Duff McKagan Defends “It’s So Easy” and “One in a Million”
Duff McKagan is out promoting his solo album Tenderness, which comes out May 31, 2019. During a recent interview with Yahoo! McKagan claims that several of the group’s more controversial songs were misunderstood, including the “tongue-in-cheek” tracks “It’s So Easy” and “Used to Love Her” (whose next line is “But I had to kill her”).
McKagan also defended that “One in a Million,” the most controversial song in the Guns N’ Roses discography for its controversial lyrics about minorities, wasn’t a display of the band’s own views. Instead, he explains, it was narrated by a bigoted character.
“We were supposed to play David Geffen’s big AIDS benefit in New York a couple months (after “One in a Million” was released),” he tells . “We got pulled off of that. I remember getting on a plane flying back to Seattle, and an African-American flight attendant came up and sat down next to me and said, ‘Do you really hate black people?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, (expletive).’ “
“Part of my family is African-American,” he continued. “(Guns N’ Roses guitarist) Slash is half (black). So, people didn’t put that together. Hopefully now, later, people can examine that song. And I think it’s brilliant and super-brave of (Guns N’ Roses frontman) Axl (Rose) to step out and do that.”
The band recently omitted “One in a Million” from a recent 2018 box that honoured the 30th anniversary of “Appetite for Destruction” sthat featured the whole Appetite album and songs off the EP “G N’ R Lies.” The EP’s original artwork famously featured an apology for the “One in a Million” lyrics, which read, “This song is very simple and extremely generic or generalized, my apologies to those who may take offense.” (It’s unclear exactly who’s doing the apologizing.)
“We collectively decided that it just didn’t have any place in that box set,” Slash told Rolling Stone about the band’s move to cut “One in a Million” from the compilation. “It didn’t take long. There wasn’t a big roundtable thing over it.”