needed this? How did he know we all need this kick in the ass sometimes? What else does he have to say?

Some of us have religion and faith, and others reach for other forms of spirituality to help strengthen their lives. Many have faith in science and logic. Some of us have simple love from one's family. Others have nothing at all. For those of us always searching and open to ideas and thought, may I suggest Emerson's essay, "Self-Reliance."

Like the quote on that card a few weeks ago, "Self-Reliance" is a rereadable meditation of the innate feelings of victory and overcoming adversity that we each have at our own fingertips. It is the type of thing that you thank a person for turning you on to.

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving.

Now, for when you get done with "Self-Reliance," here are some of the books that I have been up and in for the past couple of months:

Black Box, Jennifer Egan: Her first piece of fiction since A Visit From the Goon Squad, this short story furthers my belief that Egan is fast becoming one of the best and forward-thinking fiction writers of our generation. She is punk rock and cosmopolitan and inventive. Black Box originally came out via Twitter, and this limited-edition bound proof copy that I have in hand will go on my bookshelf of greatness for sure.

The Greatest Battle, Andrew Nagorski: A lot of us think of the battle of Stalingrad as the big turning point of the Soviet/German conflict in World War II. Nagorski takes us through the (for some reason) little-told story of Hitler's army getting to the city limits of Moscow, and the great lengths that Stalin went through to save that city. It is amazing to think of the insanity of Stalin and Hitler, and how so very recent in history this was. A must-read for any war/history buff.

With Wings Like Eagles: The History of the Battle of Britain, Michael Korda: I just did a tour of the UK and Ireland, and it is always insightful for me to try to read a historical book on places that I am visiting. War history, for me, is much more that the study of conflict; it is an insight to how people coped and lived and suffered and triumphed in an extraordinary setting. Korda's Battle of Britain adds the insight of a top-notch historian to all that has been learned and exposed about the players in the build-up to this turning-point battle against Hitler and the Luftwaffe. Completely readable. Completely fascinating.

Dial M for Merthyr, Rachel Trezise: To be sure, I've only just started this book. It is one of those that, when it spills out of your backpack time after time at the airport or backstage or wherever, people in the know around me have given me an enthusiastic thumbs-up. This is a rock-and-roll book, a social study done in real time: a young rock band from Wales, and a young writer on the back of their tour bus taking notes. I've been looking forward to this.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121128163659/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/11/getting_to_know_ralph_waldo_em.php


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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:20 am

Did Bon Jovi Really Rock a Million Faces?

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Nov. 29 2012


A musician has a plenty of time to ponder things--both big and small--when they're on the road. You have to hope for a good sense of shared humor when traveling and living together in cramped confines, something I call the tour bubble. If you can't make light of some of the asanine situations you meet on the road, you are gonna be toast.

Case in point:

We spent part of our last tour opening for Alice Cooper in large venues throughout the U.K. Being on a tour like this will expose a band like ours to a larger mass of people than you would get headlining your own shows. But do you rock them all? No. Of course you don't. Many of those people are there for the headliner, and begrudgingly stand cross-armed while you play. Sure, you win over some new fans--which is sort of the whole point of a tour like this--but do you rock them all? No.

Back on the tour bus one night a question started to arise about Bon Jovi. In the song "Wanted Dead Or Alive," the claim is made that "I've seen a million faces, and I've rocked them all". All? Let's ponder.

I have no doubt that Bon Jovi had played to a million people by the time "Dead or Alive" was released on Slippery When Wet in 1986. But did they rock them all? Couldn't it be that some dudes brought their girlfriends to the show and weren't neccesarily into the music of Bon Jovi? What about some parents? Or, maybe some people just didn't get rocked? Hey, it's happened to me. I've gone to gigs properly prepared to get rocked and it just didn't happen for me.

I carried this conversation forward to one of Seattle's illustrious and beloved indie-rock frontmen. He said his band had actually had this very same Bon Jovi discussion. This Seattle indie band has even wondered if they had maybe played to "a million faces." There was one thing they were sure about: they hadn't rocked them all.

But how could they even be sure? They had played a bunch of festivals, and you KNOW that not everyone there was attending to come see their band. They had probably converted some of these people into new fans, but rocking them all would be a huge overstatement. They even doubted that Bon Jovi had played to a million people by the time "Dead or Alive" was written.

