Duff McKagan a rock 'n' roll renaissance man

Mon May 4, 2009 4:07pm EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Duff McKagan is a good advertisement for the benefits of drug rehab.

Trim and toned, with a full head of blond hair and a perfectly alert brain somewhere underneath, the former Guns N' Roses bass player is lucky that he made it to 45.

In the early 1990s, when Guns N' Roses were arguably the biggest rock group in the world, McKagan participated in the requisite debauchery with his hell-raising bandmates. There are lots of good stories, but he can't remember many of them.

"I've heard great stories of (stuff) I've done, told by some pretty fascinating people," he said in a recent interview with Reuters. "(Queen guitarist) Brian May (said), 'Hey man remember that time?' Elton John told me this great story."

As the band's punk-rock spirit, McKagan bore an eerie resemblance to Sid Vicious, the former Sex Pistol who died of a heroin overdose in 1979. It looked as if McKagan might go the same way, especially after his pancreas exploded in 1994.

But McKagan cleaned up his act, and quit the crumbling band a few years later.

When it occurred to him that he was a wealthy man with no financial experience, he enrolled for a business degree at Seattle University. He remains a couple of credits shy of graduating, but has put his knowledge to good use. He writes a finance column for Playboy called "Duffonomics," and expounds easily on the big economic issues of the day.

"OLD SCHOOL" INVESTOR   Continued...

<p>Duff McKagan performs during a sold-out show at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel &amp; Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 11, 2004. REUTERS/Ethan Miller</p>