Traveling Leaves No Cure for the Aching Heart

Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. He writes about what music is circulating through his space every Monday.
I have to travel to make my money. It has been that way ever since I was about 20 or so. Traveling is fine and dandy when and if you don't have a family and dumb dogs. But these days, I have these added parameters to work within.

I just arrived back in Seattle from another trip to Europe. For those of you who read this space regularly, you will remember that I was JUST there a couple of weeks ago. I try to see friends while I am there on business--friends who know my wife and girls, friends who can serve as a sort of touchstone.

I went to dinner in London last Friday with my friend who has done one hell of a good job raising three girls by himself. The girls, ages 9, 10, and 12, do all the things girls that age are supposed to do (ballet, flute lessons, gymnastics, etc.). My friend Ray has had to do this and figure this out all on his own, and it is always a joy to spend a few hours with him and his wonderful girls.

At the restaurant was a loud group of drunken late-20-somethings. The women in this group were questionably dressed, I suppose (my back was to them, so I wasn't privy at first). One of Ray's little girls suddenly said in her cute little-girl English accent, "Daddy! That lady's top is broken!" Yes, my friend Ray is raising little angels.

It made me miss mine.

Life is good for me, I do realize. I'm not one to piss and moan, and my family will rarely (if ever) be resentful for my being gone. They know that I am hard enough on myself about it. Life for me, more often than not, revolves around the logistics of not being gone for more than six days at a time . . . and that is why I travel back and forth so much, so that I am not gone ALL the time.

There should be some sort of frequent-flyer pass that a guy like me can use for TSA and U.S. Customs. I know the whole drill by rote, for Christ's sake. My computer is out, my shoes are off, my liquids are in a Ziploc in a tray, and STILL they insist on barking their orders to me. Don't they know I am just trying to get home to my girls? And for Customs: Do you REALLY think that a guy who looks like me, or like the punk-rock guy you also pulled out of line, would be the people who are going to attempt to smuggle drugs or whatever? I'd probably dress down a bit.

Blabbermouth just announced that LOADED has announced that we have a title for our new record (The Soundtrack). I guess it's official now.

We have been filming odd bits and pieces and vignettes for a film to coincide with the release of this record (hence its title). Reading the title, however, on Blabbermouth this morning, I was worried how it may be conceived by others. Sort of like, "Oh, really? The Soundtrack, huh? Well, that won't be MY soundtrack, 'cause I think you guys SUCK!" or some such reaction. But literally, it is just that, the soundtrack for the movie . . . I digress.

No, my point to the traveling part above is that this Thanksgiving, as with every one I've taken part in since Susan and I have had our kids, is about being thankful for the health and happiness that permeates our little family. I would travel five times as far as I did yesterday, and withstand all that TSA could muster, if the end result was me being back with my McKagans.

I would like to send a special Thanksgiving shout-out to my editor, Chris Kornelis, and his wife to welcome their first child. Life will get pretty damn good for you now, my friend.

And to you, my readers . . . and my friends now, as a result of this column. Whether you live here in the States or not, Happy Thanksgiving. Hopefully the things in your life that you hold dear will be more brightly illuminated and become warmer as the days in your life progress.

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