Thursday, February 11, 2010
[antiquiet.com] Between his time playing with his band Loaded and fielding questions about Guns N’ Roses reunions or Velvet Revolver singers, McKagan writes a weekly column that runs Thursday’s on Reverb, Seattle Weekly’s little Rock nook (he also writes about what’s circulating through his iPod every Monday). Though he’s normally full of consistently compelling material, this morning Duff published a piece that should serve as a gut-punch to anybody who was a kid in the early ’90s, anyone who took personal stock in the exploding Rock scene of the time.
Recounting a story about finding Rolling Stone’s Cobain book, a tribute to the fallen Nirvana frontman, Duff described the rush of emotion and “profound sadness” that came over him, reflecting on the fact that he was one of the very last people to speak to Kurt Cobain before he killed himself with a shotgun blast in April of 1994:
I was on the same plane as Kurt on that flight up from Los Angeles a couple of days before his death. We were both fucked-up. We talked, but not in depth. I was in my hell, and he in his, and this we both seemed to understand.
When we arrived in Seattle and went to baggage claim, the thought crossed my mind to invite him over to my house then and there. I had a real sense that he was lonely and alone that night. I felt the same way. There was a mad rush of people there in public. I was in a big rock band, and he was in a big rock band. We were standing next to each other. Lots of people stopped to gawk. I lost my train of thought for a minute, and Kurt said good-bye and left to his waiting town car. His new house was right down the street from my new house. I received a call from my manager two days later that Kurt had died.
He felt compelled to reach out to former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who McKagan came to realize he had so much in common with. Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana were notorious arch-enemies in the Rock world back in that lifetime, and Duff reveals his longstanding guilt at having not reached out to Novaselic sooner, as a show of support, of comraderie, of rising up above the superficial bullshit of lighting-in-a-bottle Rock superstardom.
“I am glad that you have overcome that mad season in your life,” Duff wrote directly to Krist. “It takes a strong man to have that sort of devastation not permanently handicap you. Your band should have been one of those that kept setting new benchmarks for what a rock band is. Your career and vision was cut short. We musicians just don’t talk about this kind of stuff, thinking maybe it’s a little too touchy-feely. We are expected to just get over it. Why, don’t we have piles of money to make ourselves feel better with? If only people knew.”
Posted by Dan Goldin at 10:57 PM