Duff McKagan (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES, WALKING PAPERS) was named the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Of The Year at Seattle Central Community College during commencement. You can now watch his acceptance speech below.
McKagan didn't follow a traditional path when deciding to attend college at Seattle Central. He started playing in rock bands while a teenager and landed in the international spotlight as part of the hard rock band GUNS N' ROSES in the late 1980s and early '90s.
Duff reflected,: "I made money in my 20s, became sober in my 30s, looked around and didn't know who I could trust for money advice. I decided to learn (about money) for myself so I wasn’t broke in my 40s. Going to college was a main driver for me."
Seattle Central was there for him when he was ready to start college.
"Attending Seattle Central was an awesome experience," Duff said. "It taught me a lot about discipline in a great way. Having a college education has also helped my reputation. Ever since, people take me more seriously in my industry, because most people in the music industry do not go to college."
After Seattle Central, Duff attended Seattle University and the composition skills he learned have spawned another career — writing. In addition to producing a regular column for the Seattle Weekly, he has been published in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Playboy, Gentlemen's Quarterly and also wrote his autobiography, "It's So Easy (And Other Lies)", in 2011.
"Writing is a really nice outlet — like doing crossword puzzles — it keeps me sharp," he said. "I owe both my writing career and my knowledge of personal finance to college."
The Distinguished Alum was unable to attend the graduation ceremony because he is touring with his latest band, WALKING PAPERS, in the U.K. and Estonia. Their new album will be released on August 6.