Duff McKagan

Origin: Seattle, Washington

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Genres: Rock

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Michael Andrew “Duff” McKagan  is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and author who is best known for his twelve-year tenure with the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, with whom he achieved world-wide success in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  McKagan rejoined the band in 2016 following their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In addition to his musical career, McKagan is an established writer.  He has written weekly columns on a wide variety of topics for Playboy.com, ESPN.com and SeattleWeekly.com.  Although an honors student McKagan dropped out of high school.  He eventually attended Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics in the early 2000’s, and founded the wealth management firm Meridian Rock.

Michael Andrew McKagan grew up in Seattle’s largely working-class University District the youngest of eight children.  He has been called “Duff” since childhood.  McKagan’s brother Bruce taught him to play bass and he further developed his skills by playing along with Prince’s 1999 album and Damaged by Black Flag.

In 1983 McKagan moved to Los Angeles, California and after answering an ad for a bass guitarist he met guitarist Slash and drummer Steven Adler, with whom he formed the short-lived band Road Crew.  The band unsuccessfully auditioned several singers and ultimately disbanded.

In 1985 McKagan replaced Guns N’ Roses original bassist which was newly formed by singer Axl Rose.  Bandmates Slash and Adler joined the band two months later.  After two days of rehearsal, the lineup played its debut gig at The Troubadour on June 6, 1987.  That same year Guns N’ Roses released its debut album Appetite for Destruction which to date has sold more than 28 million copies worldwide including more than 18 million in America making it the best selling debut album of all time.  The following year the band released G N’R Lies, which sold more than five million copies in America despite containing only eight tracks, four of which were included on a previously released EP.

In 1991, Guns N’ Roses released the long-awaited albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, which debuted at No. 2 and No.1 respectively on the U.S.charts, a feat unachieved by any other group.  In 1993, the band released The Spaghetti Incident,” a cover album of mostly punk songs, which proved less successful than its predecessors.  McKagan took lead vocals on four songs, including live favorite “Attitude,” originally by the Misfits.  That same year McKagan released his debut solo album, Believe in Me, on which he sang lead vocals and played virtually every instrument.

McKagan was the last member of the Appetite for Destruction lineup to leave Guns N’ Roses, resigning as bassist in August 1997.

In 2002 McKagan founded the supergroup Velvet Revolver with former Guns N’ Roses bandmates Slash and Matt Sorum along with Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland.  The band released their debut album 2004’s Contraband, which debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. chart going on to sell more than two million copies.  Velvet Revolver was nominated for three Grammy awards for Rock Album of the Year, Rock Song, and Hard Rock Performance for their Contraband single “Slither” which won their first and only Grammy.  The band’s second album, 2007’s Libertad received mixed reviews and failed to achieve the same commercial success as its predecessor.  The band toured extensively until 2008 when Weiland departed to reunite with Stone Temple Pilots.

In October 2010, McKagan appeared onstage with Guns N’ Roses for the first time since 1993 at a London show.  In April 2012 McKagan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses’ classic lineup.

In 2014, McKagan again briefly reunited with Guns N’ Roses.  He played five full shows in South America, filling in for guitarist Tommy Stinson.  In 2016 McKagan along with Slash returned to Guns N’ Roses embarking on the Not in This Lifetime…Tour.

In 2018, McKagan announced plans to release his next solo album entitled Tenderness.  A single “Chip Away,” was released in 2019.

Reference – http://www.duffonline.com/


Duff McKagan discography (Solo)

Believe in Me (1993)

Beautiful Disease (1999; unreleased)

Tenderness (2019)

Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3 FM plays Duff McKagan.  All part of 50 years of Rock, Blues and More, 24-7 on our station’s stream at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/

Check out Duff McKagan’s new single “Tenderness.”