Chat with rocker/blogger Duff McKagan
McKagan is already getting his
hopes up about a Sonics return.
Welcome to The Show! When we here at SportsNation saw that our good friends at Seattle Weekly had secured former Guns N' Roses bassist, Duff McKagan, to write every Thursday for their music blog, Reverb, it peaked our interest. When McKagan went into detail about the agony of being a Seattle sports fan, well, we just had to know more.
On Wednesday, the man himself will stop by to take your questions about his blog post, "What happened to our teams?," his most recent musical outlets such as Velvet Revolver and Loaded, and his 13-year tenure with a little band from the jungle of Los Angeles that went on to sell 90 million albums worldwide.
McKagan was born in Glasgow, Scotland but moved to L.A. at the age of 19. He quickly met up with Slash and Steven Adler and before long Guns N' Roses was born. Shortly after leaving the band, McKagan moved to Seattle and has lived with the ups and downs of being a fan of the Seahawks, Mariners and Huskies ever since.
Get your questions ready and join McKagan in The Show on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (10:41 AM)
Hellooooooo! Keep sending your questions for Duff! While you're at it, check out his blog at Seattle Weekly! http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/duff_mckagan/ to find out why he doesn't want to be called a "rock star" and the hijinx that ensues on a tour bus.
Duff McKagan (3:04 PM)
Hello everyone. This is going to be killer doing something for ESPN. I watch ESPN all the time. Very cool. I'm ready for your qeustions!
"Backup teams", Duff? Cmon, man. You can't root for say the Mariners and then start looking at another team just because the Mariners went into the crapper a few years ago. That's as wrong as Axl claiming Chinese Democracy is going to come out.
Duff McKagan (3:06 PM)
Hey, the Mariners just named Jack Zduriencik their new Exec. VP and GM. Anyone know anything about him?
Duff McKagan (3:08 PM)
I agree! Totally agree. I lived in L.A. for years and my wife wonders why I don't root for the Dodgers. I can't freakin root for them. Or the Angels. I hate the Angels. I hate the Lakers. But I love sports so much. I always pull for the Red Sox once the Mariners are out of it. Not sure why though. I just love the city of Boston and I love Fenway. But otherwise I'm Mariners all the way. The backup team thing has me in a quandry. Of course I don't 'want to root for another team but I have no hope this year as a Seattle fan. I have to pick the Favre story or something.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how horrible was the officiating when the 'Hawks played the Steelers in the Super Bowl?
Duff McKagan (3:09 PM)
I was there. What I was wondering ... is it normal for the refs to come out after halftime with money falling out of their pockets? I was on the 50 yard line and I saw a completely different game.
Which Seattle sports team do you think will get back to respectability first?
Duff McKagan (3:13 PM)
I have a feeling .. no idea why, nothing to back it up ... that the Mariners will get back quicker than the rest of the teams. The Seahawks have a long way to go. They have a lot of rebuilding to do. The whole team.
Tom (Princeton, NJ)
Would you compare the Scott Weiland-era in Velvet Revolver to the Shawn Kemp-era in Seatle? It was fun, unpredictable, and successful....but in the end was too destructve and volatile for its own good?
Duff McKagan (3:15 PM)
Right. Well, that season, 95 or 96, after we went to the Finals, the following season I got season tickets. That's when McIlvane came in and got more money than Kemp. Although Kemp was trying to be cool, he was ticked off they peeled of 12 large for that guy. I think it drove Kemp to just being more visible with his drinking and week and stuff.
John Ormond Beach, Florida
For someone whose lifestyle brought you closer to death than most, it amazes me how well conditioned you look now (congrats on that, btw). What's your workout regimen like?
Duff McKagan (3:16 PM)
I'm obsessive with whatever I do. To a fault. I was obsessive about drinking and doing drugs but also about being a good musician and good father. I turned the corner in 94 and started doing kickboxing. That's a sport you can't be unconditioned or you will get hurt in the ring. It's a safeguard at this point, the conditioning.
