Michael McKagan, better known as former Guns ‘N Roses bassist/current Loaded frontman/guest-SOTC contributor Duff, has a 600-word piece in today’s Times about his lifetime of experiences flying. Unlike, say, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, who piloted his band’s private 757 across the world last year, McKagan’s spent his tour-horse time in a passenger seat for the last 25 years, but still has, per usual, spectacular rock-star anecdotes. “I’ve had my share of foreign-soil adventures, like escaping a coup attempt by Hugo Chavez in 1992, when Guns N’ Roses was playing in Venezuela,” he writes. “Fortunately for me, Mr. Chavez liked our band and waited for our chartered plane to leave before he strafed the airport.” Another Duff metaphorical chestnut, put forth as evidence of how his travels have changed since his Guns’ days: “Airplane cabins are my arenas where I experience many triumphs and failures against the legendary puzzle master Will Shortz and his wicked crossword makers.” Certainly beats talking about the Mile High Club.
Can’t help but point out that Duff actually typed out this piece, with his bare hands and everything, and though the Times deigns to give him the byline, they add the disclaimer “as told to” in the italicized end, which usually implies that the author said this over his Blackberry while shopping for Armani jackets. In this case, guess it means that the copy is “rock guy” language, not New York Times stylistically sanctioned fare. Yet when Bono’s Op-Ed ran in January, he got full credit/full blame, clunky syntax like “Is this knotted fist of a voice a clue to the next year?” left there naked, editing somehow implied. With Duff’s piece, there’s also an accompanying Q&A — strangely, that’s not “as told to” anyone (at least on the web). Dude shows Will Shortz the love and this is what he gets?
[New York Times: “Coups and Security Checks for Duff McKagan“; Village Voice: “Bassist Duff McKagan Loves New York City and He Would Personally Like To Tell You Why“]