It's So Easy: (and other lies)
Touchstone, 2012 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
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Reviewed by Leslie McKee
orn Michael McKagan in 1964, Duff McKagan went on to become the bassist, and a founding member, of one of rock & roll's biggest bands: Guns N' Roses. After growing up in Seattle, he moved to Los Angeles at age 20 in hopes of pursuing a career in music. After numerous jobs, he responded to an ad seeking a bass player. He ended up meeting Slash and Steven Adler, who, combined with Axl Rose, later went on to become Guns N' Roses. The year was 1985 and their first gig was 6-28-85. The rest, as they say, is history ... and quite well-documented history at that. While the band had a number of hits (many of which Duff co-wrote), Guns N' Roses was not without drama, as is the case with a number of rock bands. Drug and alcohol use was rampant in many band members and Axl's intense mood swings were notorious.
hile all these things are touched upon in Duff's book, they are not hashed over and over and there is no mudslinging involved. During Duff's time in Guns N' Roses, fans, friends, band members and marriages were lost. While Duff did not escape unscathed, he did experience quite a transformation, beginning with a case of acute pancreatitis, which left him pleading for death on 5-10-94. Years of heavy drinking and drugs had taken its toll. Warned that further abuse could lead to his death, Duff realized changes needed to be made.
or instance, after taking a college course in finances, Duff learned that he loved to learn. As he stated, about literature, which he also enjoys, '
The space between the covers of these books became my place of solitude ...
'. Definitely not something you would expect to hear from your average rock star. Yet nothing about Duff is average or ordinary. This is a candid, heartfelt memoir. Though this is his debut book, he has written numerous articles for various publications (including Playboy, ESPN.com and SeattleWeekly.com). Music remains a part of his life. After Guns N' Roses, he was a member of Velvet Revolver and his current band, Loaded. His family (wife Susan and daughters Grace and Mae) is his primary focus.
hile some fans may wish more
had been included, Duff's book is refreshing - honest and even inspirational - and one that can be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone.
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