on 14 December 2011
Now, i read a lot of biographies and many of them music related and this is one of the best books I have read.
Duff draws you into his story. It is superbly written and the beginning half of the book floats between two different times in his life sublimely. This isn't a story about Gun's n Roses, this is a story about a mans journey through life.
This book has everything you expect. There is the humble beginnings, the lust make a living from playing music, the drugs, the near misses and there is the redemption - then there was something I hadn't expected. It is actually very inspiring.
I don't want to give too much away of Duff's story. Just buy this book! I can't recommend highly enough.
on 31 December 2011
I have read a number of 'Rock' autobiographies over the years and expected this to be just another rock 'n roll story. But how wrong I was. This is genuinely a very inspiring read and I was left really amazed of how someone can turn their life around in such a dramatic way. It is also quite emotional to read as its such a 'real' story- with a lot of the rock autobiographies, they can often just whinge and seem almost ungrateful about the fame and wealth which can be off-putting - this book however mentions things that we all can relate to such as parents, money worries, raising children, realising that we should have tried harder at school, death of a loved pet etc. It was this kind of 'every-man' quality that really endeared me to Duff and made it such a good read.
It is also one of the few books I have read where it almost is a music- history book- you really get a feel of what life was like in the late 1970's Seattle Punk Scene, life in 1980's LA and the 1990's Grunge scene, in a way that I have never gotten from a autobiography before which also added another interesting layer to it.
Overall, I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who just wants to read a realistically inspiring book as well as anyone who loves the 'Rock' autobiography genre as they definitely won't be disappointed!
on 6 February 2013
I am not the biggest Guns n Roses fan in the world so when I first picked up its so easy(and other lies) I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
After having read Motley crue's the dirt, Nikki sixx's heroin diaries and Tommy Lee's Tommyland I thought this might be quite a tame read.
This book completely surprised me, it starts off with Duff preparing for his daughters 13th birthday party and the goes back to when he was a punk in high school. By the end of the 2nd page I was hooked. I didn't want to put this thing down, it's a true rock n roll rollercoaster ride from start to finish, covering the high and lows and everything in between. Including a chance meeting with an old band mate whilst on a business trip to the UK and cycling in a race across the Californian mountains.
I don't want to spoil all the fun but I would suggest to anyone who likes a good rock n roll biography to pick this book up and give it a read. It won't let you down.
on 20 September 2014
Not quite finished the book yet I felt compelled to post my review. This is a beautifully-written tome, bursting with pathos and humour, told from a self-deprecating viewpoint. I've laughed out loud many times. Some of the writing moved me to tears (mind you, I cry easily... but still...)
Duff appears to know that he's on a fast train to destruction throughout his G n R years but is, until he nearly dies, unable to do anything about it.
Duff comes over as an intelligent guy. It feels like he has done the hard work to become emotionally stable - it shines through in his writing. I bought this straight after reading 'Slash'. To be honest, I did not even know who Duff McKagan was until recently as I was never a big Guns n Roses fan back in the day, thinking I was too cool for school in the late 1980s, favouring The Smiths, Lloyd Cole and, erm, The Smiths... (yes, I was a big fan!)
I love the Slash autobiography - it's a rollicking read and full of detail (some say too much, yet I love it still) but Duff takes time to talk about how things made him FEEL, such as the deaths of two fans at Monsters of Rock. With Duff you feel like he does genuinely care about people. Slash talks constantly about 'some guy', 'some chick', 'some gig', which makes it sound like he doesn't always give a stuff, though I appreciate that his book will have come out of a series of very long interviews with his Rolling Stone mag ghostwriter (who should have edited his work WAY more than he did). Duff is more specific about names and events and is more effusive in his gratitude towards those who helped them.
However, I do get the feeling that Duff holds back in other ways. There's some talk of VD but no real info on the promiscuity; he talks about his drug addiction and alcoholism, but not in intricate detail. Is that necessary? Maybe not, but Slash's book makes you understand the day-to-day realities of being an addict and his dual life: sometimes scoring smack in scuzzy places then being a rock god on stage a few hours later.
However, I appreciate that Duff has tried to write something that has more literary merit than your average rock autobiography. It pitches itself differently. I also suspect it's been very well edited. The role of editing is vastly underrated. It is the king of wordsmithery (and that's probably not even a word!) and I suspect that's been a key to elevating Duff's prose. Still, don't mean to detract from the guy's talent. I think the man can write - and write well.
I wholeheartedly recommended this book, rock fan or not, 'cos it is a story about dreams, ambition, trauma, reality, redemption. And, on the quiet, if you like wry humour, it's a bit of a hoot.
on 8 October 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I totally recommend it to anyone who loves rock n roll autobiographies or just autobiographies in general!
I didn't realise what a superb writer Duff is and how he draws you into his journey so easily. I found myself relating to a lot of his life experiences, but at the same time it was awesome to see how those ordinary experiences can reach the heights that they did for Duff. Especially when you ass fame, fortune, drugs and alcohol into the mix.
