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

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

Registering is free and easy.

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

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

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2004.04.23 - Hot Press - Days of Guns N' Roses (Duff)

Go down

2004.04.23 - Hot Press - Days of Guns N' Roses (Duff) Empty 2004.04.23 - Hot Press - Days of Guns N' Roses (Duff)

Post by Blackstar Fri 19 Jan 2024 - 14:45

Days of Guns N' Roses

Court cases! Vintage wines! Smack! Bad craziness! A burst pancreas! And a chart-topping album! It can only be the posthumous but never-ending saga of the defining rock band of the ’80s and ’90s. Stuart Clark gets the latest from Duff McKagan

By Stuart Clark

Nirvana fans can argue all they want but when it comes to units shifted, outrage caused and people hospitalised, Guns N’ Roses were the defining rock ’n’ roll band of the late ’80s/early ’90s. They’re still a big deal today with their posthumous Greatest Hits forcibly removing Norah Jones from the top of the Irish album chart. Four weeks later it’s still there, a two-fingered LA dirtbag riposte to the bland jazz brigade.

You’d have thought that the Gunners would be delighted with this turn of events but, nope, last month saw founder members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan reuniting in court to try and prevent its release.

“Am I pissed that the judge threw the case out?” says a clearly aggrieved McKagan. “Too fucking right I am, man! It’s got five covers on it including ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ which was one of our poorer moments. Nobody asked us about the artwork or the track-listing, which when you’ve made the music and still care about it passionately, sucks.

“It’s all about Geffen or Interscope or Universal or whatever the company’s calling themselves these days making their quarterly quota. At this point Axl’s in so much debt to them that they’re going to cross-collateralise his royalties off of this thing.”

Abortive or not, the court case is the first time Duff and Axl have done anything other than hurl abuse at each other since 1997 when McKagan quit the band and Rose set about turning it into a dictatorship.

“Axl isn’t somebody Slash and myself particularly want to talk to, so it was done through lawyers,” the 40-year-old bassist resumes. “You’re right to call the Greatest Hits ‘posthumous’ because in the same way that Paul McCartney and three session guys aren’t The Beatles, Axl Rose shouldn’t attach the Guns N’ Roses name to what he’s doing now. Commercially I understand where he’s at, but morally and artistically he’s desecrating what G N’ R achieved and stood for. It was five people in a band, not a fucking solo project.”

Let us dispense with the pussyfooting and come straight to the €52,390.91 question. Is Axl barking?

“You need a doctor to answer that, but what I will say is that he’s impossible to work with. Otherwise we would’ve tried to keep it going. There was nobody with more passion and stick to it-ness than Slash and I. Unfortunately, the heart and soul of what Guns N’ Roses was, the family vibe of the thing, was gone.”

The Duff McKagan sat in an Amsterdam hotel bedroom today is a far healthier one than the person who at the height of Guns N’ Roses’ fame was guzzling 25 bottles of wine.

“They were great vintages, though,” he deadpans. “No, things became so fucked up that my pancreas burst. Early on, Guns N’ Roses was so much fun it should have been illegal…and most of it was! Then, at the mid-point of the two-and-a-half-years we toured Use Your Illusion, it stopped being fun. There were riots and cancelled gigs and having to appease Axl so that we could just play the fucking gig.

“Anyway, as if that wasn’t bad enough, my pancreas burst which halted the enzyme you need to digest your food. Consequentially I had third-degree burns all the way down from my intestines to my thigh muscles. If they didn’t slit you open to let the steam out you’d die.

“Then,” Dr. Duff continues, “I started getting the DTs, so I had morphine to stop the pancreas pains in one arm and librium to fight the alcohol detox in the other. They were going to cut my pancreas out which would have left me a diabetic, but right before the surgery they did an ultrasound and discovered that it had miraculously started coming back down to size. I’ll never forget the doctor, whose face was white, saying, ‘You’ve been given a second chance, dude. Don’t fucking waste it!”

Asked by Hotpress whether he plans on writing his autobiography, David Bowie said “No” because he was too out of it at the time to remember much about the ’70s.

“I wasn’t too bad during the Appetite… period because we were really going for it. There were rules like, in the studio, drink beer rather than vodka. ’91 to ’94, on the other hand, I didn’t really do! Thankfully, Matt Sorum has a fucking elephant memory, so if there’s anything I need to know about …Illusion I ask him. There’s also thousands of hours of shit on film which we’ve got to edit down one day.”

Does Duff ever look at bands like U2 and think, “God, they’ve operated at the same level as us for 20 years and, apart from Adam’s brief booze hell, never spent a day in rehab”?

“They have a genius-like ability to not only survive but continually reinvent themselves,” McKagan nods approvingly. “They toured and promoted the ass off that last record, probably because they felt they needed to get in touch with the people again. We shared a plane with U2 on the Illusions tour so, though we never flew together, they’d have discovered our detrius in the bathroom!”

Nice. The Gunners’ other obvious Irish connection is their 1992 Slane headliner.

“The show aside, it was the first time I’d met the extended McKagan family who are from County Cork,” he reminisces. “There were 150 people there who all looked like my brothers and sisters. It was only then that I realised what my grandfather had left behind when he came over to the States in 1914.

“I was so happy last year when I heard Queens Of The Stone Age were doing Slane. I’m really close friends with Mark Lanegan so I don’t want to go into it too deeply, but I’m in mourning over them splitting up. Melodically and lyrically, Rated R is one of the all-time great records. They were also something that’s been missing in rock ’n’ roll and that’s very fucking dangerous. You never knew when one of them was going to jump off stage and kick your ass which, growing up in the punk rock era, I love.”

They mightn’t be much cop in the pugilistic department, but Duff also has a soft spot for The Darkness.

“Izzy (Stradlin) brought their record down to our rehearsal place one day – ‘Check out this Darkness, man!’ – and we were all laughing ‘cause for us it’s kind of a pisstake. Right now, they’re everywhere!”

As you may have gleaned from the word “rehearsal”, McKagan is happily with band again. Not just any old combo, you understand, but a bitching rock ’n’ roll crew that also features fellow G N’ R old lags Slash and Matt Sorum, Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Dave Kushner and, fresh from heroin addiction rehab, Stone Temple Pilots screamer Scott Weiland.

“We’ve made this really aggressive, really passionate, really fuck you in your face record with the best singer on the planet,” Duff enthuses. “People think we’re mad bringing Scott in, but he’s the guy saying, ‘Can we play at least five nights a week on tour?’ He wants it so bad.”

So, even though he faces a jail term if he goes back on the smack again, they don’t regard him as a liability?

“The first thing Scott said to us was, ‘I’m fucking strung out but I want to quit’, to which we replied, ‘Oh, it’s just a drug problem? And you want to quit? We were ten times as fucked up as that in Guns N’ Roses!’ If you saw him at rehearsal, a lot of these questions would go by the wayside.”

While Weiland continues to receive intensive treatment for his dependency, the only thing troubling Duff nowadays is when he’s going to be able to fit a martial arts class in.

“They’ve taught me to think sober,” he reflects. “I started washing my clothes. I cleaned my house. I went to the grocery store. I returned home to Seattle and majored in finance at school! It made life and music fun again.”

Velvet Revolver’s Contraband album is due through RCA in early June

https://www.hotpress.com/music/days-of-guns-n-roses-2724035
Blackstar
Blackstar
ADMIN

Posts : 13205
Plectra : 86190
Reputation : 97
Join date : 2018-03-17

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum