duffm.jpg
Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.

It's that time of the year that we all either love or hate. For me, Thanksgiving has


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Duff McKagan: Things I Am Thankful For This Year

duffm.jpg
Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.

It's that time of the year that we all either love or hate. For me, Thanksgiving has always been a special time of year.



Growing up in a family of eight kids--with humor as its main ingredient--has most certainly been exciting and interesting. In my adult years, however, touring and living in Los Angeles has mostly kept me from coming back home to Seattle for this first part of the holidays. The spirit of my family has thankfully always remained with me (even in my 'dark' period!) and this spirit has kept me sane. This spirit gently nudges me to think of how fortunate I am, and how some others may not be. With that being said, here is a quick list of things of some of the things I am thankful for.



Last Saturday I did my weekly grocery shopping at my usual store. This store happens to have a recycling center that will give cash for your cans and bottles. Every Saturday I would see the usual 8 to 12 homeless guys in line there. These fellas go through the neighborhood recycle bins basically to make their living. No big deal. Last weekend though, I saw a rather big commotion at the end of the parking lot where the recycle center sits. When I started to walk past it I saw why; instead of the usual 8 to 10 homeless guys, there was a long line of residents of the area. This is the first time I have witnessed this in the 15 years that I have lived here. I am thankful that I can still provide for my wife and kids this year.


The mornings at my house can be a little hectic and stressful. Getting

two girls ready for school while also trying to get yourself ready for

the day can be overwhelming at times. My youngest daughter has always

had a kooky aversion to footwear-she just HATES putting on shoes. Me on

the other hand, cannot really even function before I have ingested two

very strong cups of coffee...Daddy has been known to get grumpy.

Sometimes REAL grumpy!

My wife is really sweet in the morning, usually

getting up earlier than me just to make the toad venom (this is what we

call our morning brew). By the time we walk to school together,

everything smooths out and our collective stress levels wane. I am

thankful that my youngest daughter HAS two feet on which to hate

putting shoes on. I am thankful that my wife understands my addiction

to strong coffee. I am thankful that my wife and kids love me

unconditionally.

The world has been getting pretty crazy in the last

decade. September 11, the war in Iraq, and this latest credit crunch

leading to recession. America was given a choice a few weeks back and I

believe that we were extremely prudent and wise. I am thankful that we

now have a President (elect) that I have faith in to lead us out of

these woes. I am thankful that we have a president that is smart. I am

glad that we made this choice together.

I am thankful that I have a dog

(he shows, every day, that he is thankful that he has me!).

A bunch of

years ago, I moved to LA and formed GNR. When this band became

successful and my world started to spin out of control, my three best

friends from childhood would call and/or come down to visit. These

visits had the result of keeping me grounded. My best friend, Andy,

took me to the emergency room in '94 when I suffered acute

pancreatitus, effectively saving my life. I am thankful that I have

always had my three best friends from childhood. Andy, Eddy, and Brian,

I know you read this column, and I love you guys.

I am thankful that

Mike F reads this column and calls me a 'butt-rocker'. I like

inter-action with the world, good or bad.

I am thankful to be alive.

I

am thankful that Krist Novoselic wrote about 'What Really Happened at

the '92 VMAs, because I don't really remember.

Kim Warnick and Kurt

Bloch were and are two of the coolest and most informed musical people

one could ever hope to encounter on this planet. They are also both my

friends. I am thankful to have grown up in an area and in a city that

fosters individual thinking and oddball trains of thought. I am

thankful for growing up with Kurt and Kim.

I am thankful that there may

be a plan to bring our troops home safely soon from Iraq and

Afghanistan.

I am thankful that a new season of 'Flight of the

Conchords' is almost here.

I am thankful that I no longer have the

shakes from alcohol. I am thankful for Pulitzer Prize-winning

non-fiction. I am thankful that I can afford health insurance for my

family. I am thankful that I had a loving mother who shared with me,

lessons hard taught to her. I am thankful that I had a mom who loved me

(she loved me most out of all 8 kids, of course). I am thankful that I

have been able to travel around the world a good 10 times playing rock

music. I am thankful that I can remember 3 of those trips (the others,

while I have proof by the stamps in my passport, must be filed in the

"All the Shit I Don't Remember' file).

I am thankful that the Seattle

Weekly lets me write whatever I want and that people actually read it!



I grew up under the watchful eye of seven older siblings, a couple of

which are more than old enough to be my parents. As a result, I was an

uncle when I was 2 and many of my nephews and nieces have been having

kids of their own (For a while now actually. My oldest great-nephew,

Dexter, is 16, I think!). When my wife married me 10 years ago, she

also married into the fact that she was suddenly a great-aunt! My

family is huge and varied and we all really love one another. I am

thankful to my brothers and sisters for having children, and for their

children doing the same. I am thankful and honored that I got to be

your uncle Kyle McKagan...

I know that the basis of this holiday is

rooted in a fable about pilgrims and native people. Hey, I read

'Mayflower'. I can be as cynical as the rest. The spirit that I feel

around the time of this holiday, however, can never be scrutinized. It

has been taught to me by loving people. This spirit will be lived

THROUGH me to show that love myself, to others.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 
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