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

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  3,617 ratings  ·  360 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

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Hardcover, First Edition, 366 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Touchstone (first published 2011)
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✽ Sharon is an emotional 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...more
Anthony
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. I wish this book was a little more detailed. I would have liked to have found out more a...more
Jessica
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...more
Allison
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
Silvia
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,...more
Scott Axsom
“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 whil...more
Mitchell Caplan
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
Nathan Timmel
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...more
Sarah
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...more
Stacey
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...more
John
I always liked Guns & Roses, but I would never call myself a huge fan. I've had several copies of Appetite for Destruction over the years, and the first concert I ever saw (Ok, first rock concert) was Aerosmith with Guns & Roses as the opener, way back in August of 1988. I never really got into them enough to actually learn about the members other then the negative stuff that one reads in the paper.......the excessive drug and booze, Axl Rose throwing tantrums on stage or not showing up...more
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...more
Tammy Hahs
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
Monica
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
James
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
molly
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.
Georgette
I've always loved this man. I jest not! Reading this was like taking a trip back to the late 80's and 90's when they still had such things as midnight record sales, records, and a metal music scene. There was also this little old rock and roll band called Guns N'Roses, and they did set out to and did rule the music scene for a number of years. In this, Duff, the bassist for the band for the entirety of its run, tells the story of his rise from a kid living in Seattle, playing for punk bands, and...more
Manny
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...more
Jason McNamara
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
Amber
I liked this rock musician memoir because he doesn't seem to embellish or unnecessarily shit talk the way some other rock musicians who write memoirs (::cough:: Nikki Sixx ::cough::) do. Duff comes across as eloquent and honest and tells his story, and it's a pretty amazing one. Here these guys were, playing in a tiny rehearsal space in Glendale that constantly got raided by cops and then a few years later they have their own private plane and mansions and are playing in countries all over the w...more
Natasha Kamal
I have read Slash's, Adler's, and motley's Nikki's heroin diaries in addition to this. I must say duff Mckagan is the coolest among all the gunners or for that mater among all the rockers. The book was written solely by him unlike the others which were written by professional journalists. The best thing I liked about duff's book is the clarity of the objective he had in his mind for this book. Duff wrote this book to help other addicts understand addiction and how they could use his example to c...more
El_kiablo
As someone who is interested in reading about pop culture figures I'm well versed in junkie books. They mostly follow a straight forward outline: childhood trauma, hunger for success, get success, success isn't what it looked like, get overwhelmed, get bad habits, bottom out, find out what life is actually about, clean up, write book. This book hits all of those checkpoints (traumatic divorce, pour body and soul into Guns N Roses, start swigging vodka by the gallon, etc.) But I don't say that to...more
Ramzi
May 26, 2014 Ramzi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Music Fans
I started reading this on the plane back from NY and found it to be thoroughly enjoyable. At times it was kind of like reading a long Rolling Stone article, one with plenty of interesting music history and one that's full of obstacles and adversity for the subject to overcome but devoid of innuendo and tabloid journalism that often plagues the rock n' roll autobiography.

Duff McKagan's story is about a guy who while in his teens dedicated his life to becoming a professional musician and that by t...more
Adam Beilke
How did I find this book?
I've been listening to a lot of "Guns N Roses" lately. They are an old heavy rock band from the 80's and 90's and I really like them. When I saw that some of the band members had written their own books, I immediately went out to buy this

Significance of the title?
"its so easy" is a popular song written from guns n roses. It's fitting because of the fact that this book was written by an ex-member

Purpose of the book?
Duff McKagan wrote this to show you what its like being...more
Tyrone
Duff's book is so much better than Slash's exploration of disgusting rock and roll antics. Reading "Its So Easy and Other Lies" makes you come away thinking "Cool, Duff reached the depths of depravity, but came back from it with a positive attitude", where after reading "Slash", I thought "what a dirty piece of shit".

Still waiting for Axl to pen the autobiography to end all autobiographies, but in the mean time, this is definitely the Guns N' Roses member book to read.

Laesar
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.
Marco
A great read for both the GnR fan, and anyone looking for inspiration in life transformation. In a blue-collar style; true to his family roots, Duff unveils the rock n roll myth, baring all the shallow decadence, absurdity, and ultimately, the detrimental lie many a rocker is consumed by.

Duff McKagan's story is proof that not only can you attain your goals; by applying yourself, but that it is never too late for that change.
Petra
Of course I have been a fan of Duff for many years and as I have read his columns on Seattle Weekly for over a year (I don't even know whether it is still there or not) and always enjoyed reading those, I was familiar with his writing style before starting this book.

Even so: I was a little apprehensive as I was thinking maybe I would get bored with it as I had already read many of his columns and I did know a lot of his history from interviews he has given in the past but I was pleasantly surpri...more
Eric Lawson
Heard Duff on Jim Rome's radio show. Grew up listening to Rock but was not a real big GNR fan. He seemed very articulate on the radio discussing his life so I thought I'd branch out and read a bio about a rock and roller. Boy - glad I did. He is two years younger than me so when he was detailing his life growing up I enjoyed re-living some of my childhood memories of the times. I liked the book because of his brutal honesty about the mistakes he made growing up in/with the band and how he turned...more
Martijn
After reading the stories from Slash and Steven Adler, I think this is my favorite GN'R-biography so far. Maybe Slash's is a bit more spectacular but Duff's story is definitely the most personal and well-written one. Being from Seattle his background offers a different perspective on the L.A. scene and Guns' part in that. Quite inspiring too, reading how he kicked his addiction and changed his life 180 degrees.
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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.” 7 likes
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