Duff McKagen Talks Drug Addiction, Guns N’ Roses in New Book

Duff McKagan, former bassist for Guns N’ Roses, has recently published a book called It’s So Easy and Other Lies through Touchstone Books. His memoir details some of his experiences with the band when GnR was in its infancy but more thoroughly explores his issues with addiction and recovery.

According to the Seattle University blog – McKagen’s alma mater: “The book details his rise to fame and fortune, struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, transformation, his time at SU, business successes and his journey to becoming a loving husband and father.”

McKagen says that the book is “about my descent, and then my rise out of addiction.”

It’s not the first time McKagen has explored his addiction through writing. He is a regular columnist for the Seattle Weekly and the subject of his drug and alcohol addiction history is a common topic of discussion.

Says McKagen: “The question I’ve gotten the most is, how bad did it get? How much did you drink, how much drugs did you do? And how did you get sober? And I can’t really ever explain. If I told you on the phone — and I assume you’re probably a ‘normy,’ a normy meaning you don’t drink a gallon of vodka a day, or do a ball of blow every day or smoke heroin — so if I ever tell you how much I did, it wouldn’t make any sense. You would go, ‘Wow that sounds like a lot,’ but you wouldn’t really know what I’m telling you.”

He went on to say that he has explored writing about that topic – the quantity and magnitude of addiction – in such a way that it really describes to those who may not have been through it or reached that depth of addiction what exactly it means to live in its throes.

McKagen’s book offers a couple of different positive additions to the library of addiction literature. First, it helps families of those living with addiction to understand a little better what their loved one is going through and feeling. Second, it offers addicts the active (and hopeful) example that recovery does work – McKagen himself is a living example that you can get your life together after drug addiction. Lastly, it’s entertaining. Those who are GnR fans or interested in anecdotal music history will enjoy learning a little more about both the LA and Seattle rock scenes.

What books have you read about addiction and recovery recently? Leave us a comment and let us know your favorites.