And what about me? I mean, in my whole career, I have certainly played to a ton of faces (I'll let you do the math), but, HELL, I was hammered for a couple of those years, and probably wasn't concentrating on faces at all. Besides, how can you see all of the faces that you play to, hammered or not?! Lights are in your eyes! It's dark! You have shades on!

When you headline a smaller venue, with say 850 people, you can actually see all of the faces. But even if all of those people are there to see your band, and have spent their hard-earned money to come and spend the evening with you, isn't it possible a few of those people were disappointed? I guess "I've seen 48,000 faces, and I rocked close to 41,000 of them" (a good damn percentage, by the way), is not so poetic.

Yep. These are the kinds of magnetic conversations bands have on the road. The rest of you may think we're nuts. It is a tough thing for a wife or manager to suddenly come out on the road for a visit and see five grown men having a faux-intellectual conversation about something like this.

I bet it even happens to the fellas in Bon Jovi!

https://web.archive.org/web/20121204163935/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/11/did_bon_jovi_really_rock_a_mil.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:22 am

Goodbye to the Gasman. I'm Proud to Call Myself a Fan

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Dec. 6 2012


Seattle has long been spoiled by the quality of our sports radio broadcasters. For the most part, they are far above what is the standard fare for the rest of the country. Our guys are smart and less provincial, and when they are open to reasonable debate from callers and guests they disagree with, it's a far cry from the polarizing, often surly and crass jocks around the country.

KJR's Mike "Gas Man" Gastineau is a large reason we've had it so good. He set the high-water mark for the rest of Seattle's sportscasters and radio personalities. Since 1991, the Gas Man has kept us riveted and informed from 3 to 7 p.m. He has mixed the passion of blue-collar Seattle with the intellect of a book nerd (I say blue-collar because when Gas started his show, Boeing and Weyerhaeuser were still the two biggest "games" in town! We were a working-class town, kids . . . once upon a time).

Not only has Mike been a trusted voice and advocate for our sports teams, he's thrown his support behind veterans, kids, the Ronald McDonald House, local rock bands, crab fishermen, and dogs, just to name a few from yesterday's show!

I started listening to Mike's show when I moved back to town in 1994. The Seattle SuperSonics were in their heyday with Gary Payton and the Reign Man. The Mariners made that magical late-season push in 1995, and President Clinton was, uh . . . being presidential. It made for a lot of great radio fodder, but I was particularly drawn to the way Gastineau portrayed his stories and spoke with callers and guests. In fact, I was so comforted by the sound of his voice that I would make cassette tapes of his show to have in case I had a panic attack on a plane. (No shit.)

The Gas Man this week announced his departure from KJR 950. After 21 years, the dude is searching other ways to express his views and thoughts. I hope he writes more books. (Check out The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists, a must-have for any local sports fan.) I hope he stays around here. He has been great for this town. I hope he shares his views on the "other stuff' that he seems so smart about--things like compassion and heart, struggle and victory in life, helping out the fellow man, and dogs.

You will be missed on the radio, Mike Gastineau, but we can't wait to see what is next for a guy like you. Seattle owes you a ton, and I am glad to call myself a fan.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121209064129/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/12/no_more_gas.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:23 am

One, Two. One, Two. Nirvana Spends National Soundcheck Day With McCartney In One of Music's Biggest Moments In Recent History

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Dec. 13 2012


Yes, we all woke up on Wednesday and heard it a million times:12, 12, 12. On CNN's Headline News, they even broke from the stories of the day to show their huge digital clock going to 12:12:12 pm...on 12/12/12.

But did any of us know that 12/12/12 was also the first ever "National Soundcheck Day"? Well, CNN's Headline News also announced THAT too. You get it? One, two...one, two...one, two. No matter where you might go on this planet, "one, two...one, two...one, two" IS the international language of the dreaded live gig soundcheck.

It got me to think about just how damn many soundchecks a guy like me has done.

The first thing that happens at a soundcheck is the "ringing out" of the PA system. At 3 p.m. on the day of the gig, the whole band is there. If you are a veteran rock guy like myself, you go anywhere other than the main room while the PA is getting "rung." A good ringing can really sting the eardrums, and I've even heard lore of the ringing creating IBS in some poor souls.

And then comes the snare drum check. Bap, bap, BAP. Again, if you know what you are doing, you go to another room (unless, of course, you are the drummer). And the snare drum is just the FIRST of all of the singular drums and cymbals that need to be adjusted --for volume and tone--during soundcheck.

