DUFF MCKAGAN: Without Early Punk Scene, There Would Be No GUNS N' ROSES And METALLICA

May 24, 2022

Stage Right Secrets conducted an short interview with GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan at the "Pistol" premiere, presented by Vanity Fair and FX, at The Metrograph on May 18 in New York City.

"Pistol", a six-episode limited series about the legendary SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones, will premiere May 31 exclusively on Hulu in the U.S. and on Disney+ in U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Based on Jones's 2018 memoir "Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol", the series from Academy Award winner Danny Boyle, who also serves as executive producer and director, was created by Craig Pearce and written by Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Speaking about the SEX PISTOLS' influence on his musical development, Duff told Stage Right Secrets (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I didn't learn to play their music at all, like 'Bodies' or anything. Later on I learned the songs. But it was just kind of the way that Jonesy attacks the guitar. And I just picked up a guitar and started learning all that. And I then I figured out Johnny Thunders before that, and that's where he was taking it from. It was like music school. And then Paul Cook is kind of the beginning of modern rock and roll drumming; it all goes back to Paul. I'm a bass player, I'm a rhythm section guy, so Paul is the engine that informed rock and roll, from '77 on.

"Learning their songs wasn't really the important thing; it was just listening and taking it all in and then forming your own band and going," he explained.

"I was in the punk scene coming up. It was a time when it was all about individuals and individuality and being a freak or whatever, an outsider, and there was a little scene for you. There was a little gig down the street somewhere or downtown that you could go to and it was all ages. Then some international bands started to come through — THE CLASH came through in '79, and there was like a hundred people there. 999 came and THE JAM came and THE SPECIALS came and THE POLICE came. And then U.S. bands started… Of course we saw the RAMONES — everybody saw the RAMONES. You can't say THE SEX PISTOLS, really, without saying the RAMONES. It's the first two; it's the genesis of the whole thing.

"The punk scene back then and what THE PISTOLS helped generate was such a truly special thing," Duff opined. "There wouldn't be a GUNS N' ROSES, there wouldn't be METALLICA, NINE INCH NAILS, NIRVANA… You can just keep going on. FOO FIGHTERS… There wouldn't have been any of that without [the early punk scene]."

"Pistol" stars Toby Wallace ("Babyteeth", "Acute Misfortune") as Steve Jones, Anson Boon ("Crawl", "1917", "Blackbird") as John Lydon, Louis Partridge ("Enola Holmes", "Medici") as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Fabien Frankel ("The Serpent", "NYPD Blue") as Glen Matlock, Dylan Llewellyn ("Derry Girls") as Wally Nightingale, Sydney Chandler ("Don't Worry Darling") as Chrissie Hynde, Emma Appleton ("The Witcher", "Traitors") as Nancy Spungen, and Maisie Williams ("Game Of Thrones") as punk icon Jordan.

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