Chat with Duff McKagan
McKagan is still relishing in the Seahawks' surprising playoff run.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com The Life's new columnist, former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, will stop by to take your questions on all things sports and music.
McKagan, a Seattle sports fan, recently wrote a column about what it feels like to secure Super Bowl tickets for your best friend only to have that friend show up at the big game in enemy colors.
McKagan was born in Seattle 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 ruling the world. Shortly after leaving the band, McKagan moved back to Seattle and has lived with the ups and downs of being a fan of the Seahawks, Mariners and Huskies ever since. He is currently in two bands, Velvet Revolver and Loaded, and blogs for Seattle Weekly. He is also finishing his autobiography.
Get your questions ready and join McKagan on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:03 PM)
Duff will be here momentarily!
Duff McKagan (3:05 PM)
Zach Goodwin (Omaha, Nebraska)
What kind of hell would you have raised if you had shown up at the Seahawks Super Bowl and they told you that you're seats weren't available?
Duff McKagan (3:06 PM)
No kidding! Wow. I don't know. I was speechless when I heard that story. That's the salt of the earth right there. I can't even imagine. I don't know what you could do. The Seahawks Super Bowl, the security was so tight and the lines were so long to get in. You probably couldn't raise much hell. But now that I have a column, I would have raised hell that way. I would have been crushed.
Justin Kelly (Detroit)
how worried are you about a work stoppage in football?
Duff McKagan (3:07 PM)
I don't know a lot about the CBA situation but if there was no football ... my great nephew just committed to the Washington Huskies. USC and Notre Dame wanted him but he stayed home. So I would put everything into him.
Duff McKagan (3:08 PM)
The Dexter Charles era begins!
How's the autobiography coming? What made you decide now was the time to do it? You still have a lot of rocking to do.
Duff McKagan (3:10 PM)
(Laughing) Yeah, that's a good question. Well, I have been writing a weekly column for the last 2.5 years for the Seattle Weekly and was writing for Playboy. Some of my columns I started to find out about myself. You start with a statement and then you have to support it. I started finding my faults that way. I started with being a dad and then worked my way back. It was a very interesting process. Because I'm just writing so much now is the main reason it seemed right. It's not a tell-all or even a rock book really.
Julie Mason (Everett, WA)
I love reading your column on ESPN and all of your other writings. Did you ever find time to read during the GnR hey day or were books a buzzkill?
Duff McKagan (3:12 PM)
I didn't start reading until I got sober in '94. It was a way to fill up my day. I dove into the classics. I missed the last couple years of high school so I missed out on a lot of the classics. I started reading Hemingway and all kinds of things. I had double vision during those days. I think we were a bit more intellectual than you would think.
Buzzmaster (3:13 PM)
Duff is passing on the Black Eyed Peas question!
Eric Gomez (KS)
Do you think being in a huge rock band now would be as fun as when you guys were big? It's obviously a different world now.
Duff McKagan (3:17 PM)
Good question. It's a different deal now for sure. I've been out with Velvet Revolver which is pretty big. I just don't think kids go as far to the edge now. You have to kind of set the trend for your band before the management gets involved. There was a lot of different music that was challenging to the listener and the audience and not selling out back then. I don't know if there is as much of that right now. I don't feel that energy like something new is happening. That was happening all the time back then. If you're talking about the sex and drugs, we started the band when AIDS wasn't even thought of as a hetrosexual problem. Think about that!
Duff, enjoy all your work. If you could attend one sporting event in history what would it be?
Duff McKagan (3:18 PM)
Thrilla in Manila or any one of those big fights. That would be amazing. To see Ali fight would be amazing.
Did your stomach turn a little like ours did when we saw Arod getting fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz during the Super Bowl?
Duff McKagan (3:19 PM)
I'm fine with it. It's what people do. Are people really giving him a hard time about it? People are pretty opinionated about their Yankees.
Chris Mondragon (Deployed in Bahrain w/ Marine Corps)
Duff!! Whats up brother? I am a big USC fan. So how do you feel about Pete coaching your Hawks, and what kind of success do you think he can bring to them from his successful college coaching career. Music Question: Any projects planned with Slash or any past G N R members? But you know what all us G N R fans are waiting for! Good luck to your Hawks next season Later!!!
