Duff McKagan Shares His Truth in New Book

Duff McKagan Pens Autobiography

McKagan’s book is available as of Oct. 4, 2011. Order here

In the forward of his new book, It’s So Easy (And Other Lies), Duff McKagan writes, “My friends and old band members may remember some of the stories I recount differently than I do, but I have found that all stories have many sides. These are my stories. These are my perspectives. This is my truth.”

In It’s So Easy, out Oct. 4, McKagan, a founding member of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, shares the story of his rise to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, and his phoenix-like transformation via a unique path to sobriety. 

In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle—partly to pursue music but mainly to get away from a host of heroin overdoses then decimating his closest group of friends in the local punk scene.  In L.A. only a few weeks and still living in his car, he answered a want ad for a bass player placed by someone who identified himself only as “Slash.” Soon after, the most dangerous band in the world was born. Guns N’ Roses went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide. 

In It’s So Easy, Duff recounts Guns’ unlikely trajectory to a string of multiplatinum albums, sold-out stadium concerts, and global acclaim. But that kind of glory can take its toll, and it did—ultimately—on Duff, as well as on the band itself. As Guns began to splinter, Duff felt that he himself was done, too. But his near death as a direct result of alcoholism proved to be his watershed, the turning point that sent him on a unique path to sobriety and the unexpected choices he has made for himself since.

“It’s a story of ‘How does a guy go from growing up in this family to moving to L.A. and getting into this band and then having a lot of fun, experiencing all this stuff and then all of a sudden getting more and more addicted to more and more things?’” McKagan told Fender News. “I can tell you, ‘I drank a gallon of vodka a day’ and you’d probably go ‘Wow, that’s a lot.’ But more than likely you have no experience with that. There are a lot of rock books that have that stuff — ‘Oh, I drank and I did x amount of blow a day,’ but that means nothing to anybody unless you are me. It means something to me. I get it. So I’m trying to take the reader through the experience with the narrative and make it an interesting book in that perspective.” 

In a voice that is as honest as it is indelibly his own, Duff—one of rock’s smartest and most articulate personalities—takes readers on his harrowing journey through the dark heart of one of the most notorious bands in rock and roll history and out the other side. 

“It certainly wasn’t a given that my story would amount to anything more than a lurid cautionary tale,” said McKagan. “It had all the elements: sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and fame, fortune and a fall. But instead, the story became —well, it became something else.”  

Likewise, McKagan has become somebody else. Although he still fronts his own band Loaded, his everyday reality is much more ordinary these days as he enjoys home life in Seattle with his wife, super-model Susan Holmes McKagan, and their two daughters.  

“I’ll be at the restaurant with my little family and someone is like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Duff McKagan,’ and my daughter is looking at me like I’m an asshole and like that guy is an asshole, and that’s really what life is about for me now. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”


To celebrate the publication of the book, Simon and Schuster is offering fans the chance to win the ultimate Duff prize pack—a collection of albums from his days playing bass with the bands Guns n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, and Loaded, a limited edition poster, a signed copy of It’s So Easy, and to top it off, a Fender Duff McKagan P Bass autographed by McKagan himself.

Enter to win here.


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