My friend Simon gave me this excellent autobiography by one of the most interesting rock musicians from the 80s and 90s as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago: Duff McKagan It’s So Easy (and other lies), released in 2012. I was never a big Guns N’ Roses fan but I liked their music and used to like playing their songs in jam and cover bands. Therefore, I know about bit about the history of the band and what they have been up to.
What really caught my attention in the book was Duff’s rather calm way of recounting ups and downs of the band and of his personal life. In a nutshell: He left Seattle to become a musician in Los Angeles, was at the right place at the right time, recorded and toured with the hottest rock band in the world, was too much and too long high on drugs and crashed and burned to eventually rise form the ashes just like a phoenix. Extreme kudos to Duff McKagan for turning a toxic and literally deadly lifestyle around and pick up an academic education to become a business consultant.
The book is a great read. During the whole reading, I was listening to Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion I and II releases on replay, which provided me with a fantastic soundtrack. The stories are uncensored and unfiltered and paint a clear picture of what Duff has experienced before, during, and after his time in the most dangerous rock band on the planet. I can recommend the book to anyone, who likes exciting stories. You don’t have to be a Guns N’ Roses fan to enjoy this.
Maybe my favourite quote from the book:
“Here’s what I believe. Shit fucking happens. That’s rule one. Everybody walking the planet knows that. Rule two: things rarely turn out the way you planned. Three: everybody gets knocked down. Four, and most important of all: after you take those shots, it’s time to stand up and walk on—to continue to live.”
― Duff McKagan