50 Famous Duff McKagan Quotes On Life & Music

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Which are your favorite Duff McKagan quotes?

Duff McKagan is an American musician and writer.

He is most known as the bassist for the global sensation hard rock band ‘Guns N’ Roses’.

Together with his bandmates, he amassed worldwide success for the 12 years he played with them.

McKagan departed with ‘Guns N’ Roses’ in the early 1990s .

He then released his solo album ‘Believe in Me’ and formed the supergroup ‘Neurotic Outsiders’ along with fellow famous rock star ‘Steve Jones’ and ‘John Taylor’ before rejoining ‘Guns N’ Roses’ following the band’s induction into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’.

In addition to his many achievements, Duff has also published his own books: ‘It’s So Easy and Other Lies’ and ‘How to Be a Man: (and other illusions)’.

Here’s our collection of the best Duff McKagan quotes:


50 Famous Duff McKagan Quotes On Life & Music

1. “When you start a band, you have to find people that are good, have the same sort of mindset as you musically.” – Duff McKagan

2. “Axl’s favorite record in 1987 was ‘Faith,’ by George Michael.” – Duff McKagan

3. “Mr. Brownstone’ is always a fun song to play because it’s got that beat, and you see people bouncing.” – Duff McKagan

4. “The Joshua Tree’ was the soundtrack of my life when we were making Appetite.” – Duff McKagan

5. “One of the first 45s I ever bought was the Stooges’ ‘I Got a Right.’ Probably one of my favorite singles, ever.” – Duff McKagan

6. “In rock n’ roll, we don’t sell records at all like we used to. Yet the artist still has to pay to make records. So you’ve just got to get out on tour and be smarter about your merchandising.” – Duff McKagan

7. “It’s volatile with GNR. Every night, it’s anarchy on stage. Who knows what’s gonna happen? That’s rock n’ roll, man.” – Duff McKagan

8. “I’m not Cormac McCarthy, but I can get my point across in a thousand words.” – Duff McKagan

9. “I didn’t have any work to do, and I had files of my personal and Guns N’ Roses financial statements for the previous eight years. I wanted to learn how to read these, but I didn’t trust anybody. I just got a lightbulb in my head and said, ‘I want to go to school.’ That began my journey, taking accountancy and business classes at Seattle.” – Duff McKagan


10th of 50 Duff McKagan Quotes

10. “I do love the term ‘rocker.’ The word itself imbues a ton of imagery and romance. But I don’t think a rocker needs to have AC/DC and Metallica and the Black Keys rumbling through their car speakers speeding headlong into the night.” – Duff McKagan


11. “Turn off the TV, turn off the Internet, just go out, and I bet you your life will get better really quick.” – Duff McKagan

12. “When you’re in a band, it’s a close-knit thing. There’s a lot of emotional stuff.” – Duff McKagan

13. “I’ve never been one to just play safe music and think that’s all there is to it.” – Duff McKagan

14. “I find in my career that I never know what’s going to happen in two months.” – Duff McKagan

15. “You become friends with your kids’ friends’ parents. That’s just the way it’s gonna be. And sometimes you luck out, and it’s great.” – Duff McKagan

16. “I kind of feel bad that I don’t know the names of the people in Girls Aloud!” – Duff McKagan

17. “If you don’t have a good rhythm section, your band is toast; you’re a bar band. Good rhythm section, you’ve got a chance to get out of the bar.” – Duff McKagan

18. “I saw some really amazing stuff with Axl. We worked really well together. We were good friends. And I hope to perhaps have that friendship back one day, although it’s not something I wait around for.” – Duff McKagan

19. “It’s a modern world we live in, with everything at our fingertips, and if it’s not at our fingertips, you can dot-com anything.” – Duff McKagan


20th of 50 Duff McKagan Quotes

20. “When I started going to business school, I started getting calls from my peers asking for my help. I thought, ‘Well, there are a lot of people like me who make a bunch of money and just get so scared of it and don’t know what to do with it.’ I just didn’t want to be 60 years old and broke.” – Duff McKagan


21. “I had a column for the ‘Seattle Weekly’ for five years, and there was one column that was called ‘How To Be A Man,’ and it was kind of tongue in cheek; it was really tongue in cheek. And I got a book deal from that column.” – Duff McKagan

22. “I’ve had a panic disorder since I was sixteen, and they always said that’s a subset of depression. And I’m like, ‘I don’t have depression.'” – Duff McKagan

