GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan spoke to Riki Rachtman Radio's "The Triple R" podcast about how he and his family are coping with quarantine life during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. He said: "We're looking at it very serious. I have two kids and a wife. We live in Seattle, so that was the first hotspot [in the U.S.]. We were down here [in L.A.] as a family. I was rehearsing with GUNS, ready to go out and do a South American tour, into Europe, into America. So, as the virus hit, we stayed in place in L.A. Mae [Duff's daughter] had come home from college, from New York, on March 11th, and that's kind of the day and days that things started really getting serious."
Duff went on to say that some people seem unable to grasp the profound gravity of what could lie ahead of us if we don't take aggressive action immediately.
"It's an exponential thing, and people who maybe invest money and know compounding of interest — if you get eight percent on your money compared to seven percent on your money, how much more money you can have over 20 years? This is compounding," he explained. "This is an exponential thing that happens when people don't stay home. I'm not blaming it on all the people that aren't staying home, but it's really fucking important to stay at home. Don't go out. Because it's not just you — we're not just talking about you. We're talking about two other people you're gonna infect, and then the four other people they're gonna infect into eight, and that happens [really quickly], that it can grow into 32 people you can infect."
McKagan also talked about the pain facing the U.S. economy as the coronavirus pandemic makes its swift pivot from public health crisis to financial catastrophe.
"I don't know what the outcome of this is gonna be in jobs," he said. "My most important thing right now is keeping the people that work for me employed. We have eighty-plus people on our crew that we're terrified about right now. We have to figure out what we're gonna do and keep them from losing their house or something like that. The only thing I can do is keep the people that work for me employed. I'm able to do that. I think it's a responsibility. I think it's patriotic — whether they're working or not."
He continued: "We have truck drivers. And we have hotels that we've booked, we have all the people that work in those hotels, the people who are working in parking lots and concessions, and everybody works for us, which is a big traveling group. We have riggers and carpenters and lighting people. And then, of course, the backline, people at the monitor, the sound people. And it adds up. Every time we go into a city, people come from outside the city and get their hotels to come stay and see us play and buy food at restaurants and all that kind of stuff. So we bring small economies to these cities we go to, and everybody's gonna feel it, of course.
"So, yeah, we feel a responsibility to get back out there," he added. "Of course, we can't until it's safe. So we sit here. We talk about it. We try to keep abreast of everything that's going on daily."
After leaving (and before eventually rejoining) GUNS N' ROSES in the 1990s, McKagan went to business school, founded a wealth management firm for rock stars, and took up journalism. McKagan wrote a column for the Seattle Weekly and covered financial matters and sports for Playboy.com and ESPN.com, respectively.
In 2011, McKagan released an autobiography, "It's So Easy (And Other Lies)", and four years later his latest book, "How To Be A Man (And Other Illusions)", which the musician himself described as "half rock 'n' roll memoir, half guide to life."
Duff's latest solo album, "Tenderness", was released last year via UMe. The LP was produced by and features recent Grammy winner Shooter Jennings.