Duff McKagan (3:21 PM)
The big question in the Northwest is whether this can last. Pete brings youthful enthusiasm. Everyone thinks he is younger than he is, really. But he got our team to believe in themselves. Especially early in the season. I saw them beat the Chargers in Seattle and they destroyed them. The defense really believed they were the best. We had so many personnel changes and he got everyone on the same page. He knows how to win and he has a good owner. That's a good combination. I'm excited about it.
James (Greenwich, CT)
Did you ever play against Axl one-on-one in any sport? How badly did you beat him and was he a sore loser?
Duff McKagan (3:22 PM)
We probably shot some hoops. We rode mountain bikes after I got sober. He was a pretty athletic guy and he moves well. I just saw him a couple months ago and he can still move with grace and is very light on his feet.
Dude, back in the day you couldn't speak complete sentences in GNR documentaries, now you have a degree, write, are fit and sober, have a great family, etc....if you can do all that why can't you work your magic and bring the Sonics back!?!?!
Duff McKagan (3:25 PM)
Man, I'm going to do what I can. I'm going to try. I might write something. I have an inside scoop I might be able to share. It was really criminal what happened to that city. The Good 'Ol Boy network. Why can't they just send our team back? Send New Orleans back to Oklahoma. That's what I would like to see. I'll do my best, Brad. I'll use that positive energy to get our damned Sonics back!
Duff McKagan (3:25 PM)
Durant and Westbook are pretty damn good but I just can't pull for them. The NBA is dead to me. It sucks.
Duff McKagan (3:26 PM)
This would be the part of the season where I would be all into the NBA but now I'm just sitting around waiting for March Madness and pitchers and catchers to report.
Besides singing voice, what is the most important attribute for a lead singer of a rock band to have?
Duff McKagan (3:28 PM)
Any good artist has to have had some kind of rub in their life, something real. Something you have to get out lyrically or you are going to kill yourself or somebody else. Those are the lyrics that inspire. The ability to tap the dark stuff and have it be real. Great lead singers have the ability to tap that. No inhibitions helps as well. Axl and Scott are two of the best front men ever.
Duff McKagan (3:28 PM)
Corey Taylor is one of those guys as well. He can tap it. He has to get those lyrics on the paper or his world is going to crash down around him.
I saw that Rob Zombie is going to induct Alice Cooper at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. When you guys get elected, who would be a good choice to give the speech for you guys?
Duff McKagan (3:31 PM)
I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought about the Hall of Fame. But I haven't thought about that. I'm not sure what the deal is with the Hall of Fame. Is it like sports? A lot of great artists haven't been inducted. GnR played when they inducted Van Halen. We were supposed to play with David Lee Roth and he didn't show up. But then Keith Richards showed up and he added some real weight. So that made it fun. And Patti Smith have a great speech that year. How about Bozo the Clown? That would be fun. I really don't know. Haven't thought about it. Iggy? That would be amazing.
Duff McKagan (3:31 PM)
How about a great author? J.D. Salinger? Now you're talkin'!
Do you think we'll ever see another local music uprising like we saw in Seattle in the 90s? That was really amazing to watch.
Duff McKagan (3:33 PM)
I don't know if we'll see that again or not. Seattle still has a great local scene. It's real. I went and saw three bands for $5 last Saturday night. A crappy PA system but the bands were great. On a commercial level, I don't know if we will ever see that again or not. I don't think record companies make much money on rock anymore. So that doesn't help. They aren't apt to go around and sign a bunch of bands and take a chance on them. The local scenes are going to stay local probably.
I saw you mentioned Corey Taylor. He has been rumored to be the new singer in Velvet Revolver. Is this true?
Duff McKagan (3:34 PM)
I can neither confirm nor deny.
Duff McKagan (3:35 PM)
He is a bad dude though. I like him as a human being and a singer. He's the voice of a whole new generation.
Duff McKagan (3:38 PM)
Thanks for the questions! I have to run to another interview but I really appreciate your questions. Give me some time with my ESPN column .. I'm still finding my way writing around sports. I know sports fan usually wouldn't read the stuff that I write but give it a chance. Life is about challenges and this is one for me. It's quite an honor to write about something I love so much. I hope it doesn't mess with my love of sports. I won't be a reporter. I just want to write about what I'm passionate about. Thanks and we'll do this again sometime!