Bass guitar is usually next. Most bass players (including myself), don't have much playing-alone "game" (hey! Bass players are the glue in a band...and don't take solo's! Give 'em a break!). My point is, it's not very interesting.

Guitars are next, and guitar players LOVE to shred at soundchecks (the "widdly, widdly, widdly'" that we have all now dubbed "lookatme, lookatme, lookatme").

Back-up vocals are next, and this gives us all (even the bass players) a chance to constantly prove to everyone else...that WE should be the LEAD singer of the band!

And then there's the lead vocal. The sound guy will usually ask for a level from either the singer, or, barring that singer isn't there (uh huh), a roadie or tech will assume the role as lead vocal-mike-level-getter. That is when we usually and most commonly here that mighty "one, two...one, two...one, two".

You go through all of this, and then finally get to play a song or two. The band wants the monitors on stage to be right, and the front of house sound guy usually wants a hard rocker, and a softer tune, all of this to enable the best sound for that show coming up.

But remember, there is no one in the room and it sounds all echo-y and hollow. "Don't worry", the sound guy says, "it will sound completely different once the room fills up with people."

So then, the question has to be asked: why in the hell DO we do soundchecks every day, when the whole damn thing is just going to sound different with a full room, and the sound guy will have to totally re-adjust all of his tones and volumes?!!

I never said rock people were the smartest humans roaming the planet.

OK, all joking aside, last night in NYC was the flashpoint to a most awesome 121212 Concert for Hurricane Sandy relief.

All of the artists who played did all they could to entertain. The names were so big and tastefully put together that the whole world just HAD to watch. Every band and solo artist rocked like hell.

It's a bad-ass thing to see humans helping out other humans. This stuff is us at some of our very best.

Seeing Paul McCartney play "Blackbird" alone with an acoustic guitar was gut-wrenchingly good. Sir Paul with Krist Noviselic, Dave Grohl, and Pat Smear was one of the most rock things in the recent history of music. Period.

The TV sound was fairly good, too. The swear-knob-pusher guy had even had his cues down pat. The lighting was on point, and the artist switch-overs were seemless.

Rest assured....there was a soundcheck.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121216005513/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/12/one_two_one_two_nirvana_spends.php
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Post by Blackstar Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:27 am

My Special Request for Santa

By Duff McKagan
Thu., Dec. 20 2012


I'm the last one in our household that keeps trying to push the whole Santa Claus thing. My daughters are 12 and 15, and by moving past the stage of actually buying the myth, my girls have unknowingly swept their father's feet from underneath him. I love Christmas with little kids, and now my kids are not so little anymore.

But the Christmas spirit of giving and thinking of others and just being all-around cool and badass is still alive and well inside of my family, and for that, I am truly grateful. We have our health and our wits are relatively intact. The girls may not believe in Santa any longer, but they have grown into plain ol' good people.

I'd like to make a special request of Santa this year, in absentia of coming to the McKagan household, and all of those other households whose kids have just gotten a bit too old to go in for whole chimney thing.

All of us on this planet had our collective feet swept from underneath us last Friday. The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut will forever leave a black and aching pit in the stomach of every parent on this planet, and a black and aching pit in the stomach of every non-parent I am sure, as well.

Santa Claus, will you please take extra special care of those little Sandy Hook Elementary 6- and 7-year-old kids who were hoping to get a visit from you...but now won't be home to leave you cookies and milk?

Santa, will you visit Charlotte somehow?

Santa, will you be able to check in on Daniel?

For us, Santa, please take care of Olivia.

And Josephine will be missed, Santa.

Ana will be missed, Santa.

Dylan definitely made your "good" list Santa.

THESE were only little kids.

Madeline, Santa ... just a little girl.

And Catherine, Santa...you only got to see her for 6 too-short years.

Look after Chase, Santa

Look after Jesse, Santa.

And look after James.

And Grace, too, Santa...

What about Emilie, Santa? Will you be able to look after her please?

Can you visit Jack, too?

And little Noah, I'm sure he was good.

There are too many names here, Santa. ONE name would be too many.

Caroline, we will miss you sweetheart.

And Jessica, I hope Santa gives you what you wanted.

Avielle, what a pretty name. I know Santa just can't forget that beautiful name.

Santa, can you look after Benjamin?

Allison will be waiting for you too St. Nick.

Have a good and safe Christmas everyone. Be cool and badass.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121230182044/http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/12/my_special_request_for_santa.php
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