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Duff McKagan Drops Financial Science

Dave Kim

Duff McKagan hosted a SXSW panel at the Austin Convention Center today discussing finances.  Not exactly rock & roll, but with the way the music industry is these days, you would be smart to listen.

The Velvet Revolver bassist and frontman for Duff McKagan: Loaded sat down and answered questions from the audience about various topics.  One advice that McKagan gave was pretty blunt.

“Plan your life like it’s going to end tomorrow,” the rocker said.  McKagan continued that if you’re alive tomorrow, that’s another day you can enjoy.

Of course the legacy of McKagan’s most famous band is still thriving, so naturally questions were asked about Guns N’ Roses, including the licensing of songs.  An audience member asked what the best performing song was royalty-wise.

“(Welcome To The) Jungle and Sweet Child O’ Mine,” McKagan answered.  But he warned that artists have to be careful about how often they allow their songs to be used in other mediums.

“If you start licensing your songs all the time, the value goes way down.”

I asked McKagan what his reaction was to Glee wanting to use GN’R’s music for the hit Fox series.  For those that don’t remember, lead singer Axl Rose and former guitarist Slash both denied Glee from using their music.  He feels the whole situation was blown out of proportion and that Slash’s negative comments towards Glee was a little tongue-in-cheek.  A year ago Slash and McKagan were joking that they should let the show feature Guns N’ Roses songs because their daughters like the program.  The bassist then gave this little gem:

Glee can suck my ass.”

Of course he was kidding.  Someone from the audience asked how current and past GN’R members are able to communicate about licensing issues, as the tumultuous relationship has been notoriously documented.

“Lawyers,” McKagan answered.  “Lawyers have made so much money off of us.  They have made more collectively than all of us.”


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