Duff McKagan, Bassist, Walking Papers

Seattle native Michael A. (Duff) McKagan didn’t follow a traditional path to attend college. Best known as part of the hugely successful late 80’s rock band Guns N’ Roses, McKagan landed in the international spotlight as a high school dropout.

“I made money in my 20s, became sober in my 30s, looked around and didn’t know who I could trust for money advice,” he reflects now. “I decided to learn for myself so I wasn’t broke in my 40s. Going to college was a main driver for me.”

When he was ready to start college, Seattle Central was there for him. “Attending Seattle Central was an awesome experience. It taught me a lot about discipline. Having a college education has also helped my reputation. People now take me more seriously in my industry.”

After Central, he attended Seattle University to study business. The composition skills he acquired in college spawned another career—writing. In addition to producing a regular column for the Seattle Weekly, he has been published in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Playboy, Gentlemen’s Quarterly and wrote his autobiography “It’s So Easy (And Other Lies).”

McKagan still performs around the world as the lead bassist in his newest band, Walking Papers. He’s also been affiliated with bands Velvet Revolver and Loaded. He was honored with the Seattle Central Alumni of the Year award in 2013.