I really found the beginning of the book engaging from the get-go as Duff talks about his eldest daughter's 13th birthday party. When I first read it I was a bit lost about where he was going with it, but then at the last minute he ingeniously relates it to how his early developmental years began; and to be quite frank, all the s*** he was doing at such a young age.
I just really enjoyed reading this book and I didn't think he would be so honest with his readers, but I'm so glad he was. There was no ghost-writers involved like there was for Steven Adler's and Slash's autobiographies (not saying I didn't enjoy reading them too), but it came straight from his heart/head and I truly respect him for that because the way a person throws a sentence together tell a lot about that person. One can really get a sense of what they are feeling by reading the sentences and empathise with Duff which is something I think all autobiographies need to have!
Just an absolutely beautifully-written and thought-provoking blend of humour, brutal reality and life changing people and experiences which I one hundred percent recommend and will continue to re-read. Brilliant!
on 9 April 2014
Always loved GnR so I fancied a read. Most of the stories have been told from different perspectives but it was still a good insight into his views on the band's direction and relationships. The latter part of the book deals with Revolver, other part time ventures and then it seems to run out of steam. I'm glad he got cleaned up, and it's great that he's here to reflect.
It's okay, nothing outstanding.
on 22 October 2014
I love reading this book.
It is written in such an open and matter of fact manner and never flinches from the darker stuff.
Not filled with tales of other rockers excesses just a frank description of one mans realisation that life is never a straight path..
Duff never fails to mention those who have helped him and this adds a real human element to somebody who never wanted to be a rock god but a musician
on 21 April 2015
An absolute masterpiece of a book, you can't get any more genuine, intelligent, inspiring, thought provoking, heart touching and mind blowing autobiography than Duff's 'It's So Easy (and other lies)'.
It isn't just a book for rock fans, it is a book for anyone who thinks about life and tries their best to make it count, but.... There's always a 'but' in life and Duff portrayed his 'but' so honestly and nonjudgmentally it brings scared facial expression and tears in your eyes. You are like "how could the guy just survived all of that????"
So he tells you. And he also tells you about his childhood, and about the happy ending of getting in the saddle of life. And he also tells you how he did it and you can't but admire him for that.
Many fans of Guns N Roses will be sure curious about Duff's perception of the band, and I happen to disagree with some reviewers saying this book is nothing to do with it. I think Duff's book is doing it in the most interesting and unbaised way, he is simply discribing what happened without passing on any judgments; only if someone was a real arse then he would mention. This would be never the case with any of his Guns comrades. If Axl came late to play a gig or he didn't turn up at all, Duff simply descibes it and says he went on to drink instead to kill time and that was it. Axl had sure his reason. When Izzy left the band Duff would tell you how it happened and wouldn't go on about speculating why, looking for someone to blame. Izzy had sure his reason. And so on. The reader can create their own opinion and that is really rare with autobiogaphies, so well done Duff! Maybe this book will also silence the Axl haters and Slash haters, frequently arguing about who killd the band. Duff describes quite in detail how there simply was no communication in the band and how every each ot them had their own demons to fight, no smaller or bigger than the ones of the others.
The last aspect of this book I wanna mention is that I really appreciate Duf didn't go on about any of the usual rock'n'roll clichés aka 'it was worth it', 'no regrets' or 'there I had this chick and there I had that chick'. Really appreciated!
So totally million stars out of million. If Duff could make it out of his hell, the rest of us can make it out of ours.
on 15 March 2016
I was in my early twenties when Guns n Roses made it big and I remember liking ' sweet child' - anyhow, only a couple of months ago a documentary "The Most Dangerous Rock Band In The World" came on the b.b.c and I watched it....well, I was totally gripped and blown away - it was so exciting!!! How did I not become their biggest fan in my younger days - I wanted to know more so read slashes book and then Duff Mckagan's . This book tells of the pure determination through thick and thin to succeed in his dream.....it was no bed of roses for them, in fact I was quite horrified, through the glorious success of guns n Roses they were behaving as the lowest of the low junkies that they were.....and on a path heading straight for a horrible type of death!!!!!! How Duff managed to turn his whole life around is nothing short of a miracle, I found his book incredibly inspirational - his life has the "happy ever after" ending that a lot of his friends didn't, and I'm so glad for him - God bless you Duff, you're a great guy.
on 27 February 2015
I have to say that i really enjoyed this book but not for the reasons that i thought i would. Having read Slash' book i already had a clue about how things went with GnR and the ups and downs and so realised this would be the same accounts from a different perspective. But it was the honesty and subsequent story of Duff's journey from the madness and mayhem of the Guns days to finding sobriety and eventually everything he had ever really wanted. To be honest, i normally write very reserved reviews of books and keep them quite short but this time i feel the need to ramble on haha. I found the second half of the book particularly interesting and the photos at the end very touching and an insight into the life of Duff McKagan. An inspiring story of excess, madness, good times and,eventually, the happy ending ( of sorts ). I can't recommend this book enough but don't take my word for it. Read it.