Duff McKagan Missed Out On Simpsons 'Duff Beer' Royalties

The Simpsons wasn't as famous in 1988 when he was asked if Fox could use him name on a new fictional beer brand. Little did he know how big the show would become...

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Duff McKagan says he missed out on millions by giving "The Simpsons" free reign to name their famous Duff Beer after him.

In a new interview, he revealed how Fox TV contacted him in 1988 to say they planned to name a beer after him, before the show went mainstream.

"I knew nothing about branding yourself then or the royalties off it," he told the Independent. "I just thought cool, they wanna use my name and boom, The Simpsons was born. Yeah, if I had a nickel for every time... but it's fine."

Today, Duff rungs a fund-management company which helps young rockstars come to terms with their new-found riches and learn about money management. But how did a rockstar like Duff end up with such business skills?

In the same interview, Duff remembers the turning point. In 1994, the years of living to excess caught up with him and he was hospitalised. "My mom had Parkinson's and I saw her come in crying, seeing her youngest son on tubes. That turned me around," he said.

When he came out, he developed an unusual interest in accountancy.

"I didn't have any work to do and I had files of my personal and Guns N'Roses financial statements for the previous eight years. I wanted to learn how to read these but I didn't trust anybody. I just got a lightbulb in my head and said 'I want to go to school'. That began my journey, taking accountancy and business classes at Seattle."

Do you think that traditional business skills are worth learning if you are a musician? Let us know what you think in the comments.

61 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Simpsonology
    People at The Simpsons think it's funny that McKagan claims Duff was named for him. Groening came up with the name Duff after he picked the slogan "Can't get enough of that wonderful Duff"--he just needed a word that rhymed with "enough" and it had nothing to do with McKagan.
    PGilbert
    Do you think that traditional business skills are worth learning if you are a musician? Yes. /thread
    Dostoyevskian
    I figure anything is worth learning if you think it will help you do things the way you want to.
    godisasniper
    Why would you not want to understand that stuff? If you don't learn, you're going to get screwed a million times over.
    PsiGuy60
    Lots of people don't realize that a band is, in fact, a business.
    Maiden-Canada
    It has to be if you want to support yourself via music. I know the masses here hate him, but Simmons and KISS have shown business sense for years.
    Mouloudo
    too bad they never showed musicianship sense for years (ever) too
    GhostPlayground
    Don't diss Kiss. In the seventies and eighties they created some great music. Rock N Roll all night Creatures of he night Detroit Rock City Cold gin Shock Me The Oath God of thunder Domino I could go on for a long time.
    Danjo's Guitar
    Business skills are important to have, but I dunno if I'd go to school for accounting and stuff. I'd probably hate it the whole time.
    Maiden-Canada
    You could always take a music business course; many programs are "Music Business Management" related. Besides, numbers can be fun if they translate to you not being poor. XD
    Guns N' Chains
    These are some of the reasons why Duff is one of the coolest, most bad a*** musicians around.
    foxytabber
    The second coolest is James Dylan, the singer in Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience. I've actually been talking to him on Facebook about music for the past couple days, and he's a really cool guy.
    Dr. Knox666
    I'm watching The Simpsons since my childhood but honestly, I never associated Duff beer with Duff McKagan. Weird