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Wielding the pen after guitar

Former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan has turned writer.

music Updated: Oct 23, 2011 00:28 IST

In the years since Duff McKagan, 47, left Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver behind, he has emerged as something of a renaissance man. He writes about sports, has his own wealth management company, Merdian Rock, for musicians, and now, is an author with the book It’s So Easy (and Other Lies), which was recently released. And of course, he still rocks out with his group Loaded.

The book takes its name from a GNR song, and details McKagan’s triumphs and struggles but he says nobody has to fear about any revelations. “While it may seem like I revealed a ton in writing, you can reveal what you want to reveal. I keep my private life as private as I can. I revealed the important things as they relate to this book and the subject matter of this book,” he says.

The bassist now finds writing gratifying. “In 2008, I started writing for Seattle Weekly. I thought that maybe I would last a couple of weeks and I’d screw it up and they’d find somebody else. But I really found a voice and I like it. Those first two weeks turned into four, then six and eight. Now I’m there 170 weeks,” he says. The Seattle-born rocker rose to fame in the late 1980s with GNR, but eventually would became addicted to drugs and alcohol, until an epiphany changed his life.

“I suffered panic attacks and I found that drinking would dampen down the panic attacks... And then I found drugs... but cocaine would give me more panic attacks, and it would be this caustic stew of action and reaction.”