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It's So Easy: and other lies Hardcover – October 4, 2011
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"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."
“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 Seattleweekly.com and ESPN.com. McKagan lives in Seattle with his wife, supermodel Susan Holmes McKagan, and their two daughters. Visit Duff-ItsSoEasy.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
The most interesting part of Duff's bio is definitely when he talks about his panic attacks and how he believes that it is rooted in witnessing his father's infidelities as a child. This is when he is at his most exposed and most vulnerable, but again, he quickly pulls back and sugar coats it all. He writes that he 'forgave his dad and moved on'. I wish that he had explored this period of his life much more deeply than he did. Perhaps the pain and the shame of this period runs too deep? Who knows. Only Duff knows I guess.
Much stronger biographies that I read of late are Keith Richard's Life (excellent), Paul Stanley's A Life Exposed (great when Paul talks about coming to terms with his ear deformity much later after he had achieved everything that he wanted to in life), Lemmy's White Line Fever (unapologetic, raw and bare bones...much like the man and his music) and Mike Oldfield's Changeling (probably the best written, most psychologically complex and most enlightening biography written by a musician that I have read in a long time).
We naturally gravitate towards reading about musicians because we want to know what makes them tick and understand why they make the decisions that they do. As much as I wanted to like it, this bio seemed to be safe and in the end strictly written by the numbers. Duff btw comes across as a much more interesting person when he is being interviewed about his life than when he is writing. He may be trying too hard to be a wordsmith now, what with all of the books and the newspaper column that he has been releasing lately....
This book is fantastic. It would be interesting for someone who isn't even a GN'R fan because it is written so well from Duff's perspective and the feeling's he experienced along the way, from growing up in Seattle to his moving to L.A. and eventually forming GN'R. You root for him, you feel empathy for him, you care about him.
I'm at the point where the band is just starting to fall apart, and I can't wait to read this insider account. I fell in love with GN'R when I was 12. My dad flipped out when he saw them on MTV and I knew all of their names. This was not appropriate for a 12 year old Jehovah's Witness! He cancelled MTV. lol But my friend had given me the tape and I made a copy and I labeled it something other than GN'R. (I quit being a JW a few years later and my taste in music grew even harder). I remember reading the rumors and hearing the news about AXL not performing well, or not performing whole sets, or not performing at all. Like I said, I'm looking forward to this current section in the book for the behind the scenes perspective.
Also, I recommend the Documentary on Netflix of the same title with Duff reading portions of the book to an acoustic backing by his current band, Loaded, of GN'R songs and songs from Velvet Revolver. It's accompanied by apt animations and interviews with Slash, Matt Sorum, etc. I saw the Doc first, then rewatched it, then ordered the book!
You will not regret buying this book, whether you're a GN'R fan, a fan of rock bands and how they form and get signed and the journeys they go on, or a fan of autobiographies that are well written and extremely interesting.