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Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.

If someone were to tell me 5 months ago that I'd be busy thinking

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One More Reason to Read Playboy's Articles ... Me!

duffSPLASH.jpg

Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.

If someone were to tell me 5 months ago that I'd be busy thinking up things to write about on a weekly basis, I would have actually been happy to hear it. As of this week, I will not only be continuing my Seattle Weekly commitment, but also starting a new endeavor as a financial columnist at Playboy.com.

From my experience, once you are pegged as a 'rock guy', people just assume that you are either brain-dead or off hi-flying on a private jet with hookers and cocaine. While I have definitely been guilty of both of the before-mentioned traits-most of the time, my life these days is just kind of simple and book-filled. Writing is something that I found a fondness for when I attended Seattle University and took a particular English course taught by visiting poet, Sam Greene.

Some of you may probably rightly accuse my writing style of being a tad sophomoric or conversational. My thought process thus far in my writing just goes straight to the computer keyboard without the guide of an outline or notes. I will edit as I go and don't usually read the whole thing until it is up on the Weekly site. Brian Barr and Chris Kornelis (my esteemed editors at SW) gave me two simple guidelines before my first column, "Make it seem like you are talking to a friend at a bar and make it 1400 words". Sometimes it is the small things that people say to you that will guide your next 10 years. Brian's 'bar-talk' advise will be one of those small things for me.

How the hell is it that I will to be writing about money matters for Playboy? Well, over the last few years, I have been doing more and more TV and print interviews regarding some faction of finance. It started in 2004 when a writer for some music newspaper asked me about my experience going to business-school after my career with GNR. That interview in turn prodded other writers to ask me about money issues within the music biz. From there, PBS's 'Frontline' interviewed me about the 'valuation of a rock band' and the cork was officially off the top of the bottle as far as me being an ersatz 'go to' guy for anyone looking for financial insight from inside the music industry. Sometimes I DO wish more artists would go to business school just so I wouldn't always be getting the calls to do these interviews.

I do find how money works rather fascinating. Adam Smith, the main person looked at to be the founder of capitalism, was a simple but brilliant economist who had particular ideas on how a free market would take care of itself. The theory of every little niche being filled in the marketplace seems too 'free' to actually work...but it has for the most part over the last 240 years. This is a statement made free of politics by the way.

I think part of my mission statement for Playboy may be to perhaps try and shed some light and maybe even bring down some of the criminals on Wall St. Wouldn't that be cool? Maybe be a voice for the people- one that can't be bought (well, no one has ever actually tried to bribe me, but I'll let you know if they do!). The talking heads on the financial news networks also bother me. Always trying to be smarter than the next guy, using big and needless words and terminology so that they can watch themselves at home on their TiVo and gloat. Most of these shows do nothing more than a sort of "if it bleeds, it leads" type of sensationalism. This of course promotes only panic, stress, depression, and fear. Poppycock if you ask me. (As an aside; I would never actually use the word 'poppycock' in a bar room conversation but I couldn't wait any longer to use it. It IS a great word).

If any of you are like me, I didn't know squat about financial 'vehicles' or what the term 'financial vehicle' actually meant until I was 32. Why would I? And by the time I was 32, I was too afraid too ask anyone for fear of coming off as a buffoon. What I didn't realize then is that really no one else knew what any of this financial terminology meant either (except for CPA's, lawyers, and stockbrokers-and my brother Mark who is freakishly smart at everything). I think it would be cool to clarify some of this mess while at my column at Playboy. Just some no-nonsense plain talk about things that can usually get real confusing. In this scary time of grave financial woe, we all need to look out for each other and ourselves.

One thing is for sure; in these times of a drastically changing and unforeseen financial landscape, I will be learning as I go and only hope not to fail in front of everyone or let anyone down. I know that I will be learning a ton as I go. Hopefully some of you will come along with me as I stumble through this new landscape If anyone has any great ideas for the name of my Playboy column, please let me know.

More Duff:

-- I'm All For a New Era of Responsibility

-- Man's Best Friend

-- Things I Am Thankful For This Year

-- Why My Wife Still Thinks I'm a Badass

-- Look What Happened On the Way to Obama

 
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