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Duff McKagan Reflects on the Guns N’ Roses Legacy in New Interview

John M. Heller. Getty Images

The drama surrounding the Guns N’ Roses induction in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to grow as Axl Rose announced publicly he will not be attending – and now in an official Hall of Fame press release, the band is not even mentioned.

This week, in a compelling interview with ESPN, former Guns bassist Duff McKagan spoke about his recent book, and his time in the band. “For a band like ours,” he said, “it’s hard for me to get my head around, and so I was trying to write about this for ESPN – our band has been apart since the mid ’90s. There’s been some muddy water under the bridge but for me water keeps flowing up and it goes past. Through writing my book, I came to the realization that I have nothing but love and respect for those guys; this thing we created out of thin air.

McKagan who recently released It’s So Easy, his autobiography, understands that the legacy of the first three Guns albums will resonate for years and generations to come.

“The legacy of the band kind of morphs for me as I matriculate through life. I see the little dudes around my daughters – and they are into that record. And as a result, they are terrified of me,” laughed McKagan.

As for dealing with the ever-controversial Axl Rose, McKagan put it into perspective. “You’ve got to understand the culture of the band. We had each other’s backs, all the way. That the press started to get involved and pull Axl out, it felt like they were pulling me out, too, that’s how joined at the hip were. If you’re playing music since you’re 13, you know the singer will get most of the good and bad press. Mick and Keith. Page and Plant. That’s just the way it is. Axl did sometimes have volatile actions, but I knew that guy as a whole, all the good stuff too. So you have to temper it with everything you know.”

Making a basketball analogy, McKagan also added that he felt the band had a lot more to give. “We were left to coach ourselves and we left a ton of potential out here. We were just getting started, but at least we did what we did.”

Listen to the entire McKagan interview over at ESPN.

Watch “Axl Rose Declines Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction” Video

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