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It's So Easy: And Other Lies
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It's So Easy: And Other Lies

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  6,738 Ratings  ·  558 Reviews
A founding member of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver shares the story of his rise to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, and his phoenix-like transformation via a unique path to sobriety.

In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle—partly to pursue music but mainly to get

Hardcover, First Edition, 366 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Touchstone (first published 2011)
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Sep 04, 2015 Ana rated it really liked it
“Here’s what I believe. Shit fucking happens. That’s rule one. Everybody walking the planet knows that. Rule two: things rarely turn out the way you planned. Three: everybody gets knocked down. Four, and most important of all: after you take those shots, it’s time to stand up and walk on—to continue to live.”

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Let me start by telling you this: It's So Easy and Other Lies is going to become a movie! Why am I always the last to know everything? Here's the trailer-
Nov 17, 2011 Allison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non, rock
This book is why I love reading rock autobiographies. Duff comes across as intelligent and self-aware, but he doesn't act like he's always been that way. He admits to past mistakes and stupidity while he was living it up with Guns N Roses. He shares embarrassing stories about drugs and drinking, including throwing up, then consuming the vomit because there was alcohol in it. Instead of glorifying his former rock lifestyle, he focuses on how he overcame things. He fell in love, married, and now h ...more
Oct 10, 2011 Anthony rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobio
Interesting book. I've read Slash's book. I've read Adler's book. Both gave unique accounts of their lives and what they went through in GnR. Their books were a bit more salacious than Duff's. Probably because they used professional writers to help them and the publishers wanted to sell books. Since Duff wrote his own book he probably doesn't feel his daughters need to hear the exact details. I respect that. However, I wish this book was a little more detailed in other areas. I would have liked ...more
Sharon ∞❥ is an angst book junkie ❥∞
I'm not going to do a full review for this since it's pretty obvious what it's about. I will say that it was non-stop interesting and a very smooth read. However, 'It's NOT Easy' to read especially about things like the vomit...ugh!!

**On a side note...for all my romance reader friends, I do have to say I don't think we will ever read one of our books about a musician having sex with a girl in a cockroach infested apartment and the girl being okay with it!!

and it's definitely interesting to know
Sep 04, 2012 Silvia rated it it was amazing
After finishing Slash's biography, I fell into a catatonic state. You know, I'm a huge fan of Guns n' Roses. Like, HUGE. And, well, the break-up part wasn't that easy to read. Probably because I always hoped for a reunion, and finishing Slash's book destroyed all my hopes D:

Duff's biography, though, left me in a catatonic-ly positive state.
He's such sweetheart. He's honest, funny, and..Well, he's kinda hot.

The part that moved me the most, I guess, was the Axl-and-Duff-London-thing. They hugged,
Book Riot Community
I saw Guns N’ Roses for the first time in my life this month, so naturally I had to beef up on my GN’R factoids. This book isn’t really that, though. Duff McKagan writes about his alcohol addiction and his dances with death. He writes about how he overcame it all and has to tell himself every day that he’s an addict. Did you ever think a memoir could be a page-turner? This one is. One hundred percent. Its structure is perfect — it starts with his daughter’s 13th birthday party, then goes to his ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
I am NOT a hardcore GNR fan, not even a GNR fan at all, but I really loved this book. I used every spare moment to read it and finished in two days. Sex, drugs, rock n' roll, and an inspirational story! Mostly, I think I was really into it because the writing was surprisingly good. I had heard Duff speak on the radio and could tell that he was intelligent and very articulate, making it likely that he actually wrote his own story.

I highly recommend this book to just about anyone who wants a drama
Scott Axsom
Dec 31, 2011 Scott Axsom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s So Easy (and Other Lies) is the most compelling book I’ve picked up in a while. Duff McKagan is an excellent writer with a highly accessible style and his story is nothing if not riveting. Indeed, McKagan himself comes across as highly accessible and deeply grounded in his art. All of which makes this a very, very enjoyable, if disturbing, read but, as the book progressed, particularly as it described his recovery, I found myself more and more removed from his story, and it took me a while ...more
Oct 15, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer - I may be abit biased as Duff has been my not-so-secret rocker crush for 20 years.