John: Seatte, WA:
Roosevelt High School has a pretty decent football team for the first time in forever, maybe you could root for them to make the playoffs?
Duff McKagan (3:17 PM)
Yes, maybe I will. They do have a good team. I didn't actually graduate from there but I went there. I haven't been home as much as I want to this fall. I live right on the Bay and can hear Husky stadium or not hear the crowd roaring this year.
What made you pick up a guitar in the first place? Was it to get chicks?
Duff McKagan (3:18 PM)
(Laughing) It was NOT to get chicks. I was the last of 8 kids and we were all musical. We had all kinds of instruments around. I was relegated to play whatever I was told to play for the family jams. I was told to play guitar or drums or whatever. I just found a real passion for music.
How in the name of all that is holy could the city of Seattle let the Sonics go to Okla-freakin-homa? In your words, how did it come to this?
Duff McKagan (3:22 PM)
Well, again, I think it started with Mcilvane. I really think that. That was the start of the downward spiral. Letting McMillan go to the Trailblazers. That took the wind out of the spirit of that team. I think you can argue the voters in Seattle had voted in a bond issue for Safeco and Quest and by the time the issue came for a new arena, which we don't need by the way, Key Arena is killer, the voters just said screw you. As a Sonics fan, I still can't believe they are gone. It's pathetic that could happen here. We have a great basketball town. Other teams just couldn't win at Key Arena. JD, I just don't know how it could happen.
Guns 'n Roses ... Velvet Revolver ... Loaded .. what's the obsession with guns? Do you own a gun?
Duff McKagan (3:23 PM)
I don't have a real sweet answer for you. I really don't know. No obsession.
William (Phoenix, AZ)
Do you follow any other sports teams outside of Seattle? Growing up in Scotland, are you a soccer fan?
Duff McKagan (3:26 PM)
Never a soccer fan. I've tried to follow some teams. I just can't seem to get into it. I'm a general sports fan but I have soured to the NBA because of the Sonics. Probably won't watch any NBA this season. If I pulled for anybody it would be Boston because of Ray Allen. He played his heart out for the Sonics. There are teams I will just always hate because they are Sonic rivals. I will never like the Suns. Lakers. The Lakers always had the money like the Yankees. I hate the Yankees just because they can buy anyone they want. Although the Mariners spent a lot as well. Shows you can't buy everything I guess. Getting back to the question .. I guess I have more teams I don't like than teams I do like. I know I liked the Packers because I had Green Bay jammies when I was 4.
Finn (Seattle, WA)
Is Loaded playing around here anytime soon?
Duff McKagan (3:26 PM)
Yes, we are playing the KISW Christmas Show on Dec. 12.
Do you ever see yourself making the trip down to Portland to root/boo the OKC team when they come to town?
Duff McKagan (3:28 PM)
Yes. Just because McMillan is with Portland. I have thought about that rooting for the Blazers until we get a team back. Although with the talk about Payton trying to bring team back, who knows. The mayor has also come out and said he is investigating how to get a team back. I just don't get it man .. just don't get it. It's criminal.
Stephan (Kansas City)
If there were world rankings for fart tennis, where would you be on the list? Love the blog by the way.
Duff McKagan (3:29 PM)
It depends on how hard I train and what I eat. And what part of the world I'm in. On the UK Tour I probably ranked Top 10 in the world for sure. There were some that were better than me. But I'm back eating good so my ranking has dropped.
Can you tip us off about what tomorrow's blog post will be about?
Duff McKagan (3:31 PM)
I have two daughters 8 and 11. Ever since they were born I knew eventually I would have to have "the talk". The birds and bees talk. I had to have it last week. Middle school girls were talking about it so we had to have the talk. It was harder on me than them.
