Author Topic: Duff blogging for Seattle Weekly  (Read 58439 times)

Offline vrfan1234

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The thing I find odd is that when I questioned him about 'official' forums he said he knows which one's are official because he used to be a moderator on the VR forum. As far as I know the official VR forum (the fan club one) has no moderators, so either he's lying or he somehow managed to be a moderator here without realising that it's not an official forum.
It also means he is/was a part of the problem he's complaining about.

But I as far as most of his comment goes I think he just didn't understand what Duff was saying. He never said people don't "kiss his ass", simply that they shouldn't. I suspect 'nobody' got as far as the title and decided he obviously didn't need to read anymore because he knew what Duff would say and jumped straight to replying.

Says a lot that he felt he needed to do it anonymously as well, apparently he does care what Duff thinks because otherwise he wouldn't mind him (and everyone else) knowing who he is. All in all it's a pretty hypocritical approach.

Good points.  I didn't know the official board had no moderators and hadn't even thought about posting anonymously meaning he actually cares.  Did the older official website board from the Contraband era not have moderators either?  All in all, I wonder whether 'nobody's response was not so much a respectful fan thing or a well thought out critic's response as a gut reaction.  Unfortunately, gut reactions don't always make perfect sense.

Offline Just_Me

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Hmm...I hadn't thought about the old Contraband era forum. It definately didn't when I was posting there regularly but that was back in 2004, maybe into January of 2005 so it might have done after that.

You'd get flamed if you insulted the band, but that's not the same as moderating, and since you'd also get flamed for writing more than two sentances in one post it didn't really mean much.

Offline duffdiver

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Hmm...I hadn't thought about the old Contraband era forum. It definately didn't when I was posting there regularly but that was back in 2004, maybe into January of 2005 so it might have done after that.

Wasn't any moderators as of May, 2005.  I also used to check back in there once awhile and it was still a free for all until they took it down and re-vamped the site.  So "nobody" HAD to be referring to this site....

Offline rhyte

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Nobody has apologized, he/she didn't mean to be insulting to Susan... :?: Still no clarity on his/her mod experience.

Offline Trist805#2

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These are great to read.  Duff is the coolest.  How about this part:

"I also have a strong dislike for the term because I do actually know some people in ‘the biz’ that I have even worked with (no hints) who do refer to THEMSELVES as rock stars..."

hmmm  Weiland?... :lol:

Offline duffdiver

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Posted today at 1:05 am by Duff McKagan

Flying is something that I do on a pretty regular basis. I’ve seen the heightened airport security following Sept. 11, 2001 slowly wane to a point of a near casual ease that, while still rigorous, pales in comparison to the 2 or 3 years after the brutal attacks of that black day. But today, I am flying. Today is Sept.11, 2008.
I always kiss my wife and daughters before I leave on any trip away from them. Last night I took my little girls to dinner and a movie, made special as it was a school night. This morning, I woke up and made them breakfast, then walked them to school. I held on to our parting embrace perhaps a bit longer than was comfortable to them in front of all of their cool friends, I didn’t care. I hugged and kissed them like I did on day the planes were hijacked and met their horrific end. The world’s axis for all humankind seemed to have been put on a tilt that day. My family was young when the Twin Towers went down and my fear for their future at that time was beyond acute.
I don’t write this particular column for the sake of my fear, of my plane to Europe going down. This is not a political piece either. I want to speak on what I have witnessed today at the airport, and how my memory was refreshed by this morning’s CNN constant report of near doom that I watched before I left to the airport. I want to remember how that one event changed ALL of our lives forever. Have we made any REAL progress since then? I don’t know. It probably won’t show for years to come.
Airport security today at LAX was fierce. Back were the checkpoint security stations at the entrance to the airport. Security dogs doing their collective best to sniff out bomb material as cops stopped all cars. I don’t mind and I certainly understand. After ticketing at the airline counter, it was on to the scanner security station where the lines were absolutely gynormous. I don’t mind, I get it. I did get a little freaked out however, when two obvious meth-head tweakers couldn’t find their tickets or ID’s. They were furiously looking through clear plastic garbage bags that served as their luggage. Tweakers freak me out and these two had truthfully unnerved me on this day. God, I hope they aren’t on my plane. The number of TSA and LAPD was easily tripled but I sailed through ( I’m not sure how my speed-freak friends did). There seemed to be a palpable calm, not only at the security lines, but also throughout the whole airport. There seemed to be an air of understanding between everyone who were walking to his or her flight gates. There was not the usual scurrying and strangers seemed to be making eye-contact with each other, as if to say “hey, you all good?”. Maybe this was all in my imagination but honestly I don’t think that it was.
I boarded my flight and my first leg took me to London. As I settled down into my seat, a family came on last minute looking for their rows. A teenage boy found his place and it was right next to me.
“ I am scared to be flying on 9/11!” he said to me.
“Where are you headed?” I asked
“Back home to Saudi Arabia”
His name was Saud and he is a Muslim lad, going back home after visiting L.A., where his sister attends the Fashion Institute. His family wore traditional clothing from their part of the world and you could definitely tell that people on the flight were eyeing them intently throughout the flight. This is a phenomenon that I believe Saud sort of took in stride. He’s a normal kid. He likes video games, disco, and soccer. He seemed to respect me as an elder. You don’t get that everyday. He showed me a program on his computer that can make your head fat or skinny on its’ self-contained camera. A nice little dude.
Talking to Saud made me realize that we ALL now are on constant alert. Gone perhaps are the days where there seemed to be just a general curiosity about other cultures. We are paranoid now. What do they think of us in Indonesia where there is a large militant Muslim faction. Who are those Muslim guerillas who kidnapped the westerners in the Phillipines back in 2003? Is there some geographic line we as Americans cannot cross because of fear for our safety? Was it there, pre 9/11?
I remember thinking of all of the Muslims that must live in the U.S. back then.
I remember wondering how many might be Taliban operatives. I don’t think that I was alone. Paranoia ran rampage in the first few months on American soil. Could you blame anyone? No. This was my generation’s Pearl Harbor. We were suddenly attacked by some exotic enemy from the extreme peripheral. Some Americans boycotted or vandalized Muslim owned and operated businesses. Others defaced Mosques or worse. Me? I fell into a depression like I had never experienced before, actual clinical depression. Like many of us, I sat and watched CNN for something like 2 straight weeks. When George W. came on network television and vowed revenge, I whole-heartedly backed it. Let’s fuck someone up! Let’s goddamn Roll! There seemed to be no other answer or solution. I wonder now what we from the West could’ve done differently to mend the chasm of misunderstanding that still remains between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’? As it turns out, Sadaam was probably just another in a long line of tyrannical despots…but we already new that.
Of course I landed at Heathrow airport in London without incident. I found out that perhaps we all have some form of trepidation about this momentous date. I met a new friend in Saud from Saudi Arabia, who shared with me some cool things about his life and upbringing. I probably embarrassed my 8 and 11 year-old girls in front of their friends at school earlier this morning, but I don’t care. I will always remember this date for how it changed my life and strengthened my love for my family. This date will also remind me of how horrible we as human beings can be and what we are capable of at our worst.

