Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review of Duff McKagan’s It’s So Easy


Duff McKagan is one of my bass heroes, and one of the reasons why I stuck with the instrument back in the 1980s. His playing is melodic, his music writing skills are incredible and he is the epitome of cool. I follow the blog he writes for Seattle Weekly and like his writing style, so when I had the chance to pick up a copy of his autobiography, It was a no-brainer.

Depending on how old you are, you will know Duff as the bassist for Guns & Roses or Velvet Revolver, or possibly not at all. He is currently working with his own band, Loaded, and runs his own wealth management company. He is not a dumb guy. This is not his first writing gig, and besides working with Seattle Weekly, he has also been writing for and Playboy for a number of years. He had some help on this project from Tim Mohr, his editor at Playboy, but this book is in his voice so I believe McKagan did most of the work.

It’s So Easy covers the rise and fall of GNR (of course), but it also covers his life before and after the tumultuous years with the band. There is the expected dirty laundry, but we also get some insight into his private life, and even get a few of his favorite recipes. He is critical of others throughout the book (and rightly so), but is hardest of all on himself. The tale of his descent into and back out of the pit of drug and alcohol addiction is compelling, and should be required reading for teenagers.

At a bit over 300 pages, I figured the book would provide a few hours of entertainment, but I ended up taking my time with it because it turned out to be a really good read. Duff has a tremendous grasp of the details of these stories, and his writing style is very honest and natural. There is some raw language here and there, but probably not as much as you would expect. He provides a nice display of photos in the middle of the book too.

So, Duff McKagan’s It’s So Easy is a well-written book and an interesting read, and I recommend that you give it a shot. And here is the hot ticket: this book originally sold for $26 (which is way too much for any book, let alone a rock star tell-all) but they are closing these out for six bucks at Barnes and Noble, bringing it more into line for what I am willing to pay. Check it out!


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