Duff was taught playing the bass by his older brother Bruce and during his teenager years, he was in several bands on various intstruments. In 1979, Duff McKagan formed the Punk group The Vains and one year later, the single „School Jerks“ was released. In 1980 he joined the Fastbacks as their drummer, and two years later he became the guitarist of the Hardcore band The Fartz, which evolved into 10 Minute Warning.
In 1983, McKagan moved to Los Angeles, where he met guitarist Slash and drummer Steven Adler. This trio founded the group Road Crew, but it was very difficult to find a good singer so the band called it a day very soon. In June 1985, Duff became the new bass player in Guns N‘ Roses – a Hardrock group, which was founded by singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin. Shortly after that, also Slash and Steven Adler joined, and on the 21st July 1987 the legendary debut album „Appetite for Destruction“ was released. This LP became the best-selling debut album of all time in the USA, by selling 18 million units.
Until the big line up change (Axl Rose is the only founding member – Slash left in October 1996) in 1997, Duff McKagan was the bass player for Guns N‘ Roses.
Duff already founded the band Neurotic Outsiders with Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), John Taylor (Duran Duran) and Matt Sorum, before he officially quit the Gunners. The quartet released the self-titled album in 1996. One year later, this supergroup was history and McKagan moved back to Seattle, where he reunited 10 Minute Warning again. In 1998, this band broke-up and Duff concentrated more on his solo career. Beside several projects, McKagan founded with his mates Slash and Matt Sorum the group Velvet Revolver. Guitarist Dave Kushner and singer Scott Weiland completed the line-up and the albums „Contraband“ and „Libertad “ were released. In 2008, Weiland left to reunite his old band Stone Temple Pilots. Until today, Duff is playing in several bands and he also reunited with Guns N‘ Roses for some shows.
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Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 22nd January!
Steven Adler (Guns N‘ Roses)
Happy birthday to Mr. Michael Coletti aka Steven Adler, who was born on the 22nd January 1965 in Cleveland, Ohio (USA)! Steven is very well known as the drummer of Guns N‘ Roses (from 1985 – 1990).
Adler grew up firstly in San Francisco, but due to his bad behaviour he was sent to his grandparents in Hollywood. At the Bancroft Junior High, Steven became a friend of Saul Hudson, who later changed his name into Slash. During that time he began learning the drums. In 1983, Adler founded with Slash the band Road Crew. Bassist Duff McKagan joined and the trio began to rehearse some songs – one of them should became later the Guns N‘ Roses tune „Rocket Queen„. As they didn’t find an adequate lead singer, the band called it a day one year later. Steven Adler joined then a local band called Hollywood Rose, which featured vocalist Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin. In 1985, Axl, Izzy and several members of the band L.A. Guns founded Guns N‘ Roses. Slash and Duff completed the legendary line-up and the group started to play local nightclubs like the Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy and The Troubadour. In March 1986 the band was signed to Geffen Records. The debut album „Appetite for Destruction“ followed in July 1987 and it has sold over 28 million copies worldwide and it became the best-selling debut album of all time in the USA, by selling 18 million units. During that time, Steven’s drug problem became worse and the band decided to fire him on 11th July 1990. Adler’s last show happened on 7th April 1990 at the charity event Farm Aid IV, in Indianapolis.
After being an ex-Gunner, Steven Adler reformed his old band band Road Crew and briefly joined BulletBoys. In 2003, Steven formed with guitarist Keri Kelli (from Slash’s Snakepit) the band Adler’s Appetite. The line-up was completed by second guitarist Brent Muscat (Faster Pussycat) with bassist Robbie Crane and singer Jizzy Pearl (both formerly members of Ratt). The setlist consisted beside original material also of songs from the legendary Guns N‘ Roses first LP. The group broke up in 2011. Shortly after that, Steve founded his new band simply called Adler. The debut album „Back from the Dead“ was released on 26th November 2012 and it features also guest appearances from Slash and John 5.
Beside his activities as a drummer, Steven Adler appeared also on the second (2008) and fifth season (2011) of the reality TV show „Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew „, as well as on „Sober House“ (2009).
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Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 23rd November!
On the 23rd November 2008, the very long anticipated album „Chinese Democracy“ by the rest of Guns N‘ Roses (Axl Rose and Dizzy Reed plus various musicians) was released. It has been 15 long years after the last album by the Gunners. The release date was always postponed until the follow-up of „The Spaghetti Incident?“ (1993) hit finally the stores in 2008. Also a lot of money by Geffen Records was necessary, to complete the album.
„Chinese Democracy“ was not really the big seller for Guns N‘ Roses – although it received generally favorable reviews and achieved international chart success, it has sold only approximately one million copies in Europe. For comparision: The LPs „Use Your Illusion I“ and „Use Your Illusion II“ (both 1991) have been sold in Germany alone over two million copies.
Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 19th November!
Happy birthday to drummer Matt Sorum, who was born on the 19th Novermber 1960 in Mission Viejo, California! Sorum is well known as the drummer of Guns N‘ Roses, with whom he recorded three studio albums. Before joining the Hardrock legends he worked with The Cult and Y Kant Tori Read (a project fronted by Tori Amos).
Izzy Stradlin, his real name is Jeffrey Dean Isbell, justified his quitting of a combination of Axl Rose’s personal behaviour and the difficulties of being around with the band in general. In an interview with „Rolling Stone„, he later recalled: „Once I quit drugs, I couldn’t help looking around and asking myself, ‚Is this all there is?‘ I was just tired of it; I needed to get out.“
Izzy played his last show with Guns N’Roses on the 31st August 1991 at the Wembley Stadium in London, UK.
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Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 31st October!
On 31st October 1996, guitarist Slash announced that he has left the Hardrock band Guns N‘ Roses.
In his book „Slash“ (2007) he remembers his historic decision:
„After working to make that band all that it could be for the better part of my life, saying good-bye to the institution I helped build was as alien as being launched into space. But once I’d done it, a weight was lifted from my shoulders and the lead was out of my shoes. It was like decompressing after a deepwater dive. The day I made my decision, I woke up early and called the powers that be to deliver the news, and went back to sleep. I don’t remember anything else of theat day aside from the fact that when I woke up again I was refreshed. I felt as if I’d just slept for a week.“
Slash was the lead guitarist in Guns N‘ Roses from June 1985 until October 1996. So after eleven years he was leaving one of the most successful rockbands in the world and started working on his solo career and other projects like Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver.
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Today, on the 18th June, I am remembering two breathtaking performances:
Back in the year 2000 I attended one of the best shows I’ve ever seen: Pearl Jam played an outstanding open air gig in Salzburg at the wonderful Residenzplatz. And when the sun set down the full moon came up and brightened up the old city in a perfect light. Luckily this concert was recorded and released as a 2-CD-Set.
Ten years later me and my friend headbanged in Paris at the Stade de France with AC/DC. Before Angus & Co. gave us an overdose of Rock’n’Roll, Mr. Saul Hudson (better known as Slash), kicked our ass!