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Author Topic: Duff McKagan's Column In Seattle Weekly  (Read 65345 times)
FunkyMonkey
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« Reply #320 on: July 22, 2011, 11:45:30 AM »

Because the Bookstore Has Taken Up the Strip Club/Bar Space In My Life ...

Thu., Jul. 21 2011

​I had the pleasure last night of going up to Elliott Bay Books, one of Seattle's best independent book stores. Bookstores to me these days are like what my experience was in the past of going to a bar or maybe even a strip club . . . I'm like a kid in a candy store when facing shelves and shelves of books. The only poles at these places hold up bookshelves, and the only "crack" here is the small sound a book makes when it is opened up.
I do pretty much all of my reading on my Kindle, but I buy the physical books, too. That is, I buy the e-book for my device doo-hicky, and the hard cover for my bookshelf at home.

Kindle isn't always the best way to find new books. It's cool for sure, in the way that if you hear about some new book, you can instantly download it to your device. But a bookstore is the ultimate way to immerse yourself into what is new. You can browse, and you can ask around, something you just can't do in the cocoon of e-commerce.

Here is what I found:

Corey Taylor, Seven Deadly Sins: I've known Corey (of Slipknot fame) on a personal level for the last few years, and have come to know that he is one of the smartest dudes out there. When he told me about his journey into authordom, I had no doubt that whatever topic he chose to write about would be deep and heavy.

I just picked this book up last night and gave it a cursory browse. It looks fascinating. It's a funny yet poignant look at Corey's own dip into drugs and vice and asinine behavior in his youth, while also studying the age-old question of whether certain personal traits are learned or bred into a person.

Corey Taylor is one of those people that just seems impossibly good at whatever he chooses to pursue, and I have no doubt that this tome will reflect this fact.

I can't wait to see what Corey's version of "Sloth" is! I shall report back to you all.

Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (hardcover): Either you love Cormac McCarthy's prose, or you can't get through two pages of it. There seems to be no middle ground. His writing is too real and brutal for any half-measures. I am a huge believer myself, and anytime I see a McCarthy title that I don't have in hardcover, I will pounce upon it. Elliott Bay Books is the type of store where you can find these types of hard-to-find titles.

Steven Kasher, Max's Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock and Roll: This is one of those coffee-table books that a guy with my influences just has to have. It wasn't my birthday, but purchasing a book like this does feel celebratory.

I never got to go to this club in New York before it closed down, but if you are a fan of The Ramones, The New York Dolls, Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, or Patti Smith, well then you undoubtedly know of the lore of this hollowed ground.

Michael Hodgins, Reluctant Warrior: There are newer titles coming out about our U.S. soldiers' experiences in Vietnam. Just when I thought I had read everything there was to know about this conflict in Southeast Asia, boom, there comes another great account. Michael Hodgins writes with ease about his time as a Marine at the end of the war.

There is nothing at all wrong with a Barnes & Noble or Borders store. In many of the sprawling outskirts of our larger cities, these stores may be the only convenient means to browse what is available book-wise.

But the little indies like Third Place Books in Seattle, Powell's in Portland, Fingerprints and Book Soup in Los Angeles, or Warwick's in San Diego and Strand's in Manhattan instantly take me to a warm and inviting place where I feel welcome.

As with all of the other times that I have written "suggested reading" columns, please feel free to criticize my picks, and suggest some recent reads of your own.

We nerds must unite!

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/07/because_the_bookstore_has_take.php
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FunkyMonkey
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« Reply #321 on: August 18, 2011, 02:25:14 PM »

The next two columns:

No Need for Heat: Dead Babies Take Care of Themselves

By Duff McKagan Thu., Aug. 11 2011

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/08/no_need_for_heat_dead_babies_t.php

Punk Rock, and Stiff Little Fingers, Introduced "The Troubles" to Kids in the States

By Duff McKagan Thu., Aug. 18 2011

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/08/punk_rock_and_stiff_little_fin.php
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« Reply #322 on: September 03, 2011, 01:36:11 PM »

The next two columns:

Headliners Create Lines. It's Everything Else That Makes a Festival

By Duff McKagan Fri., Aug. 26 2011

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/08/headliners_create_lines_its_ev.php

Seattle May Be Aiming for Clean and Green Transit, But It's Not Convenient (and Hurts My Undercarriage)

By Duff McKagan Thu., Sep. 1 2011

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/09/seattle_may_be_aiming_for_clea.php
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lynn1961
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« Reply #323 on: October 01, 2011, 01:20:04 AM »

Thanks, Guys. See You on the Road (and on Dr. Phil!)     

By Duff McKagan
Thu. Sep. 29 2011 at 10:20 AM

Well, guys, your trusted scribe is heading out for his first-ever book tour (see all my the dates here)--not only here in the U.S., but also in the UK and Ireland. You are left in the trusty hands of, well, my book.
Seattle Weekly will be running selected excerpts from It's So Easy (And Other Lies), for the next 4 weeks as I travel.

Before I check out of here for that time, let me just thank you all for hanging out here while I have tried (and sometimes failed) at this art of writing. I'm proud of the community that we have built here, and look forward always to your comments. They have made me a better writer. They have made and sometimes forced conversation. They have enlightened. Those are all very good things indeed.

If some of you want to come hang out, I will be in New York next week. Come down to the Strand book store in Manhattan, or Bookends in Long Island, or the Book Revue in Huntington. You may just find me combing through the first-edition section . . . or trying to find Suttree in hard cover.

Or next weekend, if you are in Southern California, try the Costa Mesa and/or Santa Monica Barnes & Noble, or Book Soup up on Sunset Blvd. If you can't find me at the signing table, tell them to look for me in the crossword book section. More directly, at the section where New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz has his selections.

I will be doing plenty of interviews too. So if Dr. Phil or the O.C. Weekly or the Miami Herald is more your speed, check me out there. I'd tell you what I spoke with Dr. Phil about, but I signed a waiver promising that I would not do just that. He is on to us here.

If you are in Minneapolis, and are a frequenter of the Mall of America's Barnes & Noble, we can get together and shop for some Husker Du at the record shop.

