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One of rock’s true success stories, Duff McKagan’s resume includes larger-than-life bands Guns’n’Roses and Velvet Revolver. He’s an accomplished musician playing virtually anything from drums to bass to guitar, a columnist, a writer and a businessman. Plus he fronts his own band, Loaded.
McKagan’s story starts way back in his hometown of Seattle during the 70s when he was taught to play bass by his brother Bruce. Playing along to Prince and Black Flag albums, McKagan developed his skills and joined his first band, punk rock group The Vains as a bass player.
Forging what would become a thundering rock’n’roll career, McKagan played in 31 Seattle rock bands during the 70s and early 80s, including Ten Minute Warning, pop-punk The Fastbacks and hard-core punk band The Fartz as a drummer. In 1983, he headed for L.A. where he met future G N' R mates Slash and Steven Alder and together they formed the short-lived band Road Crew. Before long the three had teamed up with singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin to lay the foundation of one of the biggest rock bands ever: Guns N’ Roses.
Ignited by the success of their Appetite for Destruction album, which sold a whopping 30 million copies worldwide, G N' R embarked on a rock’n’roll odyssey that was to secure them a place in history. Apart from playing bass, McKagan also sang lead vocals on their 1993 punk-inspired album, "The Spaghetti Incident?" Right around that time, he kicked off a solo career with "Believe in Me", an album on which he sang vocals and performed on virtually every instrument.
As G N' R went on hiatus in 1994, with McKagan officially quitting the group in 1997, Duff found himself getting together with Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones, Duran Duran’s John Taylor and ex-G N' R Matt Sorum to form heavy-metal super-group The Neurotic Outsiders. They played the club scene before releasing a self-titled album and going on tour through Europe and South America. The group disbanded in 1997 but McKagan wasn’t short of things to do. He formed Loaded, a hard-rock band that he still plays in, having recently released their third album (2011).
Early 2000s saw McKagan embarking on a challenging project with ex-G N' R mates Matt Sorum and Slash together with Dave Kushner and Scott Weiland. They called themselves Velvet Revolver and took the world by surprise with their magnetism and energy, releasing two successful albums before dissolving.
Duff McKagan is ultimately a prolific musician having contributed to a myriad of artists’ work throughout the years. He has collaborated with Slash for some songs on Iggy Pop’s Brick by Brick album and contributed to Slash’ band, The Snakepit. As well as this, he played on former G N' R band mate Izzy Stradlin’s solo albums and tours, on a tribute album to Alice Cooper and worked with Mark Lanegan, Macy Gray and Manic Street Preachers. His latest band "Walking Papers" formed in Seattle in 2012 and features Duff on bass and backing vocals. Before their shows Duff uses the BG250-208 for warm up.
Apart from a long-lasting musical career, this bad boy of rock is a respected columnist for a Seattle newspaper, a writer for Playboy’s financial column, and has received serious critical acclaim when his feverishly anticipated biography hit the stores in 2011.
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