Offline duffdiver

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An Enlightening Trip
Posted today at 3:22 am by Duff McKagan

I want to frstly state that this piece, while political in nature, is not meant to sway votes. I have an opinion on the Presidential candidates. My views will color my writing at times.
A few weeks back, I posed a question to you, the Weekly reader. I asked for you all to form a somewhat concise idea that I could in turn ask in a question form to the average European and Brit of what they thought of our upcoming election and even where they thought America itself may be headed in the near future. The response from you all was really quite fantastic. Well, as it is turning out, on my current trip over here, I have been being stopped short before I can even get a question out. Opinions here are rampant and overwhelmingly similar. It goes something like this…
My first stop was Italy and my first real dialogue was with a person from the local press in Milan. I asked him if he knew of the recent developments in the U.S. presidential race.
“Oh yes” he replied, “ this Palin woman scares the hell out of me and she must be stopped. It seems that she is for real, right?”
I asked what he meant by that.
“Well, she likes to shoot guns and doesn’t believe in sex education?” I said that in fact these were the exact things I had heard in a very simplified way, but yes, these things did actually appeal to a large part of the voting constituency back home.
“Oh shit,” he said, “they are going to win aren’t they…” I said that I did not know.
“Well, this is what I now feel and it makes me very sad” he said. I left Italy with a sense of embarrassment that I could not shake. (shame?).
I do realize that EVERY country has it’s own political, social and civil issues; by no means are we as Americans alone in the arena of frustration with empty-promise laden talking heads. However, the world does look to the U.S. for a lead when things like the Georgia crisis happen, that is just the way it is.
Okay then, on to the U.K. The viewpoints on U.S. politics seem to be a bit more keen here in Britain, as our two countries’ have sort of been in bed on things like the ‘war on terror’. I boarded our band tour bus after we arrived at Heathrow and promptly asked our driver if he was ‘up’ on the current presidential race in America. His name is Darren and it went something like this;
“Oh yes, I am quite familiar with the whole thing. This Palin bird from Alaska quite scares the shit out of me. She is getting a LOT of coverage over here for how bizarre she actually is to us. The U.K. doesn’t really understand someone like her.” I replied that the people that I know from the U.S. don’t really understand her either.
Our conversation moved in and out of a bunch of different issues, including his knowledge of the Diebold voting machine scandal in Ohio last election. We spoke of the out-dated Electoral College system still in place in U.S. presidential races. He questioned me if I thought that if a single persons’ vote still really held weight. I explained that I was perhaps skeptical but had no real evidence the back up my skepticism. I took note that if Darren represented the average Englander, their education of current political affairs was well above average. Darren also informed me of a common opinion on Bush/Cheney.
“We are not terribly frightened of Bush. He just seems quite ‘thick’ (er, not smart), but Cheney scares us to death. It appears to us that he is running the whole show. If the McCain/Palin ticket wins, we are more afraid of HER than him.”
In these days of complete-saturation press coverage, could it be that actual campaign policy is ignored or erased by sheer volume of ‘face time’ with the camera? On top of that, if some gun-toting bible-touting right wing conservative “scares the hell” out of the average European, to whom do they appeal in America? Look, I’m not dumb and I do realize that there is a major evangelical movement in the U.S. that can sway an election one-way or the other. I also know that the NRA carries a lot of weight. But the more people that I speak with over here, the more INSANE it seems that GOD and GUNS are such a huge issue in politics…what the fuck? Instead of America perhaps leading the way for world-wide enlightenment, it seems perhaps that the times of Constantine are being drawn from to control the inside of our borders as of late.
A few days later I had an open conversation with a mixture of businessmen and women in London. Their concerns echoed exactly that of our bus driver without really swaying one-way or the other. While they have no idea what Barrack would actually do once in office, they would MUCH rather take their collective chances with him than be faced with a conceived darker version of Bush/Cheney. These opinions were shared in Scotland and Ireland too…exactly. Well folks, there it is. Most of you reading this, being mostly Seattleites and presumably mostly Democratic, are probably bashing your foreheads against a brick wall somewhere.
I didn’t set out on this mini-odyssey to bring forth depression to you, the reader. I was rather hoping to get some insight for yourselves and me. I would rather be informed than walk around in an ignorant haze. I hope at least that this little article will stimulate thought and perhaps even dialogue. I think I will try to find something humorous to write about next week. Remind me to tell you guys about ‘fart tennis’. Until next week, cheers!

Offline duffdiver

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Fart Tennis
Posted yesterday at 10:52 pm by Duff McKagan

In the last couple of weeks, my blogs have contained some pretty serious subjects that I felt needed addressing. While I love good discourse and intelligent banter, I also love humor, and I believe at times I just take myself too damn seriously. Maybe we all do. I will now step off of the soapbox and unveil another side of what makes my world tick.

If any of you have been reading my last couple of columns, you’ve probably ascertained that I have been traveling a lot. The reason is that I’ve been touring with my most killer band Loaded in Europe. “Most killer band—Loaded?” you might say. Not only do we think we are sexy motherfuckers (um, we may be all around 40 but we do listen to a lot of Prince before we go onstage), but we are great friends and that counts for something even bigger. We are also killer because we have discovered some of the most awesome tour-bus antics and on-board ethics that are second to none.

Touring with nine guys on a bus, playing every night, and booking only two hotels during a 15-day stint could and does wreak havoc on a guy’s personal space. We do our laundry in the sink of the venue after we play and hang it in the bus to dry at night. Personal space gets smaller and smaller. You must be very observant of everyone’s ever-changing mood, in case a possible situation gets blown out of proportion in a hurry. Our way of dealing with these close quarters is humor. A ton of it.

“Ass to ass, dog!” is the saying when two of us approach each other in the claustrophobic aisle between bunks. This saying came a bunch of years back from a huge security guy who got ruffled when a band member (from which band, I do not know) passed him once crotch-to-ass in a space about the same as an aisle on a Southwest flight. This security guy did not exactly dig the fact that his manhood may have been compromised in that flashing instant. He dressed down the young rocker right then and there: “Man, it’s always ass to ass, dog . . . ASS TO ASS!” This incident has become folklore in Loaded-land. On the Loaded bus we practice the ass-to-ass program, unless we might be feeling a bit frisky. One of us might approach with our butt facing in, but with a quick turn at passing, you can surprise your fellow band member with a “junk drag,” that is, crotch-to-ass. It’s really good fun! Hey, I’ve got a college education and I am a responsible father and husband, but hey, you just can’t beat juvenile fun sometimes! My wife joined me in London for a couple of days in the middle of this all-male tour, and I had to quickly break a few bad habits and curb my “F bombs” (although I pleasantly refrained the “junk drag” upon first seeing her!).

