Smelling the roses
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.’’