If you like Seattle as much as I do, come to Third Place Books in the north end.

Or come to the University Bookstore, where I grew up.

Or the Seattle University-sponsored Elliot Bay Bookstore event--and see where I did my book-learnin'.

Or come out to the Neptune on October 20 and listen to me flubber through a reading of selected passages--as Jeff Rouse, Jeff Fielder, Paul Hutzler, and myself guide you through a musical "then and now" of the bands I have been in.

Yo, Portland! Loaded had an amazing time playing down there a few weeks ago, and I am psyched to be doing a book-stop at the lofty Powell's. Acres of well-chosen books. Maybe I can find a seafaring or polar-exploration book that I haven't read yet.

In La Jolla, California, I am honored to be signing at the great and prestigious independent Warwick's. I do believe that I will be on the local news that morning . . . interviewed by none other than my very own wife, one Susan Holmes McKagan.

Oh, and if you see a pair of fairly beautiful young girls out there, that'd most likely be my two daughters, Grace and Mae.

If you come from the other side of the pond, try me at WH Smith in Glasgow, or Waterstones in London, or the HMV's in Belfast and Leicester. Those won't be until the first week of November, but still . . . At least over there, perhaps the wait will be paid off doubly, as Loaded has been invited to play some gigs along that book-tour route.

It is possible that over the coming weeks I'll be asked a bunch about GN'R being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What an honor it is, and I will probably be short for words. None of that has really hit me yet. I mean . . . uh, what would YOU say, besides . . . THANK YOU.

So indeed. Thank you all.


http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/09/thanks_guys_see_you_on_the_roa.php#more


« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 01:21:36 AM by lynn1961 » Logged

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« Reply #324 on: November 03, 2011, 12:23:55 PM »

The latest columns:

The Secret to Getting the Singer Gig With Velvet Revolver (Or Any Band, For That Matter)

By Duff McKagan Thu., Nov. 3 2011

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/11/the_secret_to_getting_the_sing.php

Dancing Dogs Always Steal the Show

By Duff McKagan Thu., Oct. 27 2011

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/10/dancing_dogs_always_steal_the.php

Duff McKagan: I Was Born in Seattle. Guns N' Roses Became a Band on a Tour Back Home

By Duff McKagan Wed., Oct. 5 2011

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/10/duff_mckagan_i_was_born_in_sea.php
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« Reply #325 on: November 10, 2011, 03:20:18 PM »

Herman Cain Sucks. Here's the Real 9-9-9: 9 Nights, 9 Shows, 9 Chances to Melt Faces in the UK
By Duff McKagan Thu., Nov. 10 2011 at 11:18 AM


Since last week's rather spasmodic entry that entailed me trying to be funny and cute with the written word whilst bouncing around the Irish Sea locked in a tour bus with no power, my band Loaded just concluded the first part of this month-long odyssey. We played nine nights in a row in a brutal tour of Britain and Ireland.
Not in my boundless-energy punk-rock band days, or in any other band since, have I ever tried doing nine nights back-to-back. AND the only reason a band like ours can even attempt this now is that our buffoonish antics offset the strenuous and often tension-filled profession that is playing in a touring rock band. It is hard fucking work.

Plus, on the tour bus, we have supplanted cocaine, late nights, binge drinking, and shacking up with some strange man . . . er . . . woman, with the more intellectual hobbies of reading books (I've got The Invisible Bridge, and the guys are all reading MY book . . . of course!), crossword puzzles, and watching our lead guitarist, Mike Squires, play Scrabble on Facebook.

Sitting here at London's Heathrow airport, about to fly to South America for another run of shows, has given me time to reflect a bit on the mad dash that has comprised my life since Halloween.

Day 1: Fly from LAX to Heathrow, grab my bag and guitars, and drive four hours to York. Do sound check, drink massive amounts of energy drinks, stroll the "Shambles" (the medieval part of York), and play a rock show. The gig was at a place called Fibbers, one of those low-ceiling clubs you wish every rock venue was like. Loud, sweaty, and ferocious!

Day 2: Wake up in Glasgow and head over to a bookstore to do my first signing in the UK. Thing is, they had only 30 books, and 350 people showed up. I e-mailed the publisher to convey my disappointment. They are embarrassed. Fortunately, the show in Glasgow was especially fierce.

Day 3: Get on a ferry and go straight to a book-signing in town, do some interviews, and then play Belfast's Spring and Airbrake. We've been here before, and now we even know a few people in town. We get some sleep on the bus in front of the club, and wake up and do a national Irish radio show, live to the whole isle, before driving to Dublin (about the same distance as from Tacoma to Seattle).

Day 4: Do another radio show, do another book signing, and play a rock show where the whole crowd at The Academy seemed to sing every lyric to every song . . . in unison. Magical. Back to the ferry.

Day 5: Wake up in Wrexham, Wales. Go get stuff from a drug store (like toiletries and such). Bassist Jeff Rouse and I notice that there are an inordinate number of young girls pushing baby carriages. We then find out that Wrexham is the teenage-pregnancy capital of the UK. Ah . . . Later I introduce "Sleaze Factory" (a song about fucking . . . er, sex) as a dedication to Wrexham's youth. Afterward, we hop the bus and I get into a fight with Squires.

Day 6: Wake up in Oxford. Make up with Squires and head off to find a gym. The gym I find is the Oxford University Fitness Club, and I find myself seeing Rob Lowe out of the corner of my eyes time and time again. When we play Oxford Academy that night, we find out that it is Bonfire Night, but still con ourselves into believing that all of the town's fireworks are Oxford's way of welcoming Loaded. Back on the bus.

Day 7: Wake up in Leicester, go to book signing. Work out at Leicester University gym, and rock like crazy. My wife showed up in London, so I take a car to London after the show and proceed to have "fancy time" with the Mrs. McKagan.

Day 8: Drive up to Bristol and play the famous Fleece club. It was absolutely packed--this crowd had seen the YouTube of the Dublin show and wanted to outdo their Irish neighbors. It made for a great show. I drive back to London. More "fancy time."