The first rule on a bus is, NO POOPING ON BOARD! The toilets on tour buses will not accommodate solids. Well, a tour diet is never very wholesome. In fact, it is downright gross. We eat dinner after we play, and you can only imagine the cornucopia open at midnight or 1 a.m. Pizza? Swarma? We always end up with spicy Indian food (there is always great late-night Indian food in the UK). Remember, nine guys, one bus, few rest stops . . . lots of flatulence. “Evil” Dave is one of our guitar techs, and he is from Sheffield, England. This dude is drop-dead funny. He suggested that we associate a word that sounds like the fart that just happened. Some sound like, say, ”teapot.” The more “throaty” flatus may sound like “HAROLD” or “STREEEETPOST.” This passes time and broadens one’s vocabulary; coming up with new names is almost like playing Scrabble.

This “name the fart” game was challenging enough, when upon reaching London we met Mike. Mike is my wife’s cousin Heidi’s new boyfriend, and I was sort of keen to check him out. Heidi has had a couple of real lulus lately as far as boyfriends go, and Mike was going to get a full going-over by me before I gave my OK. After we played our show in London and the crew had loaded out, we all just kind of kicked back shootin’ the shit (the band, the crew, my wife, Mike, and Heidi). I think that I was trying to see how Mike could “hang with the boys,” so I brought up “name the fart.”

“Oh?” Mike said without the least trace of a flinch, “have you guys tried Fart Tennis?”

“Why, no,” we must have all replied at once, maybe too eager to hear of something more inane than “name the fart” to do with our idle time.

“Service,” Mike said, with a quick burst of brown air; “You must return serve or I win.” Mike became our Fart Sensei at that moment. It was like the world, all at once, had been revealed. Needless to say, I gave Heidi the thumbs up on Mike.

Now that I am back from tour, I don’t have anyone to play Fart Tennis with. My daughters run from me when I suggest we play a few sets. Anyway, my diet is back to normal, so I think my ranking would probably drop like an anchor, as I wouldn’t be as well-armed to return serve. My dog would for sure be our house champion. All I have now is the fond memory of that tour bus and my eight friends, my competitors, and my band, Loaded.

Well, on second thought, we are going to Japan in three weeks. SERVICE!

Offline duffdiver

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Posted yesterday at 10:21 pm by Duff McKagan

My parents were born in the 1920’s and lived through the depression. Although I came much, much later (I am the last of 8 kids and we are spread over 20 years), we learned from lessons they were hard taught growing up in a time when there just simply wasn’t any work and therefore money.

If you are at any McKagan family gathering (a large crowd to be sure), try muttering ‘FHB’ and see what happens. Well, I’ll tell you what will happen, you will suddenly see the 8 brothers and sisters taking miniscule portions on their respective plates at the pot-luck buffet table. ‘Family Hold Back’ is a saying that comes from years of simply too many kids and not enough to feed us all of the time. One of us would almost always certainly have a friend over for dinner and this is when the secret code of ‘FHB’ started… make sure the guest had enough to eat, take a small portion, don’t say anything.

I remember my mom telling me stories of what it was like growing up in the depression. Stories of not having enough money to heat the house in the winter and wearing sweaters and coats all of the time. Stories of how her mother would fix a broken roller skate or doll and that would be THE Christmas present. These stories have haunted every major financial decision I have made in adulthood. Fear of ending up in some film-noire- like poor house .My mother I think never quite trusted our government and our fiscal system since. We kids were taught by example, lessons of frugality and thrift. These lessons probably kept us all away from being caught up in the recent mortgage crisis directly; you see, we do not spend beyond our respective ‘pay-grades’. But people from my generation didn’t all have depression-era parents and I think the fear from that era did not a lasting impression make.

The economy seems to be headed into some sort of prolonged recession. If the 700 billion dollar bailout doesn’t see any kind of worthwhile results, we may indeed be heading into an economic depression. Greed seems to be the culprit. We all wanted more and we want it right fucking NOW! We were led to believe that a $400k loan on a $30k a year salary was do-able. Our lust for bigger and better turned us away from thinking logically. The big financial institutions jumped at the opportunity to make the fast buck without thinking or caring about the long-term quagmire that this sort of shallow-sighted banking practice would create. Of course, the people who got fucked by these loans are now being asked to pony up and bail out the same institutions that screwed them. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I think we all now feel a little ‘dirty’ for our high rate of credit card spending in our race to accrue more stuff. Our modern capitalist system is based on an amazing economic philosophy. Adam Smith I believe, never envisioned the sheer greed and corruption that his 18th century book ‘Wealth of Nations’ would eventually be party to.

A Price/Waterhouse employee whom was laid off, killed his family and then himself today apparently over the woes of the stock market slump and his low prospects for any work. It is time indeed to pull in the reigns.

I hear talk on the radio of whomever wins this election having to enact an almost Roosevelt-like ‘New Deal’ program to resurrect our economy. In short, the ‘New Deal’ created jobs through Federal Works, like building highways and dams. While these things did help the country in the long run, they were funded pretty much all by the taxpayer. If it weren’t for WWII, who’s to say if this program would’ve worked. Nothing like a good war to re-invigorate private business. I don’t know that much about economics but it seems to me that we need a fiscal-system mixture of socialism and capitalism. Nationalized health care like England and corporate pride like the Pacific Rim.

I think it is time for us all to perhaps look back and study the history of our country. It’s time to read the testimonials of the depression-era (try David M. Kennedy’s Pulitzer prize winning ‘Freedom From Fear’). If we can just all stop wanting so much from too little, maybe the race to accrue wealth and material will wane. The peer pressure of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ has simply got to stop. FHB!

Personally, I look forward to the prospects of pulling back a bit. Going to Wenatchee for Thanksgiving will provide just as much family time as going to Hawaii. My daughters will have just as much fun. I will do my part and frequent local stores and restaurants as much as is feasible, but I will also be a lot more cognizant of what something costs. I doubt we will splurge on Christmas presents like we have for the past 10 or so years, but hell, we have everything we need and a ton more. Just maybe this whole crisis will bring my little family closer together.

The other night, I was telling my 8-year-old daughter a bedtime story. Usually, these consist of made up lore of how our family dog is a super-hero at night and that is why he sleeps all day. But this night, I decided to tell her of the stories my mother had told me about her growing up in the depression. My daughter thought it was really neat that a doll could be fixed up and re-gifted as a present. It never really dawned on me that perhaps my daughters really don’t need the newest and best things all of the time. Maybe it is time for me to tell them more of the values I was taught growing up in a large family with working class parents. The values that I learned from the depression era. Values that maybe even I have overlooked as of late.

Offline Limberly

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You know, Duff is a very intelligent and wise man.  I already knew that, really, but just wanted to say it. 

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Offline duffdiver

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Posted yesterday at 11:28 pm by Duff McKagan

This may well be a crappy article, but I need to vent. I don’t, however, think that I am alone in my disappointment.

