|Birth name||Michael Andrew McKagan|
|Also known as||Duff|
|Born||5 February 1964|
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Occupation||Musician, songwriter, finance|
|Instruments||Bass, guitar, drums, piano, vocals, synthesizer|
|Associated acts||Guns N' Roses|
10 Minute Warning
Alice in Chains
Michael Andrew "Duff" McKagan (born February 5, 1964), is an American musician who is best known for his thirteen-year tenure in the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He is currently the bassist for the hard rock band Velvet Revolver, lead vocalist and guitarist for his own solo punk rock project Duff McKagan's Loaded, and a weekly columnist for SeattleWeekly.com. He also writes a weekly financial column for Playboy.com called Duffonomics. Duff was also a member of Neurotic Outsiders, which included John Taylor.
Early years (1964-1984)Edit
Michael Andrew McKagan was born in Seattle, Washington, the youngest of eight children born to Elmer (Mac) and Alice (Marie) McKagan. They were a musical family with every member playing at least one instrument. It was his brother Bruce who taught him his first bass lines, though he developed his own skills playing along to 1999 by Prince and Black Flag's Damaged.
Although best known as a bass player, Duff also played drums in several bands, including a stint with Seattle pop-punk band the Fastbacks (which he joined at the age of 14 in 1979) and The Vains with Chris Utting. Between 1979 and 1982 he lead and played guitar in punk band The Living who opened shows for Hüsker Dü and D.O.A. and had a devoted following. Initially the band included Chris Utting (The Vains) and Duff and Chris would switch on drums and guitar to play songs penned by John Conte, Chris and Duff. By 1980, Chris was out of the band so Duff could focus on guitar and newcomer Greg Gilmore was brought in as full time drummer at which point the band became considerably more powerful and focused. The band played numerous shows and recorded as yet unreleased demos. The Living were notable for the presence of future Mother Love Bone drummer Greg Gilmore (as well as Todd Fleischman and charismatic frontman John Conte). At the time, Greg Gilmore also played in the heavy psychedelic band Chubby Children before moving on to Mother Love Bone. Besides drums and bass, McKagan also has the ability to play other musical instruments: he plays guitar and even played piano on the song "Misery" from the Loaded album Dark Days.
In 1984 Duff worked for a short time at Black Angus restaurant in Northridge, CA as an appetizer server, before making it big time with GNR.
Answering an ad for a bass player in a local magazine, McKagan headed to California, at age nineteen. In California, he met guitar player Slash and drummer Steven Adler of the band Road Crew at L.A.'s legendary 24-hour deli and rock hangout, Canter's. Duff expected some punk with a penchant for '70s rock, but found two long-haired guys instead.
|“||When I met Slash and Steven for the first time", he said, "it was weird, 'cause I'd never met guys like this before — L.A. locals. We went out that night and got drunk, and then we had this ill-fated band. It was Slash's band, Road Crew.||”|
He describes his home city as "a rowdy rock 'n' roll town with a hip underground."
Guns N' Roses (1985-1998)Edit
Main article: Guns N' RosesFrom the wreckage of the bands L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose, Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin joined Tracii Guns, Ole Beich, and Rob Gardner to form Guns N' Roses. Initially formed to meet booked gigs for the disbanded acts, the new line-up was finalized on June 6, 1985. Duff became the band's bassist, replacing Ole Beich, and after two days of rehearsal, the newly formed group played their debut gig as GN'R on a Thursday night at the Troubadour. As with ex-rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, McKagan also had his crack at handling lead vocals on GN'R songs such as Use Your Illusion II's "So Fine" and a handful of songs off of the cover album The Spaghetti Incident?, including live favorite "Attitude", originally by The Misfits.
He brought his punk rock influences to the group, being a huge fan of Sex Pistols, Ramones, and The Clash; even citing Paul Simonon of the Clash as his favorite bassist. He is also a huge fan of Sid Vicious.
Solo years (1993-2000)Edit
After a half-hearted attempt at drug rehabilitation, he kick-started a solo career with 1993's Believe in Me. In 1994, McKagan's pancreas had swelled to football sized dimensions (due to acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis) and he underwent emergency surgery at Northwest Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle, WA. The doctors told him that if he did not quit drinking, he would be dead within a month, so McKagan quickly became sober.
In 1995 he collaborated with Slash in his solo project "Slash's Snakepit", co-writing a song called "Beggars and Hangers-On", which he played live at the Palace during a Snakepit show in May of that year.
Duff also tried an acting career in 1997. He had a part in the TV serial Sliders, which aired in May of that year, as a dead rocker vampire.