Day 9: London show. I always get nervous for these big-city shows. My back was hurting, so I got myself a massage. The therapist asks me what I do for a living as she is digging into my muscles. She says that she has never felt a body so badly torn up. Whatever. We play London, and it fuckin' KILLS.

Throughout all of this tour, members from our UK "Seattlehead" fan fellowship show up. Most of these people write into this very column . . . and it is always an honor to have some of these people around. They help us get through tours!

Day 10: Go to the Classic Rock Awards and see Jeff Beck and Chrissie Hynde play "Stand by You." Incredible!

Ah, so I hear my flight number being called. Stay tuned for another installment of "Journals of the Jubilant but Often Jet-Lagged Journo."

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/11/herman_cain_sucks_heres_the_re.php#Comments
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« Reply #326 on: December 16, 2011, 01:16:44 AM »

Hollywood, Class, and Kids in the Hall           

By Duff McKagan
Thus., Dec. 15 2011 at 2:51 PM

So I played a gig last night in Hollywood that commemorated Dimebag Darrel and Ronnie James Dio. The gig, called "DimeBash," is a very public fundraiser that sells out annually and draws press from around the world. Last week, Guns N' Roses was given the "nod" for the Rock Hall of Fame. I now realize that I use the word "overwhelmed" much too often in my life.
Music to me has never been a competitive sport. We do what we do, and if you connect with an audience and write the songs that feel good to you in the process, that is reward enough. Getting a Grammy or an American Music Award seems a little bit weird in this whole context. I mean, are you BETTER than all those other bands? No. You are just doing YOUR thing, and they theirs. It's not a competition.

But it became very apparent to me that fans of GN'R felt very motivated for our band to "get into the Hall." All of those fans ARE very important to me, and thus getting this RRHOF nod was a victory for them. And so I am deeply honored and feel very good about this whole deal. Thank you all.

I spent a lot of time revisiting my past in the book I just wrote. Living in the past, or just revisiting it, is something I hadn't done until I was in the process of writing that book. The process became personally poignant in how much I appreciated and loved most of the characters in my past, especially the guys in that little band from Hollywood that we formed just after I moved there in 1984.

I've done my best to avoid doing any interviews that pertain to our induction, and maybe this column will serve as all I really need to say for now. I am a grown-up now, and hope that we can achieve some grace and class when that ceremony comes. But in the end, I am only responsible for myself.

At that Dimebag gig, I rode down with Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains. We were talking about old demos of theirs and how AIC got signed to Columbia back in 1988. I became good buddies with those guys shortly thereafter, and we've seen each other go through many ups and downs . . . remaining friends through all of it. I love hearing those old stories, and always try to put myself into what those surroundings must have felt like for a band when they were first starting.

With Jerry's story still ruminating in my head, he and I took the stage at the Key Club in Hollywood. I avoided the press people who were there, and simply wanted to play my songs and "get in and get out."

VH1's Eddie Trunk was the MC for the night, and he introduced all the different players who were playing throughout the night. When he got to me, he said, "And recent inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Duff McKagan." I was suddenly a tad overwhelmed. It was a first. Jerry looked at me and gave me a nod of "FUCK, yeah!" The crowd there went nuts. I sheepishly waved, and then kind of awkwardly looked at the ground and pretended that I had to tune my bass or something.

My band Loaded has been asked to play a couple of shows with Axl this weekend in Seattle and Vancouver. I was somehow reluctant at first to do this. I love that dude, but wanted to sort of stay out of the fray, especially after that whirlwind tour of the world we had just done. AND that damn book tour.

But this fray is only a fray if I let it be. And now I am actually pretty excited to see my old pal. His band is the nicest bunch of fellas, and I will be home after all. The KeyArena will be rocking tomorrow night . . . and I hope you all show up.

After all, it is just some dudes doing what they know how to do best: connect with the audience, that fan-ship that has honored us with their presence for so damn long. And THAT, my friends . . . is overwhelming.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.

--Duff

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2 h.php#more
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« Reply #327 on: January 08, 2012, 01:15:10 PM »

11 Things I Learned About Music, Books, and The Twitter In 2011

By Duff McKagan

Thu., Dec. 29 2011

Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you are in a place where you can learn from a particular event in your life. Sometimes those lessons are hard-won, or learned at a high expense to your own ego. Those seem to be the best ones for me.
Other times, pleasantly surprising things happen when you least expect it. Of course, those things are always welcome.

So here are just a few of those "things" and lessons I have gleaned from this past year.

1. If you write a book about yourself, just remember; a LOT of people will now know those things about you that you have shared.

Yes, that may sound like a no-brainer, right? But, I was so caught up in the literary process of writing, that I didn't think much BEYOND that process. I thought maybe it might be the same as when I share a bit about my personal stuff here at the Weekly. Turns out that there was much more in the book that my 1000 words.

2. The Seattle band The Chasers are KILLER! How can you lose when you have a bare-chested, white leather coat wearing guitar player nicknamed, the Ice Wizard! Well, if you like Muse, Queen, Maiden, Death Cab, and Zeke, all mixed into one, check out The Chasers. They are an original....really.

3. If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. No explanation needed here.

4. When your kids are ages 11 and 14, they no longer believe in Santa Claus. Even after I queried, "Well then WHO ate those cookies and drank the milk?" C'mon Dad. This is getting embarrassing....

5. Seattle is the best place on this earth. I didn't just learn this in 2011, but it still stands.

6. Seattle needs the NBA back. Again, I didn't learn this in 2011, but it still stands.

7. Cormac McCarthy first edition hardbacks are expensive and hard to find. I toured many bookstores this fall, and could only find a first edition Blood Meridian. It was $2000.00. Uh, nevermind.

​8. I look terrible in cartoon form. Whoever the illustrator at the Seattle Weekly is, probably needs some glasses. I'm not THAT old looking. Geez, I am only 47, er...just about 48. Uh. Nevermind. Carry on.
9. Riding Harley's in Chile with my friends is pretty damn kick ass. Enough said.