Quite simply, if you're looking for a tell-all and airing of dirty Guns N Roses laundry, you need to look elsewhere. This is the tale of one mans journey that happened to include the greatest rock band of it's time. It's hard to read - I knew Duff was a drinker but had no idea just how deep into a pit he fell - but it felt really inspirational to me. This is a guy that was a member of this HUGE band, li
11811 (Eleven)
Mar 17, 2016 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it
If you were into the whole punk-metal scene in the 80's, this has plenty of treasures to offer.
Nathan Timmel
Dec 28, 2012 Nathan Timmel rated it it was amazing
What I'm about to do is unfair, because I am going to compare art, to art. The reason I hope to get away with it is because when it happened to my book, I enjoyed it. "This book is what the movie `Funny People' should have been!" a reviewer exclaimed, meaning he finally found in my words what he had been searching for in another medium. That out of the way, my proclamation is: This book is what "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir" should have been.

The differences between the two books, and therefore
Tamelyn Feinstein
I have a soft spot for rock and roll memoirs, and I've read quite a few. I've found that, overall, they tend to be quite self-indulgent, salacious, and entertaining; I've also found they tend to NOT be well-written, thoughtful, or deep.

I've never been a big G'n'R fan, although I appreciate their unique contribution to the late 80s - early 90s rock scene. However, when I recently came across an interview with Duff McKagan on an afternoon TV talk show, I was struck by his intelligence, thoughtfuln
Mitchell Caplan
Nov 06, 2011 Mitchell Caplan rated it really liked it
After reading Clapton's book (terrific) and then Keith Richards book (even better) I didn't know what to expect from McKagen. Clapton clearly didn't write his book himself, and Richards read as if he was talking to you. I expected McKagen's book to be a big tell all about the debauchery that was GnR, but instead I found a very well written, well thought out story about his personal journey. I really enjoyed this story, but frankly, would have loved to hear more detail about GnR's amazing run. An ...more
Tammy Hahs
Dec 16, 2011 Tammy Hahs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I rarely give books five stars, even books I thoroughly enjoy. I like to reserve five stars for the best of the best. (i.e. how can I give Good In Bed the same score as The Diary of Anne Frank?) It's So Easy and Other Lies may just be my favorite book of all time. Maybe it's because I was a HUGE Guns n' Roses fan growing up. Maybe it's because I wanted to marry Duff McKagan from about age 14-17 (obsessed may have been the right word). All of that aside, this book was well written, funny, and cra ...more
Carol Storm
Feb 22, 2017 Carol Storm rated it liked it
Duff McKagan seems like a nice man, and you can't help but admire his honesty about the way drugs and alcohol almost ended his life. But if you're a Guns and Roses fan who wants behind the scenes stories, all blood and guts and swagger, or if you're looking for insight into why this was the last great rock and roll band, forget it. I mean, forget it.

For an eyewitness to history, Duff McKagan does an amazingly poor job of making history come alive. You can put on "Rocket Queen" or "Dust and Bone
Dec 31, 2011 Monica rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I finished it in under two hours, it is that good. What a talented writer Duff is. His story is captivating and I am so glad he is in such a good space now. A very humble, intelligent man. Perfect book to start the new year with, so inspirational. I hope Duff writes another book on anything, just so I can read his writing again. Will have to check out his columns. I confess to tearing up a couple of times whilst reading but it's all good. ...more
Winter Sophia Rose
May 28, 2015 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Fascinating & Inspiring Read!!! I Loved It!!!
Feb 10, 2016 Vickipedia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, borrowed
When I picked up "It's So Easy" I hadn't the slightest clue who Duff McKagen was let alone know that he was the bassist for Guns N' Roses. The book was recommended to me by a friend who knew I liked to read, so I finally picked it up.

Whew! She should have told me to put on a seat belt!

I read some reviews here and there saying they wished McKagen went into a little more detail about his life with the band, the women he bedded, and all the fun and lascivious details that gossip rags are known to
Sep 29, 2016 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic-music
I'd say 3 and a half stars. I enjoyed it. It kept me reading. A few things of interest. McKagan essentially wrote his own book rather than telling his story to someone else. McKagan is a pretty decent writer but still learning so that explains why some of the work, especially early on, jumps around quite a lot. By that, I mean jumping around in time, from past to present to future. Later in the work, this smooths out.

One difference in this work than other rock musician biographies that I've rea
First off, I'm not a huge GNR fan. I like them of course, but what I mainly wanted to read about was Duff's pre-GNR experience in the Seattle punk scene of the late '70s/early '80s.

