I was listening to The Ongoing History of New Music this morning on the way to/from the gym, and this week’s show was about weird drug-related stories.

One of the lurid tales was about Duff McKagen, or, more specifically, his pancreas. Which, as a result of monumental alcohol abuse… exploded.

No, really. It can do that. (I didn’t know this, either.) The result was seepage of pancreatic enzymes into his abdominal cavity and down into his thigh muscles, which basically had the effect of… eating him. Acid corrosion, and when he got medical attention, they cut him open and he steamed — third-degree burns on his insides. Ouch.

So anyway, they managed to save him (what’d they do, douse his innards with milk?), and now he is quite alive and a member of Velvet Revolver. He doesn’t drink anymore, though, because apparently even a single shot could kill him. Yikes.

Now, as you know, I’ve recently finished reading Slash, and so I know that:

  • Slash has had a pacemaker since he was 35 (he’s 42 now) due to a massively enlarged heart from insane drug and alcohol abuse. (Honestly, how is it even possible to drink a gallon of vodka a day???)
  • Axl, as everyone knows, is completely batshit. Though interestingly, Axl was never the hardcore user the other guys in the band were. (No, really.)
  • Steve is just now getting cleaned up, after having been a junkie and alcoholic for, oh, two decades.
  • Izzy cleaned up back when Guns ‘n’ Roses was still in their heyday, which, really, is pretty impressive.

Which begs the question… Were a few years of being “The Most Dangerous Band in the World” worth it?

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