10. This is a question actually: didn't we already pay a toll on the 520 Bridge? Seems like back in the day, until I was a late teenager (see #8), paying a toll at a toll-booth on that bridge. What are we paying for now?

11. Go out and see a local band and support your local scene. We are lucky here in Seattle, with all of our clubs and talent. And places like London, Sau Paolo, Glasgow and Buenos Aires are really taking off, too, with their local bands and rock scenes.

12. Okay, I know I said "11 things," but it IS just about 2012, so, um...yeah. If you are on the Twitter, beware of this thing I now call the "Tweet to follower ratio." If you have a, say 1000/1 Tweet ratio (that is, you've tweeted say 10,000 times, and you have 10 followers), you should consider backing off on the Twitter time. Conversely, if someone with a 1000/1 Tweet ratio actually Tweets you, you should think twice about replying. You are probably dealing with someone who might Twitter until the wheels come off. Just an observation.

And to that note of the Twitter. If you haven't followed @Johnroderick yet, do yourself the favor. I don't even try to be funny anymore over there. Roderick is the Michael Jordon of Twitter-humor.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/12/duff_mckagan_twitter_seattle.php
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« Reply #328 on: January 20, 2012, 03:23:51 PM »

This from Duff highlights a problem that effects everybody. http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/01/quit_whining_about_sopa_and_pi.php#Comments
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« Reply #329 on: January 20, 2012, 05:49:54 PM »

Amen Duff!!!
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« Reply #330 on: January 21, 2012, 04:47:42 AM »

Amen Duff!!!

Amen? You have got to be kidding me....I'm guessing you don't know the first thing about SOPA and PIPA .
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« Reply #331 on: January 26, 2012, 08:34:27 PM »

More from Duff on the subject...

Let's Try This Again

By Duff McKagan Thu., Jan. 26 2012

It's not at all uncommon that I write a piece here that I hope inspires discussion in the comments section. My mission statement of sorts has been to help usher in a higher bar for social media. I know that we are capable of educating each other, and I have been thrilled at some of the deep conversations that have taken place here. We are capable of much more than just typing "fuck you, you suck dickhead" under an anonymous moniker. We have (largely) succeeded.

I wrote an article last week on the SOPA/PIPA debate. I was hoping to get a conversation started about a facet of the debate that I hadn't seen explored. I think in my rush to write it, I assumed many things about some of my readers here. I wasn't clear on some things.

For example: I received e-mail from some fans of my band or things that I had done in the past, who were pissed at some of my wording. I never meant to lump true supporters of music into some catch-all "all you fans" type of category. To all those fans of music who go out there every day and hunt down music with the sole intent of wanting to fully support artists, if you were offended, I sincerely apologize.

I am a great supporter of music. I love to go see bands, and buy their T-shirts and CDs. I urge others publicly to go BUY bands' new records. I know how hard it is to make the whole thing work from a basic economic scale. Artists do have to pay their own way when they record something new. And, believe it or not, that shit is still expensive, even if you do it at home. You need a computer and an expensive program. You need mic pres, and good microphones, a mixing board of some sort, and compression and mike stands and drum kits and amps and strings and time off work and guitars and numerous other pieces of gear . . . just to record your first note. This is not including the time you need to write the damn songs.

I have been there as an artist when the Major Label rips you off. I have been there when the manager takes his cut off the gross while you are left to pay for the crew, travel, hotels, a bus, gas, food, and every other expense involved in touring. I've been there as large merchandise companies try to sell your shirt for 35 bucks while you demand as hard as you can to charge only $15. The artist still has to pay for the shirts and the printing, and ends up making a dollar--maybe two--off the end sale. I've been there.

Even at the height of major label-dom, the most a band would make off a record was something like $2. Split among five people, after paying for your producer and mixer out of that $2--well, you can do the math of what a band member would see from that. Pennies. Oh, and of course before you see penny number one, you do have to pay back that label for the recording costs . . .

I was there when the major labels kept trying to change formats so that they could sell artists' whole catalogues over and over. I could see it plain as day when the digital format was introduced just as home computers were beginning to be the norm in every household. It was only a matter of time before file-sharing on a large scale became a major player in how music was delivered to the end user.

I saw Napster try to work with the labels. They tried to cooperate, and share the immense advertising revenue. The artists would get paid. The labels would get paid, and people would get their music for free . . . legally and without feeling like a thief or living in fear of legal prosecution. The labels balked. The labels failed in their short-sightedness. The labels are now in serious trouble, cutting back to a point where I believe major labels will be fully a thing of the past within five years.

I am not an advocate of "the man." Never have been. Never will be.

But I AM an advocate of the artist. Those who, since Chuck Berry, have gotten the short end of the stick.

A lot of you argue that illegal file-sharing gives some bands and artists worldwide exposure. Maybe so. But whose place is it to say that a band who records their own shit and puts it up on their site for sale, or on iTunes, doesn't actually need those folks to actually purchase their music, so that they can afford to just eke out paying back the expense that they took to record that thing?

A lot of us will buy three grande lattes at Starbucks throughout a day ($15 or $20?), and then complain about paying $10 for a CD. I'd argue that all you get from that coffee is the jitters and bad breath, while that CD gives you music, that beautiful thing that'll fill your soul for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

I understand that there is a new paradigm. People argue that "Art wants to be free" and that the digitizing of music is all the proof that one needs for that argument. But aren't there many arguments that can offset that one?

The real argument or point I wanted to put up for discussion was with people on Twitter and Facebook going so damn crazy last week when Wikipedia went black and everyone was complaining about something called PIPA. How many of those educated themselves first before they went on the Twitter and exclaimed "Fuck the SOPA. I want my first amendment rights" or "Big Government is taking over!!"?

A wise man once said to me: If you don't understand something that a government or business does, it's always going to be about the almighty dollar. We must educate ourselves, and then take that education to the rally.

The PIPA bill, as it was written, left so many gaping holes and open language that those in that business who would be looking for loopholes to capitalize against a smaller competitor could use this bill to squash said competitor.