Let me start by stating that I do realize that sports teams don’t always win. I was born in the mid-’60s and I didn’t experience sports excitement in Seattle until Slick Watts appeared with the Sonics in 1975. But the overall drought we have had to endure since the Seahawks’ Superbowl appearance is starting to get depressing, and I for one am starting to wander.

OK, Weekly reader, I am sure a lot of you are groaning at this moment. SPORTS?! Who gives a rat’s ass about stupid SPORTS! We have a recession on and there is an election on and the world’s resources are being burned up and there is global warming! Well, my argument would be that now more than ever we NEED a winning team. At least the PROSPECT of a winning team. The Sonics are gone (I will get to that in a moment), the Mariners are in shambles, the Hawks are depleted and Holmgren is leaving, and the Huskies’ football program has shrunk to a mere shadow of the dominance and fear that they used to hold the reins of. Sports are one of the things we in Seattle have been able to turn to in recent years. Sports gave us something to help take our minds off world problems. “One in the win column” is like taking an aspirin; it takes the edge off the pain for at least a little while.

In Seattle we have always had the luxury of looking forward to an upcoming season with at least one winning team, even if another had been failing. “C’mon, Huskies!” (or “Hawks!”) was a common war cry when the Mariners were bad in late summer. The Huskies would always be contenders. When the Huskies got bad, we had the Hawks and the Mariners. The Sonics were a town draw and a subject of much pride until the signing of Jim McIlvane started to tear at the fabric of the unstoppable Peyton/Kemp tandem. The team never recovered its full dominance. Never again instilled fear. And then the move…

I’m sorry, that move was utter bullshit. If anyone reading thinks that Seattle didn’t need the Sonics because of ticket costs or new arena bond issues, they should maybe go ask Seattle-area hotels and restaurants what THEY think. And all the people working at the Key and Seattle Center itself. What about the cab drivers and limo companies? There are, I am sure, myriad other losses that haven’t been calculated . . . but this one is for sure: We don’t have an NBA team anymore. This town at one time was one of the most feared places to play in the NBA because Seattle was such a basketball city. It’s pathetic what happened to us, and embarrassing. We all got screwed. I was down at the Key a couple months back to see a concert, and my heart was broken seeing all the banners still up. I saw framed photos of Gus Williams and Fred Brown. Flashes came back to me of the time my dad took me to one of the games in the ’77 championship series. It finally hit me that my team was gone.

I am not a sportswriter and definitely not an expert on all things sports. I am, however, a fan, and I have some general thoughts on what has been happening:
1) The Mariners’ ownership is based in another country and can’t really be bothered with anything other than the bottom line. As long as we fill those seats and keep someone on the team that Japan will buy the TV rights to, the ownership is happy. I ran into Tony LaRussa at one of my gigs last spring and he was dismayed that the Mariners had passed him over a few months earlier.
“They passed you over?!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah, it’s too bad, I would have loved the gig.”
Tony LaRussa had just won a World Series with the Cardinals! We need some good management, and I hope they do the right thing this off-season. If not, I suggest we all boycott. Shit, Sweet Lou left because management wasn’t allowing him to do his thing as he saw fit.
2) Why have the Seahawks already picked a coach for next season? Why did they feel the need to get someone locked in so early? A friend of mine who played in the NFL says that Jim Mora is going to be great for the team. I truly hope he is right (and Mora is a rocker, which is kinda cool!). What if Bill Cowher suddenly wants to coach again, though? I just get confused by a lot of these “front office” decisions.
3) The Huskies. Well, it looks like Willingham will be out. None of the top high-school kids want to come here. We all know they will have to rebuild the whole program. They should find someone who has experience getting a program back on track. As it stands, the Huskies football squad looks like a junior college squad.
4) We have in Seattle probably the best sports radio station in the U.S. The staff is one of the most knowledgeable I have heard (I listen to a lot of sports radio around this country!). These guys should be given a week to try get all our sports programs back on track. What could we lose?

So I have started to root for other teams. I like the Brett Favre story, so I will pull for the Jets. They are winning and that is fun. The Red Sox have been my backup MLB team since the Bill Buckner era (hey, that dude was a solid player). College football? How about Toledo—my wife is from there, so why not? The NBA? I have soured on the NBA and refuse to watch. On second thought, Ray Allen is with the Celtics, and he gave his all for the Sonics.

Hey, wait a minute! I just read that Gary Payton is trying to get an investment group together to try get the Sonics back here by 2011. I am already starting to get my hopes up. Now if we could get Edgar Martinez and Jamie Moyer involved with the Mariners, Sonny Sixkiller and Don James involved with the Huskies, and . . . well, I think the Hawks are still screwed. That’s all right. C’mon, Sonics

Offline duffdiver

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The Talk
Posted yesterday at 11:15 pm by Duff McKagan

Last week, I was faced with a hurdle every parent must eventually face. You see, my wife and I have two daughters, the older one just entering middle school this year. With middle school comes the sudden pressures of acting “grown up,” looking “cool,” and talking about. . . wait for it. . . SEX. The dreaded moment has come for me as a father: the moment for THE TALK.

Somehow it got back to my wife and I that the kids at school have been joking around about sex. “What the hell does ‘joking around’ mean?!” said I. Well, apparently middle schoolers are getting pretty damn cavalier regarding the depth of carnal gossip. It seems that there is definitely a different paradigm these days, a higher bar set. Our youth are exposed to way more stuff, thanks to the World Wide Internets. Gone are the days of finding Dad’s Playboy under his mattress and getting a five-second perusal of some T and A. To add to the complexity of my personal conundrum, we have been in L.A. for the last few years (during the school year, anyway). My wife claims that the peer pressure on women here is indescribable. This peer pressure absolutely has a “trickle-down” effect on teenage girls, which of course “trickles down” even further to the preteens. This peer pressure has everything to do with outward appearances and NOTHING to do with intellect and soul. . . well, that’s my opinion anyway.

There are so many great kid-friendly Web sites these days that I would find it somewhat archaic to ban my kids from computer usage. Of course the downside is that 80 percent of Internet content is porn, and it only takes one wrong move for a child to suddenly access all kinds of stuff they just shouldn’t see. My kids use the computer to do homework, communicate with their friends, and access all kinds of new music on YouTube, but again, how does a parent keep on top of everything they see? The new unspoken parenting rule is to only let your kids use the computer when you are in the same room with them. . . it’s just not possible, though. My girls are really awesome and kind and would really feel embarrassed to see anything they shouldn’t on the Web, but how do I REALLY know what they have already been exposed to? In my day, you had to show ID to purchase an adult magazine. Now? It’s just a click away!

