It's So Easy and Other Lies

Synopsis: Based on his New York Times best-selling memoir and featuring exclusive archival footage, this authorized music documentary of Duff McKagan - founding member and bass player for Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and other bands - chronicles his meteoric rise to fame and fortune, his near-fatal struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, and his remarkable life transformation.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Christopher Duddy
Production: Xlrator Media
Rotten Tomatoes:
84 min

The f***!

Just kill me.

"The punk scene in Seattle

"was all about creating

something out of nothing.

"There was only one bar

that booked punk bands.

"The Gorilla Room.

"Aside from that,

"bands had no choice

"but to do it themselves.

"And people didn't take themselves

too seriously in this scene either.

"There was a weird sense of humour.

"And being musically different

was rewarded."

This was our punk rock haven.

The record store there. There's a record

store there. There's a record store there.

There's Coffee Corral there.

And we just...



"In the summer of 1979,

"I played my first real concert

"with the Vains.

"Because we were all under-age,

"together with two other bands,

we rented a community centre

"attached to a public park.

"Now, the week before the show,

"Andy and I stole about

"20 plastic milk crates

from the back of a grocery store

"and somehow nailed plywood onto them.

"But now we had a stage.

"That alone was pretty damn exciting

for a 15-year-old f***ing kid.

"Our own stage.

"Now we can play anywhere."

This punker dude in our neighbourhood,

who had like a pink mohawk,

heard that I played bass.

And he asked me if

I wanted to start a band

with him and my buddy, Andy.

Because Andy played drums.

Criss Crass.

That's the guy with the pink mohawk.

He doesn't have a pink mohawk any more.

That's Andy, the best friend I grew up

with. He was the drummer. Then there's me.

That was called The Thankless Dogs.

I don't know if we ever played a gig.

But that morphed into...

What people generally think

is my first band, which is The Vains.

Yeah, we put out an album. Um...

It was a 45, with three songs on it.

It's actually in the EMP Museum here.

It was the first viable commercial

punk rock recording in the Northwest.

But I know that today, that the

originals are real collector items.

I enjoyed going to the shows.

When he was playing with, um...

Fastbacks, 10 Minute Warning...

I always wanted to go

to where they were playing.

You can see like...

We were going from punk rock,

into like a whole

different thing. We had long hair.

That band was killer.

This band was awesome.

Ten Minute Warning, The Fags...

Last show.

Hands down, one of the best bands ever.



That's the Fastbacks opening up.

I made this.

I made that flyer. Here's

some lyrics I wrote,

when I was probably about 17.

This is all, of course, before Guns.

There was this really thriving music scene

that I was involved with.

Five bands. Five bucks.

That's The Fastbacks.

Kim Warnick, Lulu, Kurt Bloch,

myself, with a turtleneck.

You know, back in 1980, 1981...

You weren't really supposed to like...

You know, it was kind of wrong

to like punk rock.

If you're a punk rocker,

you're a punk rocker.

If you're an alternative rocker,

then you're into that.

I mean, you had to pick your...

You had to pick your team.

And you know, we didn't really know.

It's like we loved...

All of Van Halen and AC/DC

and Cheap Trick, you know,

just as much as The Ramones and Black Flag.

I'd been reading The Rocket,

and hearing about you guys...

10 Minute Warning, The Fartz and...

All these other bands, and, uh...

I was just like, I gotta go here.

Every city's got their local scene. But...

Seattle, to me,

we're talking before,

took punk rock and Sabbath

and put it together in all these bands.

For, uh, 20 years,

my mom and dad had eight children.

Myself as the oldest, Jon,

and then, Carol, unfortunately,

who has departed us.

And then we have Mark.





And then, Duff.

"I started smoking pot

at a really young age.

"Fourth grade, to be exact.

"I took my first drink in the fifth grade.

"And tasted LSD for the first time

"in the sixth grade,

when I was offered blotter acid,

"by an eighth grader, on my way

to Eckstein Middle School in Seattle.

"I first snorted coke

in the seventh grade, too.

"I also tried

"codeine, quaaludes and valium

"in middle school.

"My best friends and I started

hot-wiring cars in middle-school."

Andy had heard something

about the pre-'63 VWs.

We found out that you could actually

use a Swiss army knife

and you could start old VWs.

That you could start the engine

with a screwdriver.

That dashboard.

I don't want to give all the tricks away.

We stole a few cars.

I was actually a little more

prolific at it than Duff was.

We'd go to these parties

over in Ballard.

Which is far from

where we were from, in Seattle.

And we'd have to walk or take the bus.

Now, the bus stopped running at 1:30.

We couldn't take the bus.

So that's a long walk.

How am I gonna get home?

Hey, you steal a car, go home.

Dump it a couple blocks away,

and you're walking.

No harm, no foul. We always called it

borrowing. We didn't call it stealing.

But I was involved in more

car thefts than I can count.

And more than I'd care to remember.

But Andy, I think, at the end of his run...

It was something like 112 cars he stole.

I lost count after 200, but, um...

"By the end

of the summer of 1984,

"I began to think that

if I didn't get out of Seattle then,

"I might never get out at all.

"I could make it to L.A. in my old car,

"leap-frogging from crash pad to crash pad.

"Maybe land at my brother's

apartment for a few nights.

"But beyond that,

there was nothing in particular

"drawing me toward Los Angeles.

"It was just a place, a bigger place.

"A place that wasn't Seattle.

"And with luck, a safer place than

the heroin-infested Pacific Northwest."

What kind of destroyed all of that...

The excitement in Seattle

was the heroin coming into that city.

It was just like this dark cloud came in

and just took all the fun away.

And it really seemed like

it came in it like a tidal wave.

Suddenly, it was there

and everybody was trying it,

because it was kind of romantic.

It was kind of punk rock. It was...

I don't know. But once you...

You know, any opiate, once you're...

Got a little bit of a habit,

you're kind of just in.

It became an epidemic.

I saw it take out these guys

who were so full of life.

Who were smart. All smart guys.

I was too young to even take it all in.

"What do you mean they're...

"Dead." We've just begun, you know.

It kind of shocked me

when he did leave to...

To L.A., and it was sort of

an end of an era in Seattle.

And the grunge thing didn't happen until

10 years later.

He was really motivated to...

Be a musician in Los Angeles.

I don't think he was motivated to be a...

Like, a well-known musician.

I just think he wanted to

be able to get into the music scene

down here and get into a band.

Slash told me what booth that he

and Steven would be sitting in, at Canters.

I knew to walk in and look to my left.

And I put an ad in The Recycler

for a bass player influenced by

Aerosmith and Alice Cooper.

I'm not sure who else in there.

And he called.

And I had him meet me at Canters Deli.

You know, I assumed,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "It's So Easy and Other Lies" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <'s_so_easy_and_other_lies_11060>.

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