For those of you thinking that PIPA and SOPA were equivalent to what is going on in China, please make that argument. But try to back that argument.

If there was some way to have a person-to-person, live, open "town hall" type of talk about this whole deal, I think a lot would come of it. A Senator. A musician or two. A person who used to own a recording studio. Someone from the movie business. A book publisher. Advocates for open file-sharing. And so on.

Hopefully this week we can all sort of get along and try to educate each other here in the comments. Let's try a "do-over."

Please reply with your real name.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/01/lets_try_this_again.php#more
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« Reply #332 on: February 10, 2012, 04:19:26 PM »

 Cool

The Table

By Duff McKagan Thu., Feb. 9 2012

One year older last week. They brought me to a place with a large table set for dinner, with lessons on all sides.

At this table, there were friends I met underneath church pews when I was still small enough to run beneath those pious. These friends and I grew until now, and our under-the-benches play, has spawned a true benchmark for men who are close.

At this table, WHO says only men get better looking with the years? The women at this table all looked wise and beautiful and full of glamour. My wife has beautiful lines, especially in her curves. My sisters are an elegant bunch. Our female friends have all aged with the ease of a small ripple in a pond. Silent. Smooth. Graceful.

I am here to say that you women have it good.

At this table sit my friends new and old. Some men I can count on, men who make me stand a little taller, because they have witnessed me fall ... many times.

At this table, my bandmates of now. For 12 years our struggle has sharpened our whit, and made those things you'd have to talk about before- a matter now, of only a glance and a nod.

At this table, I felt an urge to laugh. My folly and doubt about my place in this life, suddenly seemed embarrassing and small. My place is with these people, and we have earned our right to lean on each other. And laugh.

At this table, are the funniest of tales. Most of them are true I'm afraid. We chuckle and heave at our folly and goofs along the way.

At this table are my brothers and sisters of blood, and my brothers and sisters since then. We are all a family now as we sit together.

At this table I am suddenly so very god-damned thankful, and kick myself for EVER doubting.

At this table is a gift. A guitar made and hidden for nearly a year. Many of these friends and siblings paid for this unspeakable instrument. All of them kept it hidden from me.

Until that night ... at the table.

At that table, I started to get charged. What the hell is next for me? It doesn't matter so much at this very moment. I have the confidence to see that there is no rush. This life is not a race.

At this table, I saw in my wife a person who cares about me, and not everything else. That is a gift that cannot be put into words.

At this table, I got a new lease on life. A second wind; one to take me the rest of the way.

I write about family so much, but my friends get me through just as strongly. A mighty bunch of warriors. No one gave many of us much of a chance at one point or another. And this is something we can chuckle about too...while the poignancy of it all, does sit heavily, in the layers of that still-room air.

At this table, we are surrounded by Seattle. A place I can revel in. A city that makes me proud and comfortable and happy. Can you imagine that a city can do that for a person?

This table seemed much too large, but as dinner began, it was full. And then some.

At this table, I am now aware of my place. It is to be a husband, and a brother, father, and an ass-kicking friend. Open all hours. Around any day. I'm only moments away. I am here.

Life is good. Life, is REALLY good.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/02/the_table.php
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« Reply #333 on: February 27, 2012, 09:20:52 AM »

A photo of Duff writing this column: http://yfrog.com/od3pfxpj

Once Upon a Time In Mexico

By Duff McKagan

Him: "Wanna buy cigar?"
Me: "No, gracias"
Him: "Weed?"
Me: "No. Me no fumar"
Him: "Cocaine?"
Me: "No. No gracias"
He walks away, scratching his head.
Repeat again all the way up and down 5th Ave., the shopping area and 'returant row', of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

I am in Cancun this week on a working vacation. I am playing a small acoustic gig for a company that I work in tandem with. It's pretty cool that I can bring my wife with me for this Valentine's week. All expenses are paid, on top of what they are already paying me.

If this is "selling out," well, shit, bring it on! I'm into it.

I can see doing this kind of thing at this point in my career. Greece? Turkey? Hawaii? South of France? That'd be pretty cool, eh?

I could see it now" Me and John Roderick putting together some wacky acoustic duo. We'd get the hipster and rocker accounts. He and I could while away the hours on the beach somewhere, me with a ukulele, he with some bongos....practicing our set between Scrabble moves and a running snark-filled, ironic commentary on life.

But in all seriousness, these trips and tours are always a great opportunity for me to observe and learn about others' cultures and people and their society on a whole. Music. Politics. Economy. Fears. Hopes.

I feel like Samantha Brown, but with more dude-like observations.

When this Cancun trip was booked, I had heard from more than a few people, to be careful. The "Drug Wars" down here in Mexico have been making a ton of headlines lately; the headlines coupled with a few episodes of "I Survived," can scare the hell out of anybody, I suppose.

My own experiences from traveling south of our U.S. border though have always been epic. In a macro way, the people down here--and further south, too--just seem happier and care-free (for whatever reason!).

I took a cab down to Playa Del Carmen on Tuesday. It's about 35 miles south of where I am staying (or, about the distance from Seattle to Tacoma). I was with my wife, Susan, and the cab driver suggested that he could give us a ride back once we were done shopping and eating dinner. He wouldn't charge to wait for us. He dropped us off in this bustling town, and did not make us pay for the ride down.

He trusted us that we would call him for a ride back and pay him then.

There were about 50 cabs down there, and we could have easily just taken a different cab back. But this dude simply trusted us. It seems to be the way things are down here. It seems simple, right?

But my head screamed "Dude! We could have dusted you and only paid for half a trip!"

------------------

I always search the cable channels when I go abroad. I like the BBC News, and even CNN International. More and more, though, I am seeing the FOX News Channel being aired in other countries, and this is the case with the cable here in the Riviera Maya.

Ah! I get it now. THAT is why those fellas we offering me drugs down in town. They must really think I am uptight and stressed.

.-------------------

80s music seems to be a big thing down here right now. Yes, like Rick Ashley and Culture Club. For whatever reason, wherever I have gone so far on this trip, there is some drum machined-up 80s anthem playing in the store, restaurant, or cab. Very loudly.