I don’t know how many people read this column, and I also don’t know if anyone who reads this is a parent, but let me tell you guys something: Apparently, oral sex in middle school is approached as nonchalantly as maybe kissing was back when I was that age. There is no way my two angels are gonna be ANY part of that nonsense, believe you me! If iChat and YouTube are the new hiding places for extracurricular activities such as this, how do I find out? Fuck, my mind starts to go a million miles an hour thinking about the responsibilities and safeguards we “information age” parents have to juggle. I don’t want to spy on my kids. There HAS to be trust. They are dealing with so much more data than we did at that age. I will, however, shut down anything that brings harm to my daughters. If I were to find out that anything bad was happening, all of my Utopian hubbub would go out the window, and it would get real 1950’s in the McKagan household, and in a hurry. On top of that, I’d have my shotgun at the ready and you’d better bring an arm! But I digress.

Of course I knew the day would eventually come when I would have to face the reality of my girls growing up. I really try to have an open and non-judgmental relationship with my daughters, and my goal is for them to ALWAYS feel safe coming to me with any problems or ordeals. The time, alas, had come for my wife and I to sit down and speak somewhat candidly about the “birds and bees” with our 8- and 11-year-olds. I started to sweat. “OK, McKagan family conference!” is how I always start our team meetings. The girls always get excited at the prospect of some unknown outlier that my wife or I might have in store. This time, however, when I started with “You know that you girls can tell us anything. . . ,” a slight look of dread started to spread across their faces. When I said the word “sex,” my 8-year-old started to bawl. Oh shit, this isn’t going to be easy. Things did get settled down once it was understood that no one was in trouble and that this wouldn’t be an inquisition. My older daughter really stepped up, as it were, and actually put the conversation at ease with her candor. “Yes, Dad, the older girls do talk about all of that stuff but I think that it’s pretty silly. . . they are just trying to act ‘grown up.’” The mood of the talk became lighter and our family bond became a little tighter that afternoon.

This past weekend, my wife and I had to go away, and I brought my new laptop with me. The old one is now my older daughter’s, but I haven’t gotten around to resetting any of my profiles on it. My AIM and iChat profiles show and “transmit” from both. As I was sitting down to look at some e-mail (and sports scores!), my AIM box popped up and a conversation was in full swing. It was my daughter and a bunch of her friends, completely aloof to the knowledge that I was reading their conversations from 5,000 miles away. I felt sure that I was going to see something I wasn’t supposed to, some alter-world of middle-school girls. I envisioned myself calling home to their aunt Heidi (who was staying the weekend with them) and grounding my daughters for something that I was certain to see from my newfound instant-message spy spot. The IMs remained innocent and sweet, speaking of nothing more bawdy than how cute so-and-so’s new puppy was. Boy, did I feel guilty. On second thought, maybe not guilty enough to perhaps keep my profiles in sync, for the next few years anyway

Offline duffdiver

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Get In The Ring!
Posted yesterday at 9:04 pm by Duff McKagan

My column from last week entitled ‘The Talk’ was a little story about my and my wife’s first experience talking to our daughters about sex. The response that this column received was amazingly varied and also overwhelming (I was even called a queer and told to go to therapy! Killer!). The good news is that most people were writing back with their own experiences, lending weight to the fact that it does “take a village to raise a child.” There were, however, some responses that I feel needed addressing.

This is a public forum and I do know that whatever I may put forth will come under scrutiny. That is absolutely cool with me. Know this, though: This is not an advice column! These are simply stories or observances that I have made from my distinct vantage point. This will be my 11th week, and I feel it is OK now to tell you my side to a couple things.
First off. To you other parents and readers that read last week’s column, thank you for all the good tips and kind words. This parenting thing is a trip! You definitely learn something new every day. I am lucky that I had a mother who taught me some really virtuous lessons from things that happened in her past. I use a lot of these lessons today in raising my own kids, and I need them because there is no “how to” guide when it comes to raising your own. You have simply got to “put in the hours” and pay attention. I tell my girls every night that I love them, but I know that I have to do much more. That “much more” is what NOBODY can school me on. My wife, our two daughters, and I have our distinct footprint, and no generalization quite fits our story. I don’t think that I am alone on this—are you hearing me, parents? We kind of make it up as we go, don’t we?

For instance: Call me uneducated if you must, but I did not really understand what a “progressive” education was until my older daughter got into fifth grade at her “progressive” school! It took me that long to figure out that there were differences. How was I to know? Well, you just learn as you go, I guess. I had no idea how to change a diaper until I had to change my own child’s on her first day home…that’s the way it is. There are, however, things that are somewhat innate. Knowing what is appropriate, being a father to girls, gut feelings guide me on this journey. There was one response to last week’s column that sent up red flags for me, and I will paraphrase. The reader stated that he showed his 9-year-old daughter porn to illustrate his “sex talk.” Hey dude, NOT cool and NOT OK! I believe that a father’s job with daughters is fraught with enough challenges and tightrope walks. A man should show his undying love and support for his girls, and be a strong and understanding shoulder and sounding board (among many other things!). “Visual guides” simply cross what I for one at least think are appropriate lines… to say the very LEAST!

OK, there were also a couple of quandaries about whether I thought modern rock music, and more pointedly, my old band Guns N’ Roses, were partially to blame for some of the problems in our society today. Were some of the issues that I spoke of with my girls (sex talk at school, etc.), partially provoked by GNR? As an artist and part-time historian of music, I have a few things to say on this:

1) I remember being somewhat amused in a Seattle U. philosophy class when I learned that the saying “What’s the matter with our kids today?” originated from a quote by an ancient Greek philosopher—my point being that the question of society getting worse and worse and our kids responding in a more and more negative way has been going on for a long time. I don’t think our kids act worse than kids of the 1940s or 1840s or 640s. If anything, modern-day parents are probably more on top of things because we can instantly communicate with each other by phone or text-messaging. I get calls from other dads at school to give me a “heads-up” on school dramas or overheard conversations all the time. Also, I think parents are more educated on what signs to look for to spot abuse in other kids. We are educated because of modern-day communication.

2) Music has been the fall guy for sexual deviancy and social outrage for a long time. Music is an expression of feelings. Music can be social commentary. A band like GNR let the world into the life of five 21-year-olds who lived a somewhat wild and unedited existence. Period. Ravel’s orchestral piece Bolero, from around 1920, got denounced because of the snare drum solo’s cadence. It was criticized for being the same cadence as fornication. We can say now, “So fucking what?” But it was believed then that society was indeed in danger because of this. We all know that the word “jazz” meant “fucking” back in the 1910s and 20s, but we don’t care, because we see how ridiculous it was that there was any outrage at all to jazz music. It’s just music. Turn your FM dial left or right in any U.S. city and you will find a smooth jazz (smooth “fucking”?) station. Personally, I like the sound of that! (I meant the music, you pervert!).

