Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. His sports column on ESPN.com runs every Wednesday.
Some of you know that I am currently on


Last Call on the Tour That Shouldn't End

Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. His sports column on ESPN.com runs every Wednesday.
Some of you know that I am currently on tour in Europe with my band Loaded. A lot of the gigs we are doing are at those magical European festivals with names ranging from the self-explanatory (Sweden Rock) to the Germanic (Rock im Ring and Rock am Park) to the inexplicably information-age-ish (Download) to the odd. France's Hellfest is a better name than its former moniker, FurryFest, but still conjures up the idea that it's filled with Satan-worshipping bands. And I don't think Iggy and the Stooges, The Cult, Mr. Big, or Kyuss are anything close to death metal . . . nor do any of those bands wear corpse-paint.

So, as this will be my last post from the field on this tour, I thought that it may be fun to let you all in on some of my personal highs from the last four weeks:

Ghost: I know that last week I wrote maybe one sentence about these guys, and their whole mask-wearing shtick.

Later last week, I was backstage with Down's Phil Anselmo, and asked him if he'd gotten a load of Ghost's whole deal (no one knows who the actual band is, as they hide their identities, and blindfold their interviewers, etc.). Phil looked at me, kind of like an excited kid would after hitting his first Little League homerun. "Do I KNOW who Ghost IS?!! Dude. They are my new favorite band! Listen to THIS!" He proceeded to play Ghost's new record for me and Mike Squires. Mike bought it on iTunes immediately, and I followed suit.

Ghost is not what you would expect, I guess. Well, I've never actually given a "satanic" band a chance in the past. But if you like indie rock, Blue Oyster Cult, early-'70s rock 'n' roll, and a good pop song . . . check these guys out. Really great songwriting. Killer players. Great analog recording. All of that, with a bit of the ol' Lucifer thrown in.

Down: Best live rock band of the month. Anselmo means it. The band sounds ridiculous. Black Flag mixed with the best of stoner rock equals greatness (read: Down). Yes. Greatness. I don't need to say much else.

Lifehouse: You may ask how it is that I can put Lifehouse in here right after Ghost and Down. I must say, this band was never really ever on my radar before I saw them play two shows over one weekend a couple of weeks ago.

These guys write really good pop songs, and execute them with ease, flair, and even some balls. These guys have some roots in our own Port Orchard, too. I'd go see them again for sure.

Judas Priest: Yes! Loaded has had the chance to play a few shows with the almighty Rob Halford and co. And, even though guitarist K.K. Downing inexplicably bailed out right before this farewell tour, there IS still Glenn Tipton at stage left, shredding it up pretty damn good. Rob Halford has, hands down, the best and strongest pure hard-rock voice ever. Ridiculous.

Family Guy: Yep. I hadn't seen the show until last week. Our drummer, Isaac Carpenter, has been on me for like a year to watch this show. I've never been into adult cartoons and thought I was somehow above these types of shows.

Finally, on the tour bus last week . . . I relented. Isaac has a few seasons of Family Guy on the hard drive of his computer. The first one he played for me was the episode when the Dad (Peter) gets injected with the "gay gene." Holy fuck. The funniest and most twisted show on TV, or maybe ANYWHERE! I, for one, am now completely hooked.

French Loaded Fans: Who knew that people even knew who we were here? In my whole career, I have never had the pleasure of playing four straight shows in France. From Lille to Paris, and Strasbourg to Clisson . . . just great and excited fans of the rock.

Handing out and touring with Mike Squires, Jeff Rouse, and Isaac Carpenter (aka Loaded): This has been one of those tours that, while I miss my family at home, I just don't want to end.

These guys are the fucking best dudes EVER. We travel light, and tour hard--often having to react and move and perform, with little to no information and less sleep. It is a perfect scenario to garner hot heads and snappy-ness. We have none of that.

It is rare to be in a band where there is no inner-band gossip. Loaded is that rare band (unless of course, they are gossiping about me, and I just don't know it!).

On this trip, it has been an honor and a pleasure to travel and fight the good fight with these gentlemen.

My wife Susan meeting me in Paris, sans kids: Fancy time. Yes, that IS what I mean.

Bonjour. Ahoy. Good day. Guten Tag. Etc.

Follow Reverb on Facebook & Twitter.

comments powered by Disqus