In his New York Times bestseller, Duff McKagan, founding member of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, shares the story of his rise to fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, and his life-saving 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 LA 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.
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 a harrowing journey through the dark heart of one of the most notorious bands in rock-and-roll history and out the other side.
In this honest, well-written memoir, former Guns & Roses bass player McKagan recounts the age-old rock and roll saga of rise and fall complete with private jets, busted marriages, drunken brawls, and drug addiction. But as McKagan relates, he took an unusual path to recovery, healing himself with martial arts, mountain biking, and meditation. Along the way he also earned a finance degree from Seattle University. McKagan's musical career started early at age 15, the Seattle native was already playing in several punk bands. In 1983 he left for Los Angeles, where he met the other members of Guns & Roses. The 1987 release of Appetite for Destruction made the group an international phenomenon. For a rock star, McKagan is surprisingly self-aware and candid, and he doesn't let himself off the hook easily. The first half of this book alternates chapters between his youth in Seattle and early career in L.A., and he vividly evokes both music scenes drugs and all and his own enthusiasm, desperation, and joy. As the years progress, McKagan, who wrote a financial column for Playboy and currently writes a weekly column for the Seattle Times and ESPN.com, is more cautious and measured but no less insightful. 16 pages color photos
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Stellar Rollercoaster
McKagan does a fantastic job of taking the reader through his whirlwind life, starting with his impoverished adventures and ending with the lessons he has learned by becoming a family man. This book oozes rock and roll cool, but not without McKagan uncovering the dark side of this seemingly glamorous lifestyle. A read for any music fan young or old who loves riveting non-fiction from a man who has seen (and barely) lived through it all.
It's So Easy
This is the best book that I have ever read about the perils of rock and roll decadence. It is sad funny and sweet. I would of course recommend to all fans,but also to anyone who would like to see how a really good guy who made some horrible decisions can get his life together. This is a you can to manual for those who have lost their way. What a great read. It consumed me until I finished it.
This isn't some rock bio culled from interviews. Duff wrote this autobiography himself and it's an amazing journey. As a huge GnR fan, it was an automatic that I read Duff's story. The GnR stuff is intriguing but the heart of his story is about redemption and persevere. His struggles with drugs and alcohol are told with great color that will make you feel sick. But how this man came out of that dark place and the way he did it through martial arts and living an "honest" life is inspirational. From there Duff goes on to higher education, have a beautiful family and stories about his mother and children are touching. In the end Duff goes on to show that it's never too late to control your destiny and make your mark on the world. Thanks Duff for sharing with us.