Smelling the roses

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - SALLY BROWNE The Tak­ing out now Duff Mcka­gan’s book It’s So Easy ( And Other Lies) is due out in Oc­to­ber.

THERE’S no match for an old rocker than per­haps his 13-year-old daugh­ter.

Duff McKa­gan, famed Guns N’ Roses bassist, has lived a hard-rock­ing life­style. He’s seen it all and done most of it. He’s a sur­vivor.

And now, as a shrewd colum­nist for Seat­tle Weekly, he’s armed with that power might­ier than the sword.

While he may have lived a wild life­style and sur­vived to tell the tale ( his mem­oirs are com­ing out in Oc­to­ber), he finds his col­umns about his fam­ily life seem to get the most re­sponse.

‘‘ It’s funny the things that are pop­u­lar,’’ he says.

‘‘ I’ll write a rock story and I’ll get a few com­ments. I’ll write about my dumb dogs and I’ll get a mil­lion com­ments. I’ll write about weight or health and . . . ’’

One blog, which com­pared Amer­i­cans’ eat­ing habits to their Euro­pean cousins’, at­tracted a fevered re­sponse.

‘‘ I was in Europe and ev­ery­body was walk­ing around and the food is gen­er­ally health­ier. I came back to the States and landed some­where like Detroit and you can just re­ally tell the im­me­di­ate dif­fer­ence, that it was all fast food places and peo­ple were in cars driv­ing to the driv­ethrough. Peo­ple don’t like you to talk about their food.

‘‘ I wasn’t say­ing, ‘ Hey fatty’, I was just com­ment­ing on the dif­fer­ent habits. Peo­ple get so fired up.’’

Although he calls Seat­tle home, Duff is on the phone from Las Ve­gas, where he is cel­e­brat­ing his wife’s birth­day. Also con­trary to the hard rocker im­age, Duff has been mar­ried ( al­beit, his third at­tempt) to model and swim­suit de­signer Su­san Holmes, the mother of his two daugh­ters, for 10 years.

What’s his se­cret? ‘‘ We’re just good. Sure, we’ve had some patches, but noth­ing that you can’t [ get through]. Here’s the deal: you can al­ways say you’re sorry.’’

Now McKa­gan has turned his hand to his mem­oirs.

‘‘ It was a lot of hard work,’’ he says. ‘‘ I sat alone, I got re­ally quite hon­est with my­self, as you’ll tend to do when you start off with a sen­tence and you’ve got to back that sen­tence up with an­other. And sud­denly you’re like, ‘ wait a minute what re­ally hap­pened?’’’

Tak­ing stock in­cluded look­ing at his past ad­dic­tions, which were, at one time, out of con­trol. The song Co­caine on his new record The Tak­ing with band Loaded, ad­dresses the same sub­ject.

‘‘ A lot of it was tough for sure. A lot of my friends have died. When I started writ­ing I went . . . how did I sur­vive? Why me? So I think it’s a very hon­est book . . . I’ve had a great life, and even in the dark times I’ve learned valu­able lessons. I feel like ev­ery day now is a new high . . . and the best is yet to come.’’

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