It was also asked if I had in fact filled my daughter’s in on my own past. I assume that this means my World Championship run at drugs and alcohol. The answer is, yes I have. In fact, in about the 3rd grade, my oldest daughter queried me on why I never drank wine with the other adults. I just sort of launched into my story with her. I told her than I am an alcoholic and that if I drank one beer that I probably wouldn’t be able to stop until I went crazy. We have this talk about once or twice a year now and I remind them both that they will have to watch themselves when drinking comes around them in their teen years. They are healthily horrified by my stories and I will keep telling them in more detail as the girls mature.

Well, I am glad that the editors at the illustrious Seattle Weekly were kind enough to let me rant and call it a “column.” I hope that perhaps someone reading this has something else to add. I have just received word that I will be covering our presidential election results for next week’s column.
Oh, Sarah, you’ve been a bad girl…it’s time for some detention!


Offline duffdiver

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Obama Kicks Some Ass
Posted yesterday at 11:17 pm by Duff McKagan

Wow, what a relief. We all were ready for this and now it has happened…and in our lifetime. We may have had some doubt along the way, but people, we have succeeded in having our voices heard and our concerns tethered. McCain conceded by 8:30 PST and if that ain’t a landslide, I don’t know what is.

When I was initially collared to write this particular piece, I knew that my writing speed and style would be extremely challenged by the sheer amount of information that I would then have to assimilate and then make somewhat readable for the Weekly’s readers in just a few hour period. I found a way to overcome some of that in the way of penning a somewhat ‘Dewey-esque’ jumpstart- yes, I pre-wrote most of this piece. I have been an Obama supporter from the moment that I saw him speak from Iowa last January during their caucus. Something is his message and delivery that night actually MOVED me. I was born 3 months after JFK was assassinated, and in my 44 years I had never witnessed a politician that actually inspired…until I plunked down in front of my TV to watch Barack that night. I believe so strongly that the rest of us are ready for a fresh direction and hence voted this way that I will only write this victory summary of today like this; Barack Obama is the new President of the United States!

This last couple months of campaigning has been nothing short of high drama. When Sarah Palin was chosen virtually out of nowhere to be John McCain’s running mate, we all scratched our head and hoped that Hilary’s massive contingent of followers wouldn’t make the knee-jerk jump to that camp. When Sarah immediately got on the soapbox to spew forth her extreme right-wing views (Bible-thumpin’, gun-toting, she-devil that she is), the rest of us teetered between a feeling of fear and the knowledge that Hilary’s backers were not going to go Palin’s way after all. How could they? She is for everything that Hilary Clinton is against. The drama escalated after we saw her absolutely fall flat and freak out on her interview with Katie Couric. We were enthralled by Tina Fey’s supposed parody of that interview on SNL…but it was an almost exact word-for-word re-enactment!

We here in Seattle live in a somewhat liberal bubble (or are we now the norm? Has the bubble popped?). Today at my local polling station, confidence for America’s future abounded with every ‘I Voted’ sticker being passed out. The ‘feel’ of this election is indeed far different from any I have taken part of in the past. The dividing line between Republican and Democrat seems to be an angry and gaping chasm. This time, the awkward friendliness of the election appears more than just cumbersome. This country needed to draw a line in the sand within itself. Like sand, this line will wash away once we see that we are all better off united, with one intended goal. Or, so I hope.

I want to now say congratulations to us all. We have collectively taken part in pushing for something different and outstanding. America can perhaps be glimpsed upon again as a place for forward thinking and democratic ideals. I am not saying this because we elected a young, black President, but because I think we all realized that Obama is the guy who will try the hardest with the freshest ideas. Ideas on how to get us out of all the holy hell that America holds in tenuous balance. The economy, the ‘war’ in Iraq, the Afghanistan hullabaloo, global warming and our utter dependence on oil….just to name a few. He has got his work cut out for him, and we have let him know that we have his back. This is cool. I am not saying that he is the answer to all of our problems, only rather that we made the wisest choice to get us moving in the right direction.

We are at a time in history that the political ‘center’ has perhaps shifted towards the left. We are not Europe, but tipping our hat to them for helping to shine a light on thinking and acting globally is what we are now doing. Government doesn’t have to step in for everything, but health care issues and Wall Street's overindulgence need some sort of tough Big Brother. I think Europe and the rest of the world are breathing a sigh of relief at the simple fact that we didn’t elect an outdated antique and his scary, hapless sidekick. With our political ‘center’ being re-aligned, we can now hopefully be seeing the end of days (pun intended) to our freaky Evangelical right and the Republicans' shameless kowtowing to them and their ilk. I try not to live in fear and/or voice bad thoughts or intentions. Hear me now though; whatever happens, Sarah Palin’s political career should come to an end. She is straight-up dangerous. Enough said about that.

Now, let’s fix some shit!

Offline snakepipero

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it's a pleasure to see how things have changed in USA recently. Good for Obama, Good for EEUU, Good for the whole world  :)

Offline vrfan1234

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Speaking from USA, I personally am hopeful that Obama will be able to turn around the financial crisis, make my health care more affordable, take money out of the oil and gas companies' pockets so the price will quit going up, and continue to support Israel by any means necessary.  Incidentally, what does EEUU stand for?  If I remember my Spanish lessons correctly it means Estados Unidos, but I just wanted to know if my guess is correct.

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Look What Happened On The Way to Obama
Posted Nov. 11 at 7:52 pm by Duff McKagan

It may be suggested to enter this read under 'RAMBLE' in your file of an already busy and confused Web world. The point, I am afraid, never becomes crystal clear in this piece. I hope only that it provokes some thought.

I said in lasts weeks column that we had made the wisest choice in Obama for our next U.S. president. In saying that, I also meant that we weren’t just voting for social change, we were putting the right man in office, period. I would be remiss not to mention however, some views that I believe are shared by many on race relations- and the evolution thereof- in our country up to this point.

In 1969, I started kindergarten here in Seattle and it happened to be the same year that desegregation started in our public school system (also known as ‘busing’). Now, all I knew was that black kids from Madrona Elementary got sent to my school (Bryant), while white kids from Bryant got sent to Madrona. The kids who got to ride the bus were seen as ‘cool’ and grown-up and that was the end of our ‘little kid’ conceptions. You see, we were far too young to have any racial stereotype pre-thoughts. The kids that I matriculated elementary school with stayed pretty much the same through Eckstein Middle to Roosevelt H.S. We would hear of race ‘wars’ in the upper schools but we younger kids were largely aloof and mystified by them (try being 6 and hearing of something called ‘White Rabbit” day, a pre-set race rumble at Eckstein! We actually thought it was a running race!). I think when forced busing started in the upper schools that year; the older kids already had started to form their thoughts (or, more likely, their parents’ thoughts). about racial hatred and the like. On top of all this, one of my older sisters Carol had married a black man in the mid-sixties and had their first son (my first nephew) when I was two years old. They had a daughter 2 years after that. Furthermore, my brother-in-law Dexter (their dad) was the coolest guy around and I wanted to be like him. I knew that I would get angry when someone used the ‘N’ word around me, but I wasn’t sure why (years later, when Axl used it in a GNR song, I would however defend his artistic freedom as he used it in a wry and 3rd person context It was, for me, ironic to say the least). I certainly didn’t understand that a civil rights movement was taking place. I only marched with my mom in the “Martin Luther King Peace March” when he died because I knew that I would get to miss school that day!

