It's So Easy: And Other Lies

It's So Easy: And Other Lies

4.7 77
by Duff McKagan
     
 

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A founding member of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver shares the story of his rise to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, and his phoenix-like transformation via a unique path to sobriety.

In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle—partly to pursue

Overview

A founding member of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver shares the story of his rise to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, and his phoenix-like transformation via a unique path to sobriety.

In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle—partly to pursue music but mainly to get away from a host of heroin overdoses then decimating his closest group of friends in the local punk scene. In L.A. only a few weeks and still living in his car, he answered a want ad for a bass player placed by someone who identified himself only as “Slash.” Soon after, the most dangerous band in the world was born. Guns N’ Roses went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide.

In It's So Easy, Duff recounts GN’R’s unlikely trajectory to a string of multiplatinum albums, sold-out stadium concerts, and global acclaim. But that kind of glory can take its toll, and it did—ultimately—on Duff, as well as on the band itself. As GN’R began to splinter, Duff felt that he himself was done, too. But his near death as a direct result of alcoholism proved to be his watershed, the turning point that led to his unique path to sobriety and the unexpected choices he has made for himself since. In a voice that is as honest as it is indelibly his own, Duff—one of rock’s smartest and most articulate personalities—takes readers on his harrowing journey through the dark heart of one of the most notorious bands in rock-and-roll history and out the other side.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this honest, well-written memoir, former Guns & Roses bass player McKagan recounts the age-old rock and roll saga of rise and fall—complete with private jets, busted marriages, drunken brawls, and drug addiction. But as McKagan relates, he took an unusual path to recovery, healing himself with martial arts, mountain biking, and meditation. Along the way he also earned a finance degree from Seattle University. McKagan’s musical career started early—at age 15, the Seattle native was already playing in several punk bands. In 1983 he left for Los Angeles, where he met the other members of Guns & Roses. The 1987 release of Appetite for Destruction made the group an international phenomenon. For a rock star, McKagan is surprisingly self-aware and candid, and he doesn’t let himself off the hook easily. The first half of this book alternates chapters between his youth in Seattle and early career in L.A., and he vividly evokes both music scenes—drugs and all—and his own enthusiasm, desperation, and joy. As the years progress, McKagan, who wrote a financial column for Playboy and currently writes a weekly column for the Seattle Times and ESPN.com, is more cautious and measured but no less insightful. 16 pages color photos (Oct.)
Los Angeles Magazine
"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.”
Shelf Awareness
“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.”
Booklist
“McKagan recounts his (tale) with flamboyance and an engaging wit.”
From the Publisher
"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.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

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

Los AngelesMagazine
"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.”
Kirkus Reviews
Do we need another tell-all from another Guns N' Roses member? Sure, why not? Bassist McKagan is the poster child for not judging a book by its cover. In his solid debut, the author--who studied business at Seattle University and has contributed pieces to Playboy, ESPN.com and Seattle Weekly--proves himself to be a legit writer (though readers may wonder how much credit goes to his Playboy editor Tim Mohr, of whom the author writes, "[this book] is as much his baby, as it is mine"). 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, happy to rail on his band mates, his management, promoters and anybody else who he feels crossed him during his journey to the top, and back down to the middle. But he also points his finger at himself, admitting to all of his ill behavior, be it a loud disagreement with Axl Rose or one of his many devastating benders. The GNR story has been told from several angles, and while McKagan's book doesn't have the same oomph as Slash's 2008 autobiography, it's better written and more insightful about more topics than just GNR, including his stints with Velvet Revolver and Loaded. "My friends and old band members may remember some of the stories...differently than I do," he writes, "but I have found that all stories have many sides. These are my stories. These are my perspectives. This is my truth." McKagan doesn't add much to the oft-told GNR story, but fans will be thrilled by this honest, detailed memoir.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451606638
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
10/04/2011
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

DUFF Mckagan played bass in Guns N’ Roses for twelve years and co-wrote many of their most iconic songs. He formed Velvet Revolver with his former bandmate Slash and fronts his own band, Loaded. McKagan writes weekly columns for Seattleweekly.com and ESPN.com. He lives in Seattle with his wife, supermodel Susan Holmes McKagan, and their two daughters.

