The autobiography of Duff McKagan, bassist of Guns ‘ n Roses.
I think I’m a bit out of sequence. I read and reviewed Duff McKagan’s second book, before this one! I’m not quite sure how that happened. I recently found a used, hard cover copy of his first autobiography IT’S SO EASY AND OTHER LIES, for a very reasonable price. My obsessive-compulsive disorder would not let me review his second book and not the first so here are a few thoughts.
This nicely appointed hard-cover was first published in 2011 by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. It is a little lacking on frills; there is no Foreword, no Afterword, no discography either. He is a pretty famous guy, I’m sure he could have found someone famous to write a little Foreword for him! As with most rockers, it is co-written as well.
What struck me most about the life story of McKagan is that he did not seem very bright. That may sound cruel but let me explain. He never finished high-school, got into drugs at a very early age and through some good luck and smart people surrounding him, he became one of the richest, most famous rock star in the world. What I really admire about him is that, as much as he was not book smart, he is street-smart, very driven and very hard-working. Those three talents and admirable qualities alone easily have helped him go from the depths of addiction and being on death’s door to rebuilding his life so that he is now a happy, productive and useful member of society. I sound judgmental or like a guidance counsellor or something but to put it another way, he got his shit together!
This is quite a standard Hard Rock story, it opens with a hook, then back to the beginning, the stratospheric rise, the painful and crashing fall and the slow rise back to some semblance of normalcy. It’s got all the dirt you want; sex, drugs and rock and roll. I kind of liked the second half better where he talking about his mountain biking, his martial arts training, going back to school and eventually attending university. McKagan is a decent enough story-teller, his book is easy to read and doesn’t have too much substance.
IT’S SO EASY AND OTHER LIES is pretty conventional in it’s format and execution and doesn’t offer too many surprises. If you are a big G ‘ NR (or Velvet Revolver, or Loaded) fan you certainly want this in your library.