Chris Kornelis posted a story here last Thursday about the fact that my sweet wife is a part of a new reality show on the E! network. I received some e-mails from friends on my Blackberry pertaining to some of the dark and mean-spirited comments that followed Chris' piece in the comments section. I also heard from Chris that a lot of you stood up for Susan and our family. Thank you. The comments were bad enough, though, that the Weekly was forced to take down the comments board.
Let me tell you a little story: Back in 2002, I was living happily in Seattle with Susan and our two babies. I was an ardent student at Seattle University, and our lives were pretty much nerd-filled and stress-free.I had pulled back from a scary life of excess that had almost killed me, and with the help of my girls (Susan IS one of my girls), I was settling down to a life I thought I could never attain: peace and academia and good friends that I grew up with.
But almost suddenly and out of nowhere, the lure of a great rock band in Los Angeles reared its presence to me. It was a chance to play with Slash and Matt Sorum again, and there was a lot of excitement around what this thing could be. I HAD to try it. I don't ever in this life want to wonder "what if?"
But Susan got worried, and rightfully so. Would old demons haunt me in a city that had more than a pound of my flesh? Would I act on them? And what about the kids? It's a big thing to uproot a family and just go.
Susan had my back, though. She knew that she could not be the one to hold me back if my musical passion called. Our lives changed from the tranquil lakeside setting in Seattle to a constant adapt-to-chaos situation in Los Angeles. Susan kept our household stress-free and steady for our daughters and me the whole time--as things were really starting to get crazy all around us.
When I relapsed on pills after 11 years of sobriety, Susan was the one there for me. She nursed me through my sickness and withdrawal and sought education on addiction, as opposed to being pisse -off and judgmental. She had never known me when I was drinking and using back in the day.
With the rise of Velvet Revolver, Susan began to be approached by a few different TV producers with varying ideas. She was, after all, a top model, and now a top mom and swimwear designer. They thought that there was perhaps a compelling TV story or series in there.
This gave Susan the idea to write and create a scripted show. The things that she had experienced out there with the other wives in VR were just too good and almost juicy . . . and FUNNY. She had caught the TV bug and now wanted to create a show. She had created herself as a model. She had created her own swim line. She had created herself as a kickass mother. Why couldn't she create this show?
Ah, but scripted shows are not the big and easy money-makers for the networks. Reality shows are. The production costs are minimal in comparison to their scripted counterparts. Susan's show idea went from basically a screenplay to a reality show with HER as one of its "stars." Trust me, she doesn't see herself as a "star," and thinks the whole thing is hilarious!
But then there is me. I do not like reality shows. No, I actually despise what little I have seen and think that some of this stuff has really poisoned our perception of reality. But then again, I have a ton of male rock friends who watch this stuff and fucking LOVE it. I don't believe that there is a real place for "rock guys" on an E! show, and Dave Navarro will be the first to tell you that if he could have done it differently, he would have never done the "Carmen and Dave" show. He has had to claw his way back into legit musical circles, as he sees it. (I think Dave is just so good at what he does musically that NOTHING could ever do THAT much damage to him).
So then that day came--the day Susan asked if I would be on her new show "just for one episode, baby. PLEASE! I know that you don't like this stuff, but they want me to ride a motorcycle and I thought we could do it together?" The show IS called "Married to Rock," right?
Since we had both immediately decided that our daughters would NOT be a part of the show (that would go against our ethos of privacy for them and for any "celebrity" that they might come upon, which would be of their choosing AFTER THEY ARE AT LEAST 18! Grace of course was BUMMED--but I digress).
How could I say no to my wife? How DARE I? This woman who has backed ME and taken care of ME and believed in ME? No, baby, whatever you need from me, I will do (of course, within reason).
We both decided that showing me with any band I was in would be fucking tacky and seen as gross commercialism. I suppose Loaded could USE a little gross commercialism, but not of this sort.
People may love this show or hate this show, and likewise Susan's participation in it. I'm in it for a few seconds too, but blink and you will miss me. I am not in this life to judge or react too hard to what people say to me either on fan forums or here at the Weekly.
First and foremost, I am in the McKagan family business, and doing right to those whom have done right by me and stayed with me through it all. And business is booming.