DUFF MCKAGAN Talks Sports, Music In ESPN.com Online Chat

Former GUNS N' ROSES and current VELVET REVOLVER bassist Duff McKagan took part in an online chat at ESPN.com earlier today (Wednesday, October 22). A couple of excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow below.

Q: For someone whose lifestyle brought you closer to death than most, it amazes me how well conditioned you look now (congrats on that, btw). What's your workout regimen like?

Duff McKagan: I'm obsessive with whatever I do. To a fault. I was obsessive about drinking and doing drugs but also about being a good musician and good father. I turned the corner in '94 and started doing kickboxing. That's a sport you can't be unconditioned or you will get hurt in the ring. It's a safeguard at this point, the conditioning.

Q: What made you pick up a guitar in the first place? Was it to get chicks?

Duff McKagan: (Laughing) It was NOT to get chicks. I was the last of 8 kids and we were all musical. We had all kinds of instruments around. I was relegated to play whatever I was told to play for the family jams. I was to to play guitar or drums or whatever. I just found a real passion for music.

Q: What kind of music do your kids listen to?

Duff McKagan: KATY PERRY, LILY ALLEN, THE BEATLES, JONAS BROTHERS. My girls have been around me and my bands their whole life so they have grown up with a great scope of music. They get it. They totally get it. But they are individuals and want to listen to the stuff they pick.

Q: Any chance of a GUNS reunion, and how does Seattle feel about letting Shaun Alexander suiting up for Washington?

Duff McKagan: Shaun Alexander ... good for him. He's a good guy and none of us know what it is really like to be a pro football player. If you are a RB and you are taking all those injuries, we can all sit there and say "attack the line!" but it's just not that easy. He has a great football head and Zorn is a great coach for him to play for. He knows how good Alexander can be.

GNR reunion? You never know.

Q: Where the hell is Izzy [Stradlin]?

Duff McKagan: Izzy lives in California. He just put out a record. But he's a very low-key guy. He puts out his records straight on iTunes. That guy lives right. Just because you are thrust into the limelight doesn't mean you want to stay there and he is a great example of that.

Q: Why do you think it's historically been uncool for musicians to be into sports? Were you a sports fan in the GNR heydays or not until things kind of settled down later?

Duff McKagan: No, I was always a sports fan. It was amazing for me when GUNS hit the point we were playing stadiums and got to play NFL football stadiums. It was amazing to go out on those fields. I would go out at soundcheck and it was amazing. When the Huskies did Dogs 'N Roses ... wow. They made us jerseys with our names on it. Very cool. I've always been a die-hard sports fan. Being in a rock band, you have to be more of an alert fan because you don't get to be in the same place all the time. I remember a Super Bowl where we were in South America. We had to find a place to watch the game at 4am. But now with Blackberrys and such, I get alerts all the time.

Q: Lead singers seem to be like hockey goalies, they are wired a little different. Do you know why that is?

Duff McKagan: I don't know why it is but it takes a little something different to be up there in front. The guitar might as well be the Great Wall of China. If I were to take that guitar off and just sing, it's like standing in a room naked with 5,000 people. A singer has to have a bigger ego and be full of bravado, more than most people.

Q: Are you burnt out hearing your music in arenas and stadiums during games?

Duff McKagan: I think it is really cool. But what most teams miss out on ... "Jungle" was for Seattle teams. It's not meant for other teams!!! When I hear it played for the Yankees or other teams I go nuts. Just kidding. But yeah, I hear it all the time at stadiums and it's pretty cool.

Read the entire chat at this location.

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