Racial borders meant very little to me. It was only in the 6th grade that some real bullshit entered my world. I had a friend named Willie and we were goofing around at our lockers. Some hard-ass school counselor came around the corner and caught us. We were both taken to the office and our parents were called. My mom left work to come to my school and talk to the administration while I was kept in another room by myself. When it was over, I was kicked out of school for 3 days due to, get this, a racially motivated fight! Willie and I were stunned and ashamed. My mother said that people were still stuck in old ways of thinking and that they didn’t have the means to just see two kids ‘messing around’, they could only see a ‘black’ kid and a ‘white’ kid fighting! It was like a veil has suddenly been lifted for me and I could see for the first time, bigotry and ignorance, both black and white.

We kids however, still had each other, and we all tried our best to blot out the grown-up world and their old ways of thinking. There were younger kids now coming up behind us with still younger parents. It seemed that by the time the kids from the mid to late 60’s started to have kids of their own, starting in the early eighties, bigotry from parents really started to fall off. There were more and more inter-racial parents (black-white, white-Asian, Asian-black, etc…) and therefore there were more and more racially mixed kids popping up. America was truly becoming the melting pot.

There was still though an ‘old guard’ if you will. Men and women from our ‘Greatest Generation’ that could not get out from under their old ways of thinking and the stereotypes that they were raised with. It is and was not their fault. Babies are not born with hatred or bias, it is taught. This is not just a white thing either. The older black generation have and had such mistrust and fear of the white man and their apparatus that they in turn taught this to their young. These generations are now dying off. It is our turn to stem the tide and forget the past. Am I asking to forget that this country of so-called ‘liberty’ was started with slavery intact? No. But we, of this generation have started to simply move on. Is there total equality at the workplace? I certainly doubt it. Again, our generation is doing better than the one before it.

One of my great-nephews (a wonderful mix of intelligence, poise, humor, and race) attends Kent-Meridian High School. It is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse schools in the Northwest. I asked him what it was like and how well kids mixed together there. “Well Uncle Duff, what do you mean?”
“I mean, do kids from different races and ethnicities hang out together?” I said.
“ Uh, yeah, we go to the same school and if you come down here looking for different colors and such you will get confused”
“Yea, it’s like a rainbow, we all hang out together”
“Well cool” I thought to myself. Just as we were about to hang up, he chimed in with a parting warning.
“ Its not like this everywhere” He went on to tell that one of my other great-nephews (whom is also ‘mixed’) gets stares and glares at his high-school on Camano Island. I guess our rural hinterland is still catching up. It kind of bummed me out.

Sometimes I feel that friends look at me as an idealist. I sometimes hope for more than is actually ‘practical’ to hope for. Obama came into our collective vision at the right time. Our economy is in shambles, we are fighting TWO wars, oil prices reached all-time highs, and new clean energy sources were not getting looked into..we needed something fresh. I also believe that the days of out-of-touch old guys in politics are coming to an end. I just hope other out-of-touch ideas and biases will also soon come to an end.

Offline duffdiver

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Duff McKagan: BADASS
Posted today at 5:08 pm by Duff McKagan

I am the father of two girls. Our dog Buckley and I are outnumbered at our house, but at least I can say “No!” when my girls try to put pink ribbons in my hair. Buckley, of course, does not have that option. I have entered an age grouping that has had the name ‘crisis’ after it much too often for my liking. There is no way you will see me driving around some new yellow Corvette just to relive my 20somethings. No way, man! I am edgy and ‘street’ and have an image to uphold. So I chose a more macho new hobby to combat escalating estrogen at my home and deflating testosterone, also um, at my home…I’m a Harley rider. I’m a BADASS!

Two summers ago, I acquired a brand-new Harley Davidson Road King. With an 1840 cc engine, it IS the biggest motorcycle that one can buy stock from a manufacturer. Why would I get a bike that is so big? To make up for my long legs of course. (There is another thing big machinery helps to accommodate, but it slips my mind at the moment-maybe it’s time for Ginkgo Biloba).

There was a tiny hurdle between me and my Harley, however. In the State of Washington, a new rider must complete a 16-hour course to get a motorcycle ‘endorsement’ on one’s drivers license. So much for me learning to ride this monster at the U-Dub parking lot and letting the wind direct my next move. So much for me rumbling up to my neighborhood Starbucks and ordering my vanilla latte. All of those babes on the street would get a few week reprieve from going to the chiropractor to fix their necks from craning. No worries, ladies, I’ll be out there soon. I had to sign up for a course first. This isn’t so easy. As we all know, summertime in Seattle bustles with outdoor activity and I found out quickly that motorcycle class is one of them. I would have to wait 4 weeks…

Class is what you might imagine; some teenagers, some adults just trying to get out of a moving violation or two, a lonely, pudgy, middle-aged woman habitually taking this class to meet a potential ‘hook-up’ (I’ll call her Sally), and of course, me. No part of this class screamed ‘REBEL’…but I guess I would just have to pay the Man his due here. I find myself saying things like this now that I have my ‘hog’. It was a hot weekend at the end of July and my class started to thin out fast. Everyone would go to lunch but not everyone would come back. By the second day, our ranks had shrunken to half. By lunchtime that day, they got halved again. I was feeling pretty good about myself as I was taking off my required ‘outside’ long-sleeve shirt for the ‘inside’ sit-down test. “Ooh, some eye candy!” I suddenly heard. It was the aging class taker Sally, and I had become the object of her cheap but obviously warranted affection. You see, I still indeed have ‘it’. I also passed the test.

Goodbye all-of-the-time-perfume-scented-home! I’m gonna hit the open road! Put leather on my back and some aviator shades on my face and I am GONE! That is, once I’ve learned to ride this BIG of a bike! The ones at class were much, much smaller and now I have perhaps realized that a Road King is for a REALLY experienced rider. No matter, I’ll just putt around my neighborhood until I get the hang of this beast. I was practicing turns at the end of my street when my bike just sort of fell over. This ‘outlaw’ had to knock on a neighbor’s door to help him get his bike back upright. I went home with my head down.

On day 2, a couple of friends came over on their bikes to take me on a small cruise. They told me to just follow their ‘line’ and do as they did. Now, I live in the city and there really is no rural-ness around me. The ‘Califoria-izing’ of car driver’s attitudes in Seattle has put some daring into our already over-stressed roadways. I’m fine with all of this in a car, but on a bike? Shit, this is like some video game on ‘expert’ level and the consequences are real! Once we got to Lake City Way, my hands were so cramped from gripping on the clutch and brake that I had to tell my friends that my ride was over for the day (I only live about 5 minutes from Lake City Way. But, I digress!). Of course, when I got home and my wife asked me how my ride went, I embellished tales of life on the ‘road’; she said, “That’s nice, dear” and told me to take out the garbage.