I feel the same sentiment but we can't forget that the Seattle professional teams struggled for years. I guess my question/comment is who is the most disappointing? Personally it's the Washington Huskies after Don James, Jim Lambright, & Rick Neuheisel gave us such great success and tradition. It's hard to see Husky Stadium empty.
Duff McKagan (3:33 PM)
Neuheisel?!?! I agree with the Huskies. They were always great. Since 77 there was a great winning tradition and even pure dominance at times. We always knew they would go to some bowl game. That is probably the most disappointing. I do realize our pro teams have had ups and downs but we have absolutely no ups right now. Just very frustrating. That blog post was me venting and I guess it really hit a nerve. I didn't really realize what it would do. I'm not a blogger really. No idea how far it would reach. I agree Jim, Huskies definitely the most disappointing with no turnaround in sight.
Duff McKagan (3:34 PM)
They should bring back Mark Pattison and Hugh Millen.
Daniel (Providence, RI)
What kind of music do your kids listen to?
Duff McKagan (3:35 PM)
Katy Perry, Lily Allen, The Beatles, Jonas Brothers. My girls have been around me and my bands their whole life so they have grown up with a great scope of music. They get it. They totally get it. But they are individuals and want to listen to the stuff they pick.
Charlie, Jackson MS
Any chance of a guns' reunion, and how does Seattle feel about letting Shaun Alexander suiting up for Washington?
Duff McKagan (3:37 PM)
Shaun Alexander ... good for him. He's a good guy and none of us know what it is really like to be a pro football player. If you are a RB and you are taking all those injuries, we can all sit there and say "attack the line!" but it's just not that easy. He has a great football head and Zorn is a great coach for him to play for. He knows how good Alexander can be. GnR reunion? You never know.
Jason (Everett, WA)
Who is your favorite former or current Seattle athlete?
Duff McKagan (3:38 PM)
Wow. The easy answer is Gary Payton. Edgar Martinez No. 2. Jamie Moyer is up there. Sonny Sixkiller. Steve Largent.
Duff McKagan (3:38 PM)
Schrepf. I could go on all day.
Are you going to buy Chinese Democracy? And what would you say to Axl if you bumped into him in the frozen foods aisle at the grocery store?
Duff McKagan (3:39 PM)
Yeah, sure I'll buy it. I'm just as curious as anyone else. If I bumped into him, I'd just say "Hi, dude."
What did you think about that whole story that a player in the Seattle Mariners locker room hated Ichiro Suzuki?
Duff McKagan (3:41 PM)
Yeah. I've heard the same things. I think when any team starts talking about that kind of stuff, when you hear the dissent, it just goes to how the team is being managed. To me, it just seems like weak leadership. It happens in bands as well. Being in a band is like being on a sports team. When you start singling out one guy, it's a bad thing. The focus of the band or team just wanes in that situation.
Oh man, Steve Largent. Do you remember the time he waylayed Mike Harden of the Broncos? That one got replayed over and over. Great hit and by a WR too.
Duff McKagan (3:42 PM)
Yeah, that was pretty exciting. Largent was a phenom. I think he didn't get much play because he played in Seattle.
Where the hell is Izzy?
Duff McKagan (3:43 PM)
Izzy lives in California. He just put out a record. But he's a very low key guy. He puts out his records straight on Itunes. That guy lives right. Just because you are thrust into the limelight doesn't mean you want to stay there and he is a great example of that.
Do have any interest in becoming a part owner in a new NBA team or perhaps an NHL team if it were to come to Seattle?
Duff McKagan (3:44 PM)
I don't have the money for that. That's differnet kind of money! I'd be part owner if they gave it to me! Wouldn't that be great to have direct say about a team? Out of my league. Way out of my league.
Most painful Seattle sports moment? Mutombo on the floor, clutching that rebound at the end of Game 5... that has to rank up there as one of your worst (and one of my best) memories.
Duff McKagan (3:45 PM)
Yes. That was pretty bad. And they just replayed it over and over. Good one. That's mine too.