Just food for thought.

Last night, I saw an incredible world-class mariachi band playing. Really, really good and soulful, and JUST the thing to break the 80s onslaught I had just been through for the previous 48 hours.

Tonght (Thursday), this kick ass mariachi trio will be joining me on stage for the event I am playing.

Sorry, Roderick. You have been replaced!

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/02/once_upon_a_time_in_mexico.php#more
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« Reply #334 on: March 08, 2012, 08:14:43 PM »

Test Case (Still Fear the "Man," I Guess)

By Duff McKagan Thu., Mar. 8 2012

It is no secret that I fly a lot. It is also no small secret that I have a history with substance abuse, general mayhem, and public intoxication. You know this. I know this--and I fear that every cop worldwide knows this. TSA included.

God only knows what kind of databases "they" have on us all. Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA, DMV, Scotland Yard, local police forces, and TSA all get their info about us from these huge databases. We are screwed.

But I have lived a clean life lately, and I usually have no problems going through airport security and screening. I know the drill:
1) laptop out and in a bin
2) shoes off
3) empty your pants pockets (if you are going through the "body scan" type of thingy)
4) belt off
5) coat off
6) no liquids over 3 ounces, and the liquids that you DO have that are under that weight must be in a plastic bag
7) Some airports require you to take your Kindle out of your backpack, but others do not. The ones that don't require it actually get kind of mad when you do take it out--so be careful . . . you WILL get yelled at!

The attitude of the TSA workers varies widely from U.S. airport to U.S. airport. It is a great indicator of what the working environment must be like in those different airports. The trick is to not take any of this personally. If you travel as much as people like me, you even get to know what to expect at Dallas, Newark, JFK, SeaTac, and Burbank.
You'd think that the TSA would have one sort of "party line" and pretty much stick to it. You'd find yourself to be disappointed with that assumption, unfortunately.

Did any of you read about those TSA agents that they busted out in New York and New Jersey? Officers at Newark and JFK were busted stealing money, jewelry, iPads, and laptops from passengers either directly going through the security line, or were stealing out of their baggage down below. That kind of stuff has always kind of scared me in a whole other way. What if they planted something on me so that they could get a bust? Well, that is how MY brain works sometimes.

Some people just look a little out of the norm. Whether you are dressed religiously, like a hip-hopster, or are a tattooed love god such as myself (what?), you may be setting yourself up for a tad bit closer scrutiny by those at airport security.

I travel with the same backpack everywhere I go. It has all the stuff I need. Laptop, passport, good-smelling stuff, gum, Kindle, crossword puzzle book, throat coat spray, Ocean Spray (the secret for keeping healthy whilst breathing so many germs on planes). All of these tiny liquids are even too small to have ever registered in the "3 ounces or below" category, so in my backpack they have remained . . . for all of this time. Until last night at SeaTac.

As my bag went through the X-ray, I could see the person watching the screen call over a superior. They asked me if it was my bag. I nodded. They were going to have to run it through again. I eyed the guy closely as he carried it back to the belt . . . watching for him to "plant" something on me--or steal my beloved crossword book or laptop. But my heart started to speed up too. Shit. Are there some ancient drugs in that backpack? And even though this backpack is much newer than any old drug habit I've had, I went into a shaky paranoia. "They need to make a bust, and that bust is gonna come at MY expense. They are going to plant something on me!!" I started to think if I had a lawyer to call for my "one call" . . .

As the officer brought the bag over to me and asked if it was all right to go through it, I thought to myself all the bad thoughts about what was certain to befall me. A public fall from grace. What would I tell my kids? How was I going to write Thursday's column for Seattle Weekly?

It turns out that after the 100 trips I have taken with this Ocean Spray and throat spray . . . that these were the culprits that were tripping up the X-ray machine. So that's it? THAT'S IT?!! It took you guys one hundred times to finally catch this? Hmmm.

I was irate when I finally got to the magazine stand. "Kardashians AGAIN?! Jessica Simpson does a scandalous pregnancy photo-shoot?" What's next? Contraception being included in health insurance?

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/03/duff_mckagan_1.php#more
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« Reply #335 on: July 02, 2012, 03:28:17 PM »

Hey, What Happened to the Radio?

Jun. 29 2012

When radio execs test a new single for an artist, they gather listeners into a room, throw on a few different songs by the same artist, and ask the participants how they would have reacted if they heard the song on the radio. Would you:

A. Turn the station if you heard this song?
B. Would you turn up the volume if you heard this song?
C. Would you do nothing if you heard this song?

The reaction they are looking for is "C."

Think about that for a second: These stations don't want you touching the dial. Not even to crank the volume (I guess they think you will mistakenly change the channel if you reach to turn up the volume . . . dumb consumer). This is modern methodology, and this information is used in the multitasking of the record label/radio station partnership. No one wants YOU to touch that dial.

Of course, we get it. We are grown-ups, and understand business. This IS just business, after all, but as a result, any new music that a radio station might play these days isn't necessarily the song that will make you react the most. It's the one that will have you just lazily stay on that station so that they can play their lucrative advertisements for stuff that we will hopefully consume. Kind of sucks, if you ask me.

There used to be so many songs written with the romantic notion of a radio being on somewhere. Radio used to have a cool factor. Radio stations across the U.S. would have their own playlists, and often a local band would get their big break by first being played on the radio in their local town.

Today's hyper-tested radio music has gotten too vanilla, tedious, and mundane.

Personally, I wish there was an old-school punk-rock station in every city. I'd listen to rock radio more often if that were the case. But I like "old-school" everything. Old-school R&B, '70s rock, etc. And seemingly, people my age DO have purchasing power, right? Wouldn't some smart corporate Clear Channel-er figure out that playing radio ads for cars and clothes to a guy like me may just be a ingenious thing to do?

But I'd like the chance to find out about new-school music via the radio, too. I love me some Beach House and Red Fang. What else is out there that I don't know about? Do I have to search online now -- hit up the Pandoras and YouTubes and Spotify -- or go to a Capitol Hill coffeehouse to get down with what is new these days?

