WHILE former bandmate Axl Rose held court in Las Vegas in front of thousands at the weekend, Duff McKagan was playing for 40 people with side project Walking Papers.
Hot Metal was there – and counted the crowd – when McKagan stepped out with a group of experienced Seattle musicians at The Haunt in Brighton.
While vocalist Jeff Angell was heard telling a fan afterwards that he had to choose between touring England and paying the rent next month, McKagan could afford to buy the tiny seaside club and everyone in it as a member of one of the biggest bands in history.
And as he recounts in his recent biography It’s So Easy (and Other Lies) – which is being made into a movie – investing in Microsoft and Starbucks hasn’t hurt his bank balance either.
Walking Papers play grunge-influenced blues and include members of Screaming Trees, Mad Season and the Missionary Position. Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready also appears on their debut album.
The line-up is rounded out by keyboardist Benjamin Anderson and drummer Barrett Martin.
To add insult to the injury of the poor turnout, Scottish band Gun – best known for their cover of Cameo’s “Word Up”, pulled out of supporting Walking Papers at the last minute.
The night after the Brighton gig, McKagan was seen at a sold-out show by a rather less obscure Seattle act – Soundgarden – at Shepherds Bush Empire.