The next book I looked at for #GnRWeek was Duff’s book, entitled “It’s So Easy (and other Lies)”. Nice title. I read this one on Kindle, hence why I don’t have a photograph of the front and back cover. Here’s the Amazon cover though.

Duff book

I’ll cut straight to the chase and say that Duff’s book was very impressive. You just get the sense that he’s a really nice, down to earth guy and, now that he has overcome his demons and addictions, he is a guy who really has his head screwed on. This book wasn’t totally what I expected from a member of Guns N’ Roses. Or perhaps it was, but then it was also so much more.


His book has an interesting structure at the beginning. He doesn’t just jump into the whole childhood stories that everyone else does, perhaps because his childhood didn’t have the drama and excitement that Slash and Steven’s had, for example. But the chapters jump from the present to the past and alternate like that for the first 8 chapters or so. It’s a nice idea and it keeps you invested, but a couple of times it did get confusing as it didn’t remind you at the start of a chapter which ‘time zone’ you were in. After about a fifth of the book it stuck to a linear path though.

After about just over half way in the book we reached the point where he left Guns N’ Roses. I was surprised there was so much of the book left, but that’s because his personal story continues way past GnR. He certainly touches upon the whole Velvet Revolver years, but more importantly it’s about his journey as a sober adult. I have to say I was extremely impressed by his turnaround and healthy lifestyle change. Taking up mountain biking. Taking up martial arts. Eating healthy. Going to college and business school. Studying finance. Getting married and having children and enjoying the white picket fence life. He completely turned his life around and did in a very determined and impressive way. He’s got class and it shows in the book. I really do love how after being in Guns N’ Roses he went back to college as a mature student, after scraping in with the high school grades he had, and learning finance from scratch. Not many people would have the balls, or even the motivation, to do that.

Another thing I liked about this book was that some of the descriptions were quite arty, just in terms of sometimes writing out his inner dialogue, and doing that in a really engaging, amusing or even often shocking way.


His book is also not a kiss and tell book. I respect that. Like I said, this man has class. He also had a very interesting viewpoint on how to look for the positive in Axl. He certainly didn’t hold back on how frustrating Axl can be and how personally he took all the late starts that Axl made them do during the Illusion tour, but he also was very forgiving and open-minded in trying to always look for the good in Axl and certainly in later years keep up a line of communication with him. I would not at all be surprised if Duff was the go to guy or catalyst for this whole reunion.

The one bit that did slightly raise an eyebrow was how quickly he glossed over the part when Slash officially left the band. I would have thought that would have been a ringing death knell that elicited loads of mourning for the band etc, but instead he just says he wasn’t surprised and he barely registered it because he was so immersed in his mountain biking at that point. Perhaps that’s not what you want to hear as a GnR fan, but I guess it just shows how bad the band situation had become and how much focus Duff had on his recovery.

Interestingly there was a DVD that accompanied the book. You had to buy it separately but it consisted of Duff hosting a night with his band Loaded, and guests, with Duff on stage reading excerpts from his book to a live audience, with the band accompanying him. Plus some live songs too. And the DVD also had several interviews with people like Slash and some old friends (I can’t actually remember who else, as I’ve watched so many GnR interviews lately). I read the DVD reviews on Amazon and some people were saying they found it a bit cringe-worthy and embarrassing. But I chose to give it a go and personally I really enjoyed it. For some people reading excerpts from your book to a live audience, with your band playing behind you could come across as a bit w*nky. But I felt that Duff managed to pull it off really well. I thought he again came across as pretty down to earth and humble.

Back in the day, Duff was always likeable during interviews and documentaries and he often came across to me almost as a bit of a fun, loving goofball. In a good way. Possibly because he was always drunk, but he always appeared to be happy go lucky cool instead of pouting, angry cool like some rock stars try to be. To me it makes it even more impressive how switched on, healthy, genuine and financially savvy he is today. Or perhaps he always had the potential for that but it was just smothered by the booze. Either way I’ve got a whole lot of new respect for Duff after reading this book.


He’s also written another book called How To Be A Man (and other illusions) which I’m definitely going to read at some point.

Main discography after leaving Guns N’ Roses.

Velvet Revolver
Other various discography