Will there ever be a time in the future that somehow kids like mine will tune in to a radio station rather than listen to their iPods? Would I have listened to the radio if I had an iPod way back when? I might have . . . if not just to discover something new.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/06/hey_what_happened_to_the_radio.php#more


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« Reply #336 on: August 08, 2012, 03:51:29 AM »

Q&A: Duff McKagan and Jack White Talk Happy Accidents, Lanegan, and Growing Up With GNR


http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/duff_mckagan_jack_white.php?page=2
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« Reply #337 on: September 01, 2012, 01:38:51 AM »

Coming Down the Mountain

Aug. 30 2012

When I wrote recently about the Heroes Project-sponsored climb of Mt. Rainier for Cpl. Kionte Storey, there was really no way I could have forecasted just how awesome this undertaking would be.
The 23-year-old Storey lost his right leg to an IED in Afghanistan one year ago, and this climb would be a test of whether he was choosing to go in this life, as opposed to wallowing or feeling sorry for himself. The Heroes Project provides a healthy outlet for some of these kids. What could be a better physical and mental symbol for overcoming than some huge mountain?

Mt. Rainier ain't no joke. I was given the opportunity to tag along for the climb.

Prosthetic limbs take some time for a user to get accustomed to. Carrying a pack full of real weight up slippery snow, rock, and ice can put stress on these prosthetics that they were probably not designed for.

The climb up to Camp Muir (10,000 feet) is test enough for anyone. To Muir, the eventual Rainier summiter must carry everything needed for a few days' stay: tents, pads, stoves, food, pots and pans, shovels, rope, crampons, ice axes, helmets, food, layers of different types of clothes . . .

The initial push to Muir is arduous as hell. Kionte Storey listened to Linkin Park on his iPod, and did not utter one word of complaint about his leg or the climb. He just smiled and marveled at the impossible scenery. Snow and mountains and glaciers are not the norm to a kid from Stockton, Calif.

Our leaders were three gregarious men with Everest on their resumes. On the mountain, these dudes were the rock stars. At Muir, you would hear constant whispers about the three dudes Kionte and I were with. We were safe as one could be with these three, so they strongly suggested that we take an extra day to rest at Muir and acclimatize to the altitude. A sound plan.

Now listen: For my part, I had trained my ass off for this climb. Being invited on this climb meant that I should also be ready and able to help wherever and whenever I could. I climbed stairs all over Seattle. I ran and lifted weights. I did lunges and strange-looking "burpies" that exhaust the body. I ate right, and tried to rest my body before this climb. I was ready, damn it . . . READY AS HELL.

On summit night (you "wake up" at about 10:30 p.m., get ready, eat, and begin the actual summit push at about midnight in the dark), Kionte was looking strong and I felt ready and able. The weather was good and somewhat stable, and before we knew it we were cramponing up some icy ledges and hopping over crevices and running across dicey rock and ice fall areas.

Some people adjust better than others to altitude. I have read countless books on different climbs and climbers, and the fact remains that modern science still hasn't really figured out why altitude affects different people -- regardless of their fitness levels -- in different ways.

My right eye suddenly blurred at about 11,000 feet. I kept it quiet. I didn't want to be the guy who held up the group. Pride plays a factor up there, and pride is dangerous in those slippery, steep, and treacherous places.

In the dark, I suddenly saw the outline of "little" Tahoma, the sister mountain of Rainier; its summit was actually below me. My body felt strong, lifted by the sight of young Cpl. Storey and his headlamp arduously making its way higher, just above me. Blurry or not, you just carry on.

At 12,000 feet, both my eyes went blurry, and nausea was overcoming me. It was a sort of step, step, heave . . . step, step, heave type of gait. But I still felt strong, and I hoped that this phase would pass. Just keep going, Duff . . . it ain't about you. Don't be "that guy." Think of punk rock. Think martial arts. Think of your family, and think of Kionte.

At about 12,800 feet, a guide from another climb came up to me and announced that he thought I had a cerebral edema "and could die soon if he doesn't get down very quickly." Hey climber-dude-alarmist-guy . . . chill the fuck out. Without me really realizing it, I guess my eyes were rolling around a bit and I was stumbling like a drunken sailor. What the?! I felt strong as a bull! Kionte went into "Marine mode," and it was time to turn this climb around. The mission was now to get your erstwhile columnist down the damn mountain. Heaving, stumbling, and talking nonsense (I guess).

Life is funny sometimes, and a situation that's supposed to go one way can often go quite another direction. I had to pull everything I had from deep inside of me just to get down. Cpl. Storey, I am sure, gained confidence. He took another one for the team, and made sure his fellow brother was OK.

Cpl. Storey will now attempt Mt. Vinson at the South Pole.

Me? Well, that mountain is still there, and I have, after one week away, trained my eyes back to the summit.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/08/coming_down_the_mountain.php
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« Reply #338 on: September 14, 2012, 04:15:11 AM »

Duff McKagan: Depression Ain't No Joke

By Duff McKagan Thu., Sep. 13 2012 at 11:01 AM

Once in a while, life can kick our asses. Some of us have the chemical makeup that can rise to the occasion of these ass-kickings. Some of us have a great network of family and friends that somehow help us through. Others of us perhaps have neither of those favorable winds at our back.
Depression often will make us isolated from others and run from life in general. Being alone with one's own thoughts can and will be the most terrifying and dangerous place for the sufferer of most types of depression.

Some of us are born with the trait. Some of us go through something early OR later in life (or both early AND later) that can suddenly trigger a downward spiral.

I had never experienced real depression in my childhood or early adulthood. I had plenty of friends who did, but still I would scratch my head . . . and think to myself "Just snap out of it!" when friends did tell me of their issues regarding depression. But I HAVE suffered panic attacks for most of my life, and I do understand that chemical imbalances and other inputs can stack up against someone . . . way beyond the "Just snap out of it!" realm.

And then September 11, 2001 happened.

