Former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan has just published his second memoir, How to Be a Man (and Other Illusions), which hit stores on Tuesday. While the title of the book suggests that it's an advice or self-help book, the lauded rocker says he doesn't want to define it in those terms.
"I'm not a doctor," McKagan tells ABC Radio. "It's just one guy writing to a bunch of other guys, [saying,] 'Check this out. This is what I've learned.'"
In How to Be a Man, McKagan uses his own experiences as a guide to dispense suggestions on how he feels guys should handle various life situations, including relationships with spouses, love interests, children, friends and band mates; finances; fitness; and more.
Explaining what he tried to convey in the book, Duff says, "We can be really cool guys, in this day and age. We can put down the Twitter and the Instagram and we can go out and kind of make eye contact with others, and open doors for ladies…It's not advice. It's just things I've fallen upon through my own experiences or what I've learned from my friends and from my family."
McKagan tells ABC Radio that he was inspired to write the book around the time he was turning 50 and came to the realization that he was applying things he'd learned from mistakes he'd made when he was younger to help him reach the happier and healthier place he's in today. How to Be a Man also features Duff's recollections of some of his recent adventures, including touring with his new band Walking Papers and the supergroup Kings of Chaos, playing bass at some shows with the current incarnation of Guns N' Roses, and hanging with friends like Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell and Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell. In addition, he discusses his love of his hometown Seattle Seahawks and getting to witness the team's 2014 Super Bowl win in person, and shares lists of albums and books he considers essential.
McKagan is promoting the book with a variety of in-store appearances and Q&A events this month. He also will be playing with Kings of Chaos this week at the band's first two U.S. concerts ever, on Friday in Hollywood, Florida, and Saturday in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Book signings have been lined up to coincide with both of the concerts, as well.
The Kings of Chaos lineup for this week's gigs includes Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and ex-Deep Purple singer/bassist Glenn Hughes.
"It's really fun, really cool, really good for my bass playing," McKagan says of performing with the all-star band. "I've learned a lot playing these gigs with these guys." He adds that Gibbons gave him some pointers on how to play a Texas shuffle authentically, noting, "When Billy Gibbons talks, you listen."
Following Saturday's Kings of Chaos show, McKagan will travel to Seattle for a How to Be a Man interview event with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic at The Neptune Theatre.
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