Duff McKagan Talks About the Dangers of Sudden Success

In case you didn't know, Duff McKagan -- on top of being a top-notch bass player -- is also a pretty damn good writer. He's been writing a column for both Seattle Weekly and ESPN.com for some time now, and this week he focused on the mania surrounded New York Knicks standout Jeremy Lin.

Lin seemingly came out of nowhere to become an overnight sensation in the basketball world, especially here in New York. Duff took the space in this week's ESPN column to reflect on the dangers of sudden success.

"So now, to a side of this story that I can sort of relate to from something that I had experienced once upon a time, when shockingly, my rock band GN'R suddenly and overnight went from thought-of street urchins whom no one gave a real chance of surviving to Cinderella-like success. From your own perspective inside the goldfish bowl, you don't sense a change in yourself. But from the outside -- that is, how other people are suddenly treating you because of the success -- one can get confused and think that perhaps you might be a bit more grandiose and kick-ass.

"For about the first six months after our first record Appetite For Destruction finally took off, I really thought that I was maybe a little better-looking and funnier than I had previously been given credit for. I mean -- heck -- people were laughing at all my jokes and telling me how funny I was, and the opposite sex was suddenly all up in my business. I was the 'it' guy. People finally understood just how dang cool I was. It was about time, after all!"

Head here to read the rest of Duff's column and learn the moral of the story.

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.