The world seemed to be in upheaval, and all fronts were under attack. Everything was suddenly fearful, and my own place on this earth seemed muddy and without bedrock. My daughters were 4 and 1, and suddenly my idealistic vision of being the perfect dad was acutely obscured by movements beyond my ability to control. I sunk into a thick, black state of being. Depression for the first time.

Ah hah. Yep. I get it. Depression IS in fact a real thing.

And once the door was opened to depression in my case, the monster became a living thing in my life. I could look at it and examine it after time, but in that initial instant, I did not see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The world seems to get scarier by the day. Bad jobs reports. Some asshole making an indie movie decrying another people's belief. The failing of our Republicans and Democrats to act in actual Congress. People getting hurt and killed in places like Afghanistan . . . and on . . . and on. But what I have found in fighting thoughts and feelings of depression is to actually talk and get out -- face the day head on if you can. "Today is going to be the best day in my history" is not a bad place to start. Share your "stuff" with others. Don't be afraid to do it. You may just be surprised by how many like-minded people there are out there. Depression and anxiety have touched most of us to some degree or another.

And some types of depression do need medical treatment.

Last week, there was a brave essay shared by man on the Internet. He has suffered a horrible fight with some serious depression, and decided to write about his journey thus far. I back this kind of guts and fortitude.

As you will see, Andrew Lawes has come through a ton of darkness, and has had the gift of a new baby to help him sort through his "stuff." Mr. Lawes was probably overwhelmed by the huge response he got back from fellow sufferers. You are not alone, my friend. Thanks for letting us in.

Again, THIS space is a forum for us all to exchange ideas. The world may seem dark and fucked-up and overwhelming, but we are the ones who will effect change, if there is change to be had.

There is a way out of depression -- you just got to get to a place to examine the monster.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/09/duff_mckagan_sept_13.php
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« Reply #339 on: January 11, 2013, 01:51:02 PM »

How to Be a Man

By Duff McKagan Thu., Jan. 10 2013

I wish I had the answer.

There's never been an adequate manual for instruction on how to be a man. Images of put-together, suit-wearing studs drinking whiskey on TV commercials are just not real life. As much as we fellas want to be like Jason Statham, kicking ass at will--well, good luck with that.

I don't look as good as Statham does when I wear a tuxedo with my bow tie a bit loosened. My kung fu will never be as fluid as what I see in movies. My hair will never be cut to perfection, and top-shelf cologne can't make everything else in my life perfect and well-kept.

All that said, I have made some observations so that I may help the man-traveller of these current and confusing times:

To be a man also means to be a man of your word: In this day and age, being straight-up with others is almost a foreign tactic. A completely new and strange phenomenon has surfaced because of text conversations between men and women (I have been made to understand). In the song "Say My Name," the girl wants her man to say her name out loud in a phone conversation--because she suspects that her dude is with another woman.

Now that texting is the main mode of conversation, apparently, suspicious ladies are now asking for a picture from their beaus. As in: Show me that you aren't with some chick. Man up. Don't commit to a girl unless you are done being the carouser. If you feel solid in your relationship but your girl still asks for a picture, it may be time to move on.

Learn how to fight: Yep, go box or learn some style of martial art or mixed martial art. It'll actually have the opposite effect on us fellas. Instead of being threatened out there at a bar or whatever, having skill in some fighting discipline will calm that dumb machismo that all of us dudes are born with, and those previously thought threats from some dumbass will suddenly seem silly. Fighting skill and conditioning will give you confidence in many areas of your life.

Save it for your girl: The "it" I am speaking of actually acts as "glue" for a relationship. Monogamy is key. If you can't be honest with your lady, it serves that you aren't being honest at all, and that is a loser's game.

Get a cause: A good friend of mine with a wife, three kids, and a full-time job still finds time to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. Guys like these are a true inspiration for the rest of us fellas.

Don't road-rage: See #2. Keeping calm is an art form perfected only by the manliest of men.

See people in person: Or at the very least, call.The art of conversation is a dying thing. Man up and sit down for coffee with that person you usually text with. That's right . . . and look them in the eyes (this may seem totally weird for anyone under 30, I understand).

Be the man: Be a good example, even if you've got to fake it. Your kids observe everything you do. And even though it may not seem like it at the time, your kids want to be like you. They want to be proud of you and brag about their dad at school and to their friends. Be observant of your own actions around them kids.

Lead by example: Men are fixers. It gets frustrating for us fellas if we can't mend a situation, or if others don't adhere to what we think is righteous and forthright. All you can do is be the best you can be at that moment. Forge ahead in your own light, feet firmly planted, chest out, shoulders back. It will be noticed when you lead by example.

Listen to your girl: We men sometimes get frustrated when our ladies talk. We will try to actually converse when she is deep into a story about the boss being a dick, or some other friend of hers doing your girl wrong. Do not even try to fix this situation! Your sweety just wants you to listen. Hell, you don't even have to agree. Just listen. This is black-belt-level man stuff.

Do the dishes: Hell, take it one level further: Cook the dinner and do the dishes. Doing laundry is man's work too, as well as cleaning up after the dogs and cuddling your kids. Having a home life where you get the opportunity to be a family man and partake in all these things is a very good thing. It means that you have matriculated your man thing to the very top level. Keep it up.

Don't be a pussy: Don't shy away from a situation just because it's tough. If it is protecting the one you love, or things are tough at work . . . pin those ears back and remember who the fuck you are.

Get smart: Educate yourself on what is going on in culture and politics. Read some books about history. Don't be a pawn, be a scholar.

Evolve: Our dads and granddads grew up in a different time. Communication and tenderness were not neccesarily components of their age groups' makeup. You don't have to be exactly like them. Even though we saw good examples of man-stuff in them, the times they are a-changing.

So you see, there are no real tips for how to look like a male model with the perfectly hewn facial hair. There are no fitness guidelines on how to get that perfect six-pack ab look. I'll let you know about all that stuff once I figure out how to unwrap this P90X DVD and get my wax on.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2013/01/how_to_be_a_man.php
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WHEN YOU TREAT PEOPLE BADLY -

DON'T BE SURPRISED WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF ALONE
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