That said, I did find all of the GNR bits rather fascinating. Duff is a great writer; every time I picked up the book I was immediately drawn in. The frustrating thing about the book was that each chapter would end and leave me slightly unsatisfied. I wanted to know more. I felt like he held back and left a lot of det
Jason McNamara
Apr 07, 2012 Jason McNamara rated it liked it
Less sensational than Slash's autobiography, Duff's is ultimately more relatable. McKagan's book is a personal journey of a man finding himself. You won't find ANY details about the recording of Appetite (one of rocks greatest achievements in my opinion) or the songwriting process. It's almost entirely about him getting fucked up and finally getting healthy. It's a great story and that I watched it unfold during my MTV watching teen years makes it historically appealing to my generation. Ultimat ...more
Sebastian Bach
Jan 11, 2012 Sebastian Bach rated it it was amazing
What an incredible book. So well-written and so classy and so cool, and Duff never throws no one under the bus. Highly recommended
May 13, 2015 Jesseporker rated it it was amazing
When I first encountered this book, I assumed it was going to be another book about a drugged up rock star. Having already read a few other autobiographies, I was quickly growing tired of the format. And Duff? Well, he was just the bass guitarist for Guns n’ Roses. What more could he possibly have to say about the crazy tales of one of the worlds greatest, and most dysfunctional, rock bands that I didn’t already know?

It turns out, quite a bit.

First, just over half of Duff’s book is actually an
Jun 03, 2012 Manny rated it it was amazing
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. When I first started to read this book, I though, "Here we go, another book about partying like a "rock star", drugs, women, destruction" I was partially right. However this book was gripping, insightful, motivational and truly inspiring.

How this man survived the 80's and is even alive today is beyond me. McKagan takes you into the dark annals of his life story. This man "partied like a rock star". From his early days of his panic attacks to the heavy alcohol induced h
Jan 02, 2015 Carey rated it it was amazing
I was pretty young when GN'R released their 1st album, but theirs were some of my first favorite songs. I didn't know much about the band members and could only name a couple before reading this (and Duff wasn't one of them). I chose this book bc it was one of the highest rated non-fiction books on Amazon. I found the story riveting - Duff is a talented storyteller and just kind of an amazing person in general. His personality shines through, and his balance of humor, humility, wisdom, and compa ...more
Feb 09, 2012 James rated it really liked it
Well, assuming that Izzy and Axl aren't going to be hunching down at their word processors anytime soon, I'm finished with the original-GNR-lineup memoirs. And I'm glad I got to Duff's last; it didn't have the fascinating trainwreck appeal of Steven Adler's or the absurdist black comedy of Slash's, but it's definitely the best-written of the three. Duff's hella likeable (he comes across, in almost every detail, as fiercely loyal, with a quiet, intellectual streak and a good sense of humor) and h ...more
Feb 01, 2012 Laesar rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I was a big fan of his since G N R exploded onto the music scene but I was too young back then to understand what it was all about. This book told me what was really going on. Not only does it explain Duff's relationship with his bandmates but also his relationship with drugs and alcohol and how he has got over it all. I was amazed at Duff McKagan's life (past and present) and I recommend this book to everyone.
Jun 14, 2013 molly rated it really liked it
june book club. quite a change of pace from north korean escapees and mormon polygamy. OR IS IT.

ETA - so good! loved it. i think people expecting a sleazy tell-all would be disappointed, but i loved reading about not only his time with gn'r, but his life and recovery since then. DUFF MCKAGAN GOES TO TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERTS.
Colin Birge
Jul 06, 2012 Colin Birge rated it liked it
A VH-1 "Behind The Music" episode in written form. Punk bass player joins LA-based band called Guns N' Roses and discovers fame, fortune, and the inevitable fall from grace--this time via alcohol and other addictions that nearly kill him. Fun, quick escapism with a happy ending.
Cathleen Holst
Apr 12, 2015 Cathleen Holst rated it it was amazing
I was completely unable to tear my eyes off this book. I've been a fan of Duff since back in the day when Guns N' Roses hit the scene, so I don't know how this flew under my radar. It's an incredibly inspirational story, and each time a song was mentioned an new earworm was born.
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In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff left his native Seattle—partly to pursue music but mainly to get away from a host of heroin overdoses then decimating his closest group of friends in the local punk scene. In L.A. only a few weeks and still living in his car, he answered a want ad for a bass player placed by someone who identified himself only as “Slash.” Soon after, the most dangerous band in t ...more
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“Yes, confidence was knowing I could do anything. But, I realized, confidence must always be rooted in work. In sweat. In pain-good pain. And in honesty.” 12 likes
“Here’s what I believe. Shit fucking happens. That’s rule one. Everybody walking the planet knows that. Rule two: things rarely turn out the way you planned. Three: everybody gets knocked down. Four, and most important of all: after you take those shots, it’s time to stand up and walk on—to continue to live.” 4 likes
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