As the rest of the summer passed, I got a lot more comfortable on my Harley. It even got to a point that my wife and I would take late night cruises around the city. We even went to a rock show on the Road King…lookin’ all tough, parking right on the sidewalk right in front of the Hi-Dive, me and my ol’ lady. Actually, if I ever called her ‘my ol’ lady’ in her presence, I would probably not hear the end of it for a long, long time, and that would suck.

I have learned to do what makes her happy and take the path of least resistance, and that is one of the reasons we have stayed together for so long. That, and I am a true stud, naturally. Speaking of things that make her happy, it seems these days that she ALWAYS wants to ride on the back of my bike. It’s CRAZY! She asked me if I could get louder pipes (exhaust) for my bike even. I told her that louder pipes would only make the bike rumble and shake more; she only nodded with exuberant approval…even clapping her hands! She really loves that bike. The only time that I’ve ever seen her visibly depressed was when I had to get some repairs done and the bike was gone for a week. She really, really loves that bike I guess! I never would have thought…

So here I stand…the figure of pure bad-assyness, for the rest of you to admire and fear. I am the MAN of my house and I can do as I please. I can come and go as I want, no matter the hour. My little girls look at me now with awe-struck admiration. My wife looks at me with a strange new lust that I can’t quite put my finger on, but never the less, it IS lust. I’m a biker mofos, and no Johnny Law can keep me down.

If you happen to see a black Road King with a small pink sidecar for a dog…that definitely is not me. It might look like me and he may be as tall as me…but it DEFINITELY is not me!

Ride Free


Offline duffdiver

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Things I Am Thankful For This Year
Posted yesterday at 10:30 pm by Duff McKagan

It's that time of the year that we all either love or hate. For me, Thanksgiving has always been a special time of year.

Growing up in a family of eight kids—with humor as it's main ingredient—has most certainly been exciting and interesting. In my adult years, however, touring and living in Los Angeles has mostly kept me from coming back home to Seattle for this first part of the holidays. The spirit of my family has thankfully always remained with me (even in my 'dark' period!) and this spirit has kept me sane. This spirit gently nudges me to think of how fortunate I am, and how some others may not be. With that being said, here is a quick list of things of some of the things I am thankful for.

Last Saturday I did my weekly grocery shopping at my usual store. This store happens to have a recycling center that will give cash for your cans and bottles. Every Saturday I would see the usual 8 to 12 homeless guys in line there. These fellas go through the neighborhood recycle bins basically to make their living. No big deal. Last weekend though, I saw a rather big commotion at the end of the parking lot where the recycle center sits. When I started to walk past it I saw why; instead of the usual 8 to 10 homeless guys, there was a long line of residents of the area. This is the first time I have witnessed this in the 15 years that I have lived here. I am thankful that I can still provide for my wife and kids this year.

The mornings at my house can be a little hectic and stressful. Getting two girls ready for school while also trying to get yourself ready for the day can be overwhelming at times. My youngest daughter has always had a kooky aversion to footwear-she just HATES putting on shoes. Me on the other hand, cannot really even function before I have ingested two very strong cups of coffee...Daddy has been known to get grumpy. Sometimes REAL grumpy!

My wife is really sweet in the morning, usually getting up earlier than me just to make the toad venom (this is what we call our morning brew). By the time we walk to school together, everything smooths out and our collective stress levels wane. I am thankful that my youngest daughter HAS two feet on which to hate putting shoes on. I am thankful that my wife understands my addiction to strong coffee. I am thankful that my wife and kids love me unconditionally.

The world has been getting pretty crazy in the last decade. September 11, the war in Iraq, and this latest credit crunch leading to recession. America was given a choice a few weeks back and I believe that we were extremely prudent and wise. I am thankful that we now have a President (elect) that I have faith in to lead us out of these woes. I am thankful that we have a president that is smart. I am glad that we made this choice together.

I am thankful that I have a dog (he shows, every day, that he is thankful that he has me!).

A bunch of years ago, I moved to LA and formed GNR. When this band became successful and my world started to spin out of control, my three best friends from childhood would call and/or come down to visit. These visits had the result of keeping me grounded. My best friend, Andy, took me to the emergency room in '94 when I suffered acute pancreatitus, effectively saving my life. I am thankful that I have always had my three best friends from childhood. Andy, Eddy, and Brian, I know you read this column, and I love you guys.

I am thankful that Mike F reads this column and calls me a 'butt-rocker'. I like inter-action with the world, good or bad.

I am thankful to be alive.

I am thankful that Krist Novoselic wrote about 'What Really Happened at the '92 VMAs, because I don't really remember.

Kim Warnick and Kurt Bloch were and are two of the coolest and most informed musical people one could ever hope to encounter on this planet. They are also both my friends. I am thankful to have grown up in an area and in a city that fosters individual thinking and oddball trains of thought. I am thankful for growing up with Kurt and Kim.

I am thankful that there may be a plan to bring our troops home safely soon from Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am thankful that a new season of 'Flight of the Conchords' is almost here.

I am thankful that I no longer have the shakes from alcohol. I am thankful for Pulitzer Prize-winning non-fiction. I am thankful that I can afford health insurance for my family. I am thankful that I had a loving mother who shared with me, lessons hard taught to her. I am thankful that I had a mom who loved me (she loved me most out of all 8 kids, of course). I am thankful that I have been able to travel around the world a good 10 times playing rock music. I am thankful that I can remember 3 of those trips (the others, while I have proof by the stamps in my passport, must be filed in the "All the Shit I Don't Remember' file).

I am thankful that the Seattle Weekly lets me write whatever I want and that people actually read it!

I grew up under the watchful eye of seven older siblings, a couple of which are more than old enough to be my parents. As a result, I was an uncle when I was 2 and many of my nephews and nieces have been having kids of their own (For a while now actually. My oldest great-nephew, Dexter, is 16, I think!). When my wife married me 10 years ago, she also married into the fact that she was suddenly a great-aunt! My family is huge and varied and we all really love one another. I am thankful to my brothers and sisters for having children, and for their children doing the same. I am thankful and honored that I got to be your uncle Kyle McKagan...

I know that the basis of this holiday is rooted in a fable about pilgrims and native people. Hey, I read 'Mayflower'. I can be as cynical as the rest. The spirit that I feel around the time of this holiday, however, can never be scrutinized. It has been taught to me by loving people. This spirit will be lived THROUGH me to show that love myself, to others.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Offline Limberly

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Thanks, duffdiver, for posting these blogs.  I really enjoy them. 

Offline Sweet Dreams

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Thanks Duff driver I enjoy them also. This one was really sweet.

Offline snakepipero

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nice read, thanks duffdiver  :)

Offline duffdiver

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 You guys are all welcome!  I gladly spread the word of The McKagan :-)