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article imageReview: ‘It’s So Easy and Other Lies’ is a reserved rock doc Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jun 7, 2016 in Entertainment
‘It’s So Easy and Other Lies’ is a documentary that recounts Guns N' Roses' guitarist Duff McKagan’s story in his own words, accompanied by appropriate audio and visual enhancements.
The old saying goes, “Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.” The third part paved the way for the first and made the second nearly inescapable. Although there can certainly be consequences for indulging one’s libido, they often pale in comparison to the effects of drugs and alcohol on every aspect of someone’s existence as they gradually blot out everything unrelated to the addiction. It also becomes a very public problem with countless celebrities making headlines for their habits and many openly discussing their chemical dependencies in hindsight, while others never get the chance. It’s So Easy and Other Lies is Duff McKagan’s tale of survival.
Growing up in the ‘70s in Seattle, Duff was exposed to a variety of narcotics before even reaching high school. But in between being a delinquent, he found a love for music and a talent for the guitar. Amusingly, he eventually moved to L.A. to escape the growing heroin scene at home. There Duff met Slash, Steven Adler and Axl Rose, joining together to form Guns N’ Roses in 1985. For nearly a decade, they would rule the airwaves. However fame was accompanied by significant alcoholism and like his bandmate, it nearly killed him. The path to sobriety wasn’t a straight one, but Duff found his way through the support of family, friends and an unconventional martial arts instructor (which explains why he became so fit post-GNR).
The documentary is based on Duff’s memoir and is presented with considerable style, which complements his story and personality. The main narrative is supplied by Duff as he reads excerpts from his book at an intimate spoken word/concert at Seattle’s Moore Theatre. He’s accompanied by his band, Loaded, that pairs his recollections with instrumental versions of songs that span his career, including GNR tunes “Paradise City,” “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” “Night Train” and “Patience.” These scenes are intertwined with interviews with Duff, other musicians, including Slash, Matt Sorum and Nikki Sixx, friends, family and his doctor, who confirms the severity of his health not so long ago. Duff even shows posters and photos he retained from his pre-GNR days.
This is an artistic retelling of Duff’s personal history as a musician, addict and father. However anyone that chooses to join the artist as he travels down memory lane should know the film does not disclose any dirty secrets or rehash the already publicized bad blood that developed within and between bands. It’s a brief yet honest overview of how Duff got to where he is today with a complementary soundtrack that enhances the meaning of his words.
You may be wondering how those lucky fans gained entry to such an exclusive, invite-only event — Duff held a contest!
Director: Christopher Duddy
More about It's so Easy and Other Lies, Duff McKagan, Documentary, Slash, velvet revolver
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