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It's So Easy 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
kerrmet More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying that I have read dozens of rock autobiographies, memoirs and biographies over the years. Usually the more drug filled and sorted the better it is. I have never taken the time to write a review but after reading "It's so easy" I had to say a few words. Duff, you are the man! This starts out like many other of the books I read, sex, drugs and rock and roll. Starting out just wanting to play music all the way to waking up and not knowing what country you are in and everything in between. You have read it all before. Where this book changes course is when Duff decides to quit drinking or face death. Rehab, nope, he does it his own way. I will let the reader experience that for themselves, but you will be inspired i assure you. Smart guy for sure, and now he has dedicated his life to working with and helping others as well as his persuit of the music he continues to share with us in many forms, mostly his band Loaded. I have met literally hundreds of rock stars from a former job and really could nto think of too many that I would like to meet until i read this book. Duff if you read this stuff, thank you for sharing your life with us and continued Godspeed on your sobriety and life with your beautiful family! Read this book, you will not be sorry!!
tim2nyy More than 1 year ago
When Duff McKagan announced the publication of his memoir, I was immediately excited as a longtime Guns N' Roses fan. Their career stands as the ultimate rock 'n' roll tale: humble beginnings, a meteoric rise to superstardom, self-indulgent excesses, and finally inevitable destruction. Over the years we've received many sides to the story from the various band members. Slash's recent autobiography was a great read and an intriguing account of what went on inside what was at the time the world's greatest rock group. Duff's book presents a fresh take on this unforgettable ride, along with an unprecedented look into his own personal struggles and triumphs. McKagan is always supremely frank and well-spoken in his recollections, never holding back the gritty details. "It's So Easy" ultimately becomes an examination of addiction, conflict, and defeat on the road to conquering one's demons. You can't help but identify with Duff and respect him even more as both an artist and a man after reading this memoir. Nothing is sugarcoated, and that's the point. Duff explores the darker side of fame, but comes through it with a sense of peace and achievement greater than any platinum record.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I stumbled onto this book after seeing Duff on Dr Phil ( youtube takes me to the strangest places ) . I was captivated by his story . Duff proves to be a loving friend, husband, and father . Not to mention a fantastic well rounded musician and songwriter in one of the greatest bands of all time . As someone who is in the early stages of recovery , his story is an example that there is hope for guys like us .
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Another young man makes it big in the music business, spends money on drugs and alcohol and almost kills himself in the process. Then after finding no solace in the music he is playing, cleans. Up, finds love and goes to business school. Not really an uplifting tale, but still one of hope and promise. Although, I was not a follower of Guns N Roses, I do enjoy reading memoirs and since this one that is in an area I know little about, I thought I would give it a try. I found Duff's storytelling to be interesting and although, they are points in his life that he skims over then comes back to, I did enjoy how he explained what his life was like and how he was able to overcome many obstacles. I am sure fans of the band will enjoy the book as much as I did.
BlackMadonna13 More than 1 year ago
I am anxious to read this book. I have read Slash's and Steven's books and really enjoyed them both. GN'R is my all time favorite band and I have followed the careers of the original 5 members (Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff and Steven) since the beginning. I will always and forever be a GN'R fan.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I cant keep writing
Anonymous 10 months ago
Im going to bed gttg
Anonymous 10 months ago
Hey hayley im ready
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent read. Very inspiring book as well. I have always been a Duff fan and this book made me admire him even more. Cannot wait to read his next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found out a lot I didn't know about Duff. A good read I couldn't put it down ,loved it!
kaydoggydog More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Guns N Roses fan so for me, this book was a must read. Duff tells his story exceptionally well, it held my interest from the beginning to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have worked my way through a majority of the original members of GnR books. I see a piece of me that relates to each of their stories because of addiction. Out of all them, I enjoyed reading Duff's book the most. It was much more rooted into reality than the drug fueled haze the previous two books of Slash and Adler presented of the GnR story. I was able to associate with Duff's addiction for alcohol, though I was amateur to the level indulgence he presented, the mentality is where I resonated the most. Duff also shows to be a point of inspiration for me in his telling of life. It's a struggle for many of us and it is how we handle that defines us. I could only hope to do just as well with my recovery as he has.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed his story alot. i liked his writing it was easy reading and flowed good. I would read another book by him if he wrote another book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! I went into this book hoping to read GN'R exploits and I got my moneys worth! Written from the front lines of GN'R, this book offers the perspective only a member of the band could present. The tales are wild and rowdy and dangerous and thrilling! Far more surprising though was the human being behind all of the GN'R decadence. Duff comes off as a humble; highly intelligent and compassionate man (husband and father). I found myself draw to him as he wrote about the years following GN'R: The life and death medical issues; quitting drugs and booze; his dedication to fitness and optimism; his love of family and friends. Even when Duff is documenting a temporary return to drugs he does it in a way that is completely honest and does not attempt to spare his own ego. Duff presents himself far beyond the two-dimensional rock and roll star and shows himself to be a vulnerable and gifted human being. A really great biography Duff!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! If you are a GNR fan this is a must read. Well written, page turner. Left me wanting more. Very inspirational. Two thumbs up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book immensely. Duff was never (in my mind at least) the most well known of the GnR members but I developed a new respect for him after reading his memoirs. Great writing style - not "f this", "f that" but written more like a normal human being relating his experiences. Most of us have dreamed of being rock starts but that will never happen. With Duff's book you can get a sense for what it was all like and maybe even imagine that you yourself went through it. A lot of fun - I read it a 2nd time shortly after the first. Would recommend to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This guy gets it. Duff, You are an amazing father, husband, sibling and friend. I read Stevens book first and really enjoyed his stories. I got through half of Slash and it was to much of the business but just did not capture me. I stopped and went to your book. I could not put it down for three days. I laughed, i had to wipe tears but mostly i think i will get better at running my business and really enjoy my kids. I want to thank you for something else Duff, you made me more confident with my own demons to improve my life. You are one hell of a writer. I live in a resort town near Fargo and liked the Fargo references. I was in Fargo for the infamous visit to 107.9 that day. That was some crazy shit there and was quite a buzz for days after. Thanks for all of your hard work and continued hard work in the industry. I hope Axl appreciates it too. All those number one songs will have a different effect on me when i hear them. Great job man. Mark
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting to see how he made it through to the other side. Keep up the hard work!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the better GnR books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One the best rock books available.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a die hard hard rock fan, and the 1980's hard rock scene especially, I bought this as a fan of Guns n Roses & because I am a Seattle music homer. Obviously this covers his time in GnR, Velvet Revolver, but his solo record during his time in GnR, & his current band, Loaded. He also goes into his family life extensively, especially him being a father, which he loves being. He makes no bones about his drug & alcohol addiction, & speaks candidly about it. Bottom line, if you are a hard rock fan, you will not be disappointed in this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very good, Kept my attention .i just totally love him after reading this. What a extrordinary man!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Growing up in the 80's, and being a big GnR fan, I found this book a truly interesting read and had a hard time putting it down. Always love a good recovery story.