Noted personal-finance columnist Duff McKagan gets his first New York Times byline via this week’s installment of the paper’s business-travel column, although the Gray Lady’s policies have forced him to use his mom-given name: “The musician and songwriter Michael McKagan, known as Duff, recorded and toured with the rock band Guns N’ Roses. He now performs with Velvet Revolver and his own band, Loaded,” says the credit. During the course of his musings on bribing South American officials and not wanting to talk about music, he reveals a key detail about his travel preferences: He enjoys sitting next to people who are crossword enthusiasts. All I’m going to say is that I’ve almost finished the Times Saturday puzzle twice in the past month… [NYT] More »
Duff McKagan may have an album coming out, but he’s also penning a finance column for Playboy‘s Web site. (Diversification: The mark of someone with financial smarts.) So what does the former Guns N’ Roses bassist think the future holds for the economy and / or blogging? (Please be optimistic, please be optimistic.)
Yesterday, bassist and emergent finance pundit Duff McKagan told Rolling Stone that his somewhat-supergroup Velvet Revolver was “weeks away” from announcing its new singer, after a lengthy search that attracted demos from some 400 hopefuls who were, for whatever reason, interested in being the next Scott Weiland. Said Duff of the pick: “It’s not like Chris Cornell or one of those guys… We just want someone that fits. It can’t just be good. It has to be amazing or we won’t do it.” I guess “better than Audioslave” is a pretty low bar to want to leap over, but good on the VR guys for at least trying. Five people who definitely aren’t in the running, after the jump!
If only as many people cared about Velvet Revolver’s music as they did about the machinations behind the sorta-supergroup, which sort of imploded back in April when Scott Weiland was pushed out of the band by former Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff, and Matt Sorum/jumped to cash in on a Stone Temple Pilots reunion tour. In the ensuing months, while Weiland was falling into drum risers and making porny videos, pretty much every male hard-rock singer between the ages of 31 and 49 was rumored to have been a favorite for the vocalist gig. A look back on the top contenders after the jump.
Chinese Democracy has been out for a day-plus now, and the reactions have been rolling in from all around the globe! Here’s a sampling of what some non-music critics out there think about Axl Rose’s magnum opus:
The Communist Party Of China: The Party-published tabloid Global Times printed a piece today entitled “American Band Releases Album Viciously Attacking China” that accused Axl Rose of being a pawn of the U.S. government who was helping Washington use the idea of democracy as “one of their game pieces to control the world.” The WSJ is quick to note, however, that this piece technically doesn’t constitute any sort of official smackdown of Axl: “The tabloid format newspaper is published by the Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, but isn’t thought to always represent official views, like its parent operation and certain other major media.” And there’s even a site geared toward Chinese audiences that is streaming the whole thing for free, although I’m pretty sure it’s unsanctioned by any Axl or any government entity. [WSJ China Journal]
Reactions from other notables and semi-notables, including Duff McKagan, after the jump!
When he lived the rock and roll lifestyle by putting in time in Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, the Duff McKagan lifestyle was inaccessible to me. But now, as Duff’s “loving parent” side comes out with pieces like the one in the Seattle Weekly music blog Reverb about broaching the delicate topic of sex with his daughter, I’m starting to feel some kinship.
Velvet Revolver-related factoids that you can slip into your happy-hour chatter. 1. Ex-Spacehog vocalist Royston Langdon will probably not be the band’s new lead singer, despite the guys getting along famously. 2. More »
Guns N’ Roses to release new album next month! Duff McKagan talkin’ about a reunion! Not really and not really, but with Axl, news is news even when it’s not news. First off, Guns N’Roses is re-releasing Greatest Hits in England on June 2, just in time for Father’s Day. And that’s not a coincidence, as the press release notes: “it’s most definitely the only album of choice for any serious rockfather.” Actually, any serious rockfather already has Appetite For Destruction and doesn’t need to sully his ears with that remake of “Sympathy For The Devil,” whether he’s enduring an hour-long commute or enjoying a beer in the backyard with his feet in a kiddie pool.