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It's So Easy: and other lies Hardcover – October 4, 2011

620 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"You’ll read this memoir from the former Guns N’ Roses bass player for the sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but you’ll remember it for what comes after—recovery, family, and fulfillment.” (Los Angeles Magazine)

“In a book that mourns friendships and talent lost to drugs, his transformation is a relief and an inspiration. McKagan writes with honesty and even humility, seemingly refreshingly devoid of rock star egomania.” (Shelf Awareness)

“Honest, well-written…McKagan is surprisingly self-aware and candid, and he doesn’t let himself off the hook easily.” (Publishers Weekly)

“In his solid debut, the author…proves himself to be a legit writer.…McKagan has a nice eye for details and a surprisingly good memory. He’s proudly raw and harsh, refusing to hold back in terms of language and content…fans will be thrilled by this honest, detailed memoir."
(Kirkus Reviews)

“Fans will love the descriptions of the struggles and early triumphs of GNR, but McKagan's descriptions of his equally driven efforts at self-transformation are just as compelling (particularly his meditation on the redemptive power of reading and the satisfaction he receives in his intellectual as well as physical revitalization). Verdict: Rock fans—and would-be rockers—will find much to savor here. McKagan has packed a lot into his life and a lot of his life into this book. Readers will enjoy the ride.” (Library Journal)

“McKagan recounts his (tale) with flamboyance and an engaging wit.” (Booklist)

About the Author

Duff McKagan played bass for Guns N’ Roses for twelve years and co-wrote many of their most iconic songs. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Duff formed Velvet Revolver with his former band mate Slash and fronts his own band, Loaded. He writes weekly columns for and McKagan lives in Seattle with his wife, supermodel Susan Holmes McKagan, and their two daughters. Visit

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Second Edition edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145160663X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451606638
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (620 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Dooney Reviewer on October 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Duff, dude, you tell a great story! I was a little leery of a buying this book, but I am such a fan of the genre of biographies and I do know the lyrics to a couple of GN'R songs, so I thought... what the heck! I was pleasantly surprised. I had no idea this guy could write, much less tell a story in such a way you find yourself not wanting to put the book down. The book flows very well, it's nicely put together and edited. I've even recommended my 60 year old mother read it (she's a big fan of bio's as well). This is the best book I've read in a while. From living in filthy back-alleys of LA to rocking the largest stadiums in the world... it's a fascinating story and McKagan tells it well. I was hooked after the first chapter, I was so surprised. I really didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. I bought this book on my Kindle the first day it was released (Oct. 4) and here it is 2 days later and I finished it already. Buy this book, especially if you are a fan of GN'R or a fan of well-written biographies.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Kris on October 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I the course of his reflections on his life so far, McKagan observes that the best years--the finest hour--for Guns N' Roses was short--perhaps terribly so. A scant three years before whatever combination of egos, not-so-managers, greed, and addictions swept away whatever spark had been lit on that fateful afternoon in 1985. Unsurprisingly, his memoir features much from those three years, though he also carries readers through it quickly--a whirlwind of energy and possibility-before the tone shifts to one of bewilderment.

Part of what makes McKagan's memoir different from others that preceded it--two memoirs having been published by AFD-era band members already, after all--is his tone. He matches the mood with the moment throughout. One can feel his anguish over the deaths of the fans in 1988 at Monsters of Rock (I would have like too have seen acknowledgment of the the band's subsequent choice to capitalize on the story in the inclusion of the footage of that particular show in the Riefenstahl-esque video "Paradise City" video, but that' my hang up) and the trepidation that it could happen again. All of the memoir, even as we head toward a predictably successful end (there are, after all, really only two ways to end a memoir that centers around addiction--and autobiographies generally do end on an upswing), has a wash of vulnerability, particularly in the ever-present threat of panic attacks, but he deftly matches mood and moment throughout--one can sense the discomfort in telling some of the tale. He recounts stories that are terribly familiar to addicts of all stripes--propelling through life on fear and just reacting to stimuli over and over again (or, conversely, drowning the stimuli--turning the volume down on life as far as can be managed).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Eddie on October 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, a very well writen book by one who clearly is serious about the craft of writing! Second, if you are reading a review by someone who is descibing Duff as a "Rock Star" - the reviewer clearly did not finish the book, or simply doesn't get it. I am a life-long Seattle resident and through family, saw and met Duff for the first time when he was a little kid running around with my ex-brother-in- law, one of Duff's good friends to this day. I also have met with many of the Seattle people described in the book and used to play in a band with the brother of the drummer in the Vains. I've briefly met Duff at house parties over the years, and he was always kind and socialable to me, whom he had no reason to even speak to. So after reading his book, I can tell you from all this history that I never really knew a thing about him. I've witnessed his journey periphally from a kid on a BMX dirt bike to a punk rocker, to a world renowned muscian, to an out of control drinker, to an athelete, to a father, to an educated financial adviser and now an accomplished writer with a great future before him. I could not put the book down and it actually brought me to tears a few times. Truly a moving and well constructed book - so like someone else here said, stop reading the reviews and get the book. You won't regret it! Kindle Edition)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Baars on November 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
To say I was pleasantly surprised by this book is understating it. I am not a fan of Guns 'N' Roses or Velvet Revolver at all but I found Duff McKagan's book both fascinating and inspiring. Unlike other rock stars (Slash & Ace Frehley for example) he truly takes responsibility for the way he messed up his life (and for the effects his actions have had on the people close to him). The way he climbs out of the deep dark hole he is in and then turns his life around is awe-inspiring.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Piper on November 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is much more than a book about a musician. Its a book about an inspirational life story. And it is a great deal of fun to read - I could not put it down! Duff's story will appeal to fans of Guns N Roses, sure, but it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a well written story of an interesting life. One of the things I found most enjoyable about the book is the feeling that you really get to know Duff. Having seen him in concert before, it is only after reading his book that I felt like he'd be someone I would really enjoy meeting and spending time talking to. A very compelling book. Way to go Duff!
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