McKagan‘s much-anticipated autobiography, “It’s So Easy (And Other Lies)”, arrived on October 4 via Touchstone Books (formerly Touchstone Fireside), a division of Simon Schuster. The first 80 pages of the book can be read at this location.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, McKagan stated about the 304-page hardcover, “It’s not really my story, it’s really not even my autobiography or memoir. I think that term is overused. It is a story of some shit that happened to me, but probably not the typical [things] what people might expect. It’s not my story of GUNS N’ ROSES or VELVET REVOLVER. All of those things are sort of in it, because they’re things I bounced through as I was getting deeper and deeper into addiction and finding my way out. It was challenging going through some of these things that I hadn’t thought about for a long time. And writing forces you to take your own part of your life, of what role you actually played — as opposed to the one you make up later on.”
Speaking to Icon Vs. Icon, Duff stated about “It’s So Easy (And Other Lies)”, “It is my story as I would tell it in my writing, not as I would sit down and tell you my story because I wouldn’t really know how to tell you my story. I can write it and get into the bleaker, darker things a lot easier and the more joyful things that have happened, especially after I got sober. It is basically a story of ‘How did a guy like me get from Seattle to addiction, totally, fully addicted? How did that happen?’ Because the most common question that I get asked in private is, ‘How did you get sober?’ I get asked that a ton by people that are still out there using. So I wrote about it. I wrote about how I got into that place. [Laughs] It is also my story of playing in punk rock bands up [Seattle] and going down to L.A. and the first band that formed was GUNS N’ ROSES. That band wasn’t the reason that I got addicted. It was just the situation that I was in. Drinking, drugs and whatnot was completely condoned, especially by our band. I am not blaming anyone else. I take my part in my life. I take accountability for myself. I think that too often we go through life and if something like that happens in your life, you are quick to point a finger and say, ‘Well, those motherfuckers …’ or ‘That guy…’ or ‘Us going on late was that guy’s fault …’ or ‘it was management.’ I just took accountability for things that I probably could have done differently. Going all the way into the addiction part was gnarly to write about. I really hadn’t figured that to happen but I went through a couple of months of really saying, ‘Whoa! Fuck! I never even thought about this stuff. It is in my past.’ I think it is a good book [pauses] because I wrote it! [Laughs] I am editing it so I have written and read the words, different edits, about eight to 10 times! I think it is good. I can’t tell anymore.”
When asked if he had any reservations about telling his story, Duff said, “Well, here’s the deal. I wrote the book myself. You write alone. You don’t write with someone else sitting there. I was sitting there like, ‘I’m not going to sit here and throw someone under the bus.’ No one else that is part of my story asked me to write about them here, ya know? In making that sort of my mantra, I started to discover my part in things. I had reservations about confidences of old bandmates and friends. If you are a bandmate or a friend of someone, you don’t leave that band or friendship and start telling everyone things. That is sorta like gossiping. Kinda like ‘chick shit.’ But whatever, that isn’t the point. I wouldn’t do that. I think that my story is interesting enough and will have relevance to the people. I think that ‘rock people’ will like the book. You know, I’m a dad and I think that parents will like the book. The book starts off at my daughter’s 13th birthday and then unravels to the past and comes forward again. I don’t know if you have read any of my Seattle Weekly columns but, like I said, it is told in that voice, from now. My reservations were, ‘What does the book company want? Do they want a GUNS N’ ROSES book?’ because if they want that, there are enough of those out there. I don’t need to write another one of those and I don’t have a burning desire to unleash and I don’t have some burning secret that I need to tell.”
Duff‘s VELVET REVOLVER/GUNS N’ ROSES bandmate Slash has published his own book, as has ex-GUNS drummer Steven Adler, who released his life story, “My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses”, in July 2010.