Duff McKagan talked to SiriusXM’s “Debatable”about the inspiration for some of the lyrics and musician and athletes speaking their mind on political issues. Duff’s new solo album ‘Tenderness’ will be released on May 31.
Duff said: “When I was in the Twittersphere, [NBA superstar] LeBron [James] came out and said something [that was of a political nature]. He’s a smart guy and he’s an activist and he does stuff with his money and he’s an American citizen. And it is ‘we the people’ — last I checked. And him saying, him voicing his opinion is what we’re supposed to do, I thought. And I saw [some people responding to him on social media and telling him to] ‘shut up and play basketball.’ And I was, like, ‘Oh, wow! Where have we gone?'”
McKagan, who calls himself “an armchair historian,” continued: “The first newspapers that we had in America, it was in the Northeast. The printing press, they could print, like, six newspapers per town. This is 1620, let’s say. And the back page was blank. They would have the articles, and then ‘John Smith’ could write his commentary on whatever article. He’d put his commentary, his address, his name and he passed it around. The next person would either comment to ‘John Smith’… But you had to put your name and your address. This is before America was even born. But this is what we were trying to form a country around — everybody having a voice. And somewhere along the way… Yeah, ‘shut up and sing,’ ‘shut up and play basketball,’ and even saying ‘shut up’… This is America. Speak out.”