On August 27, 1997, he had his first child, Grace, with model/swimsuit designer Susan Holmes. They married on August 28, 1999. On July 16, 2000, they had their second child, another girl, Mae Marie.
Then, he participated to the album Humanary Stew: A Tribute to Alice Cooper, and helped his former GN'R bandmate Izzy Stradlin with the album Ride On.
In 2000, he put together another band called Mad for the Racket, also known as The Racketeers, with MC5's Wayne Kramer and Damned's Brian James. For a drummer, they recruited several guest stars, such as Stewart Copeland (Police), Clem Burke (Blondie), and Brock Avery. In 2001, he reunited with Loaded for the club circuit in Seattle. He also ran a marathon in 2001 with bib number "11468."
Neurotic Outsiders (1995-1997, 1999, 2006)Edit
Main article: Neurotic OutsidersOriginally a gathering of friends jamming together at the Viper Room, Duff formed the group Neurotic Outsiders with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, John Taylor of Duran Duran and fellow Guns N' Roses bandmate Matt Sorum. They recorded one album, Neurotic Outsiders, (1996) on Maverick Records, and did a brief tour of Europe and North America.
They reunited briefly in April 1999 for three shows at the Viper Room.
The band reunited on December 7, 2006 for one performance.
10 Minute Warning (1997-1998)Edit
Main article: 10 Minute WarningFollowing his departure from Guns N' Roses in 1997, Duff moved back to Seattle, where he met with many of his old friends, including Stone Gossard. It was him telling them how great they used to be, that encouraged the members of Ten Minute Warning to reunite that year, with new vocalist Christopher Blue replacing Steve Verwolf, who was serving a term in Federal Prison. It was at this time that the band finally recorded and released 10 Minute Warning on well known Seattle label Sub Pop - nine tracks including two new versions of songs originally recorded by The Fartz (Is This The Way? and Buried), and also the original version of Mezz, which was later re-recorded for Duff's unreleased solo album, Beautiful Disease. The album was eventually released in 1998. However, by this time Paul Solger had quit due to "musical differences". Ten Minute Warning played its last show on August 22, 1998 at the Roseland theater in Portland, Oregon.
Loaded (1999-2002, 2008-present)Edit
Main article: Loaded (band)When Duff's second solo record, "Beautiful Disease", became lost in the legal shuffle when Geffen and Interscope Records merged. he formed the group Loaded with Duff taking up lead vocals and bass duties and rounding up the lineup with Dez Cadena, of Black Flag fame, on guitar, Michael Barragan, formerly of Plexi, on guitar, and Taz Bentley, formerly of The Reverend Horton Heat, on drums. They put out the live record, "Episode 1999: Live" which is only available for purchase on Duff's fansite. The group soon disbanded.
In 2000, Duff reformed Loaded, remaining as the lead vocalist but switching to rhythm guitar, adding drummer Geoff Reading, of New American Shame and Green Apple Quick Step, guitarist Mike Squires, of Harvey Danger and Nevada Bachelors, and bassist Jeff Rouse, of Alien Crime Syndicate. Although both Squires and Rouse joined after the recording of debut album Dark Days, Dave Dederer formerly of The Presidents of the United States of America took up recording duties for the album, this would remain the main lineup of Loaded until 2009.
In 2002, while on tour, both Squires and Rouse left Loaded to join the reformed Alien Crime Syndicate, former Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner and former Asva and Burning Witch bassist George Stuart Dahlquist were brought in to replace them. Duff and Kushner went on to form Velvet Revolver, putting Loaded on hiatus.
In 2008 Loaded returned with Squires and Rouse returning to the group. They recorded a new album and released Sick in 2009, they also released the EP Wasted Heart months earlier in 2008. They have since toured with Mötley Crüe and Black Stone Cherry. In 2009, Geoff Reading departed the band with Isaac Carpenter, formerly of Gosling, Loudermilk and The Exies joining the group as his replacement .They plan to record and release a new album in 2010.
Velvet Revolver (2002-present)Edit
Main article: Velvet RevolverSince April 2002, Duff has played bass guitar for the group Velvet Revolver together with ex-Guns N' Roses' members, Slash and Matt Sorum, as well as guitarist Dave Kushner and former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland. Their debut album Contraband was released in 2004 and peaked at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. The group's second album, entitled Libertad, was released on July 3, 2007. McKagan toured with the band, until Singer Scott Weiland left the band on April 1, 2008, to reunite with Stone Temple Pilots.
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