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Duff McKagan Shares Tour Bus Rules: Silence, Sleep, No Stank Butt + More


Duff McKagan has spent a good chunk of his life on the road as a member of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Duff McKagan’s Loaded and most recently, Walking Papers. The bassist clearly knows the ins and outs of navigating tour bus life and how to survive cramped quarters with a bunch of sweaty bandmates.

While overseas in Ireland and Wales, McKagan was inspired to share the 12 golden rules of tour bus life for his Seattle Weekly column. He quickly and effectively debunked the romantic myths about being a road warrior. Some of his key tips were obvious, such as the maintenance of personal hygiene, since “crap breath” and “stank butt” lower morale and kill appetites.

McKagan also suggested adopting a lighthearted attitude and not being a d—. Again, pretty obvious. “Life can be hard enough on the road with the mishaps that present themselves in everyday scheduling conflicts. Don’t be that guy making a mountain out of a molehill,” he wrote.

The bassist also recommended the intake of local culture, but reminded one to do so carefully. He suggested, “Go out and take walk where you are. People and different cultures are so damn interesting, and remember: Know where you are going. Getting mugged with tour-float dough ain’t good for the bottom line.” Translation: Don’t wander into sketchy territory and get mugged with the money you’ve been fronted for the tour.

Other points? Well, silence is a gift. “Never miss an opportunity to keep your damn mouth shut. Whether you are talking to an audience, boring them with your banter, or regaling stories on the tour bus, don’t talk too much!,” McKagan said. He also acknowledged that sleep is a precious commodity, so get it while you can.

Ya hear that, aspiring bands? Memorize these rules. Know ‘em. Commit to ‘em. Live ‘em. To see McKagan’s full list, click here, and to check out an archive of McKagan’s past columns, check this location.

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