I think if you told Appetite for Destruction-era, Duff McKagan that one day he’d be a best-selling author, columnist, and writing another book offering life advice he’d choke on his Jack Daniels.
But as he covered in his 2011 memoir, “It’s So Easy” (a great read and easily one of the most honest and compelling memoirs to come from a survivor of the ’80s metal scene. Ever) he has grown up a lot since his gig as the bassist for Guns N’ Roses, sobered up, married, and had children. He went on to college, founded a wealth management firm, played in a number of different bands, and picked up a gigs writing columns for ESPN.com, Seattle Weekly, and Playboy.com.
The advice in “How to Be a Man” is not overly complicated, essentially it comes down to thinking of others every now and then, enjoying life (just not too much), and not being a dick. These lessons are doled out as McKagan writes this book from the road, where he is touring massive arenas with his super group Kings of Chaos, and then hitting Europe in a van on the much more downscale tour with his other band Walking Papers. What makes “How to Be a Man” so enjoyable, aside from the rock star anecdotes that are included throughout, is the very un-rock star humility of McKagan circa 2015.