McKagan Wonders ‘What If’ He Could Have Saved Cobain

Former Guns N’ Roses, current bassist Duff McKagan was one of the last, if not the last, person to talk to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain before his suicide. They flew together in first class from L.A. to Seattle in April 1994. “He said, ‘Man, I just escaped from Exodus’ [a treatment facility]. I didn’t have any foresight that the guy was going to do what he did. I could tell he was bummed out, and I’d been that way before. We were at baggage claim, and I thought I’d ask him to come stay at my house. I turned around and he was gone. What if. Only if. A lot of my friends have died. If only he’d … ” McKagan’s voice trailed off. “But we’re alive. We had a band meeting the other night to talk about business and just kinda take inventory, like, ‘Is everybody cool with each other?’ And we toasted this thing that we’ve done, that we’ve done it on our own terms. And it was so powerful. We didn’t say it, we didn’t vocalize it, but you could tell it was also like — and we’re all still alive. When all five of us could have been dead. And we’re not only alive, we’re stronger than we were when we were 20 years old.” Read more.


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