23. “Rock n’ roll is a volatile thing; at least, it’s supposed to be.” – Duff McKagan

24. “I saw the Clash in ’79 at the Paramount in Seattle, and it changed my whole life.” – Duff McKagan

25. “Playing with Iggy pulled me back in for a while and reminded me of what I love about music.” – Duff McKagan

26. “I started playing in punk-rock bands and touring when I was 15, so I missed high school.” – Duff McKagan

27. “Any musician in any band – for a really good band – you know your part in the band.” – Duff McKagan

28. “I have mutual funds. I have a lot of individual stocks. I’m across the board, really well diversified.” – Duff McKagan

29. “I don’t know if I have a favorite song.” – Duff McKagan


30th of 50 Duff McKagan Quotes

30. “When you’re in a band, a marriage – whatever, it’s kind of the same deal – there’s a lot of things that you see, and people trust you with information about their lives. Call it a ‘bro code’ or whatever you wanna call it, but there are certain things you do not tell. At least, I don’t.” – Duff McKagan


31. “You know what’s a great song that will be stuck in your head if I say it? ‘Single Ladies,’ by Beyonce. Killer song.” – Duff McKagan

32. “You can’t mass produce somebody’s heart and soul. It’s a very delicate thing.” – Duff McKagan

33. “I think you can tell stories and give perspectives and yet still keep stuff for yourself, too. I keep a lot of my life private, even in a public forum like writing.” – Duff McKagan

34. “The Taking’ is the closest thing to a ‘concept’ record that I have ever been involved with. Pain, loss, triumph, and redemption. Life. Bring it.” – Duff McKagan

35. “When the record company pays you an advance, it is just that – an advance. And it’s at worse rates than any bank would charge you to pay them back.” – Duff McKagan

36. “I came up in the punk rock scene of Seattle.” – Duff McKagan

37. “One of my first memories is marching with my mom. I was in kindergarten with with the Catholic ladies when Martin Luther King Jr. got shot. We wore the black armbands and marched downtown.” – Duff McKagan

38. “Being in a band is the best place I can think of to be as up-front as possible. If you let something stew, it’ll grow into a mountain of nonsensical black mud in no time.” – Duff McKagan

39. “I don’t have resentments towards anyone I played with or to the guy who bullied me in the sixth grade. I’ve worked through it.” – Duff McKagan


40th of 50 Duff McKagan Quotes

40. “People in Seattle – and I’m speaking from experience – are indoors more. It used to just rain a ton, and as a result, you’d be inside listening to music all the time and playing. You’d all rehearse at each other’s houses and share ideas. There was no competition. When I got to L.A., I was really stunned by the competition.” – Duff McKagan


41. “I didn’t start off as a bass player, and Guns was the first band I really, like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna be a bass player. This is what I’m gonna do.’ And I really dove into it headfirst.” – Duff McKagan

42. “I can only write from a man’s viewpoint.” – Duff McKagan

43. “I have panic attacks here and there, like in the weirdest places ever, and I’ve learned to deal with them.” – Duff McKagan

44. “I made money in my 20s, became sober in my 30s, looked around, and didn’t know who I could trust for money advice.” – Duff McKagan

45. “When you’re a musician, you are around your peers a lot, like Slipknot and Alice In Chains… you name the band. We’re all just kind of friends.” – Duff McKagan

46. “Being a rocker, to me, is equal to living as much of the truth as possible.” – Duff McKagan

47. “Is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that important to me? No. Is it something I’ve aspired towards? No.” – Duff McKagan

48. “Axl did sometimes have volatile actions, but I knew that guy as a whole – all the good stuff, too.” – Duff McKagan

49. “It’s funny: when I started playing bass in 1984, you had guys like Paul Simonon from the Clash, John Paul Jones, Lemmy, and Nikki Sixx was the head guy in Motley Crue, and you had all this post-punk stuff like Magazine and Killing Joke where the bass sort of lead the way. Not that I picked it to sort of be a main dude, but it intrigued me.” – Duff McKagan

50. “By the time Guns n’ Roses spent 28 months from 1991 to 1993 touring the ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums, the tour staff sometimes approached 100 people. We were carrying not only backup girl singers, a horn section, and an extra keyboard player, but also chiropractors, masseuses, a singing coach, and a tattoo artist.” – Duff McKagan



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Duff McKagan! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Duff McKagan quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


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