Bert (Mpls, MN)
I'm totally not trying to be mean, but does Kevin Durant secure a special place in the heart of Seattle fans? What's the etiquette here?
Duff McKagan (3:46 PM)
Good question. It's uncharted territory. I think he liked the city, bought a house and didn't want to go to OKC and play for a team called the freakin' Thunder. I don't think there are any ill feelings towards him. I'm not sure what the etiquette is there.
Ted, The SLC
You may include the Jazz as a hated rival of the Sonics, but you had to love the classic battles between Payton and Stockton, right?
Duff McKagan (3:48 PM)
Yes. I was at Game 7 and it was even better than we won in Key Arena. That was one of the best victories The Jazz has very aggressive fans who would travel and it just made for a great atmosphere. That was probably my top Seattle sports moment.
u do a GNR reunion and u will have "that" kind of money for sure
Duff McKagan (3:48 PM)
(Laughing) Yeah. Who knows.
Why do you think it's historically been uncool for musicians to be into sports? Were you a sports fan in the GnR heydays or not until things kind of settled down later?
Duff McKagan (3:51 PM)
No, I was always a sports fan. It was amazing for me when Guns hit the point we were playing stadiums and got to play NFL football stadiums. It was amazing to go out on those fields. I would go out at soundcheck and it was amazing. When the Huskies did Dogs 'N Roses ... wow. They made us jerseys with our names on it. Very cool. I've always been a die-hard sports fan. Being in a rock band, you have to be more of an alert fan because you don't get to be in the same place all the time. I remember a Super Bowl where we were in South America. We had to find a place to watch the game at 4am. But now with Blackberrys and such, I get alerts all the time.
Duff McKagan (3:52 PM)
I'm a big Jim Rome fan. It bums me out that I miss his radio show a lot.
Matt (Grand Rapids)
Lead singers seem to be like hockey goalies, they are wired a little different. Do you know why that is?
Duff McKagan (3:53 PM)
I don't know why it is but it takes a little something different to be up there in front. The guitar might as well be the Great Wall of China. If I were to take that guitar off and just sing, it's like standing in a room naked with 5,000 people. A singer has to have a bigger ego and be full of bravado, more than most people.
Riley Courage, Moscow Idaho
Are you burnt out hearing your music in arenas and stadiums during games?
Duff McKagan (3:54 PM)
I think it is really cool. But what most teams miss out on ... Jungle was for Seattle teams. It's not meant for other teams!!! When I hear it played for the Yankees or other teams I go nuts. Just kidding. But yeah, I hear it all the time at stadiums and it's pretty cool.
John (Bergenfield, NJ)
Have you ever met any pro athletes? If so, which ones and who were the coolest/not so cool
Duff McKagan (3:56 PM)
I'd freak out meeting my real heroes like Gary Payton. I'd act like a freak myself. I'd be like "remember that time...". I'd be that guy. I actually haven't met a ton of guys. Scott Pezio was a cool guy. I've met lots of baseball players who are all younger than me nowadays. Tony La Russa was really mellow and cool.
Kevin (Shoreline, WA)
Were you there for any part of the Mariner's '95 "Refuse to Lose" season? I was there for the one game playoff like most of the state of Washington it seems like.
Duff McKagan (4:00 PM)
I was in the city during that. I had bought my house in 93 and grew up playing baseball. I followed them from the beginning just because I had a major league baseball team to follow. It was just so cool to watch them build a team. We had legends in the game of baseball coming to town and being able to watch them was great. The excitement of Griffey and Alex .. just great. My man Edgar! You could really feel that something was going on. Thanks for the questions! This has been really fun. Don't think that I've given up on Seattle teams for all you Seattle fans. Quite the opposite. I'm a Seattle fan through and through until the day I die. Thanks for keeping the questions above the belt ... I gotta run but be on the lookout for Loaded ... hopefully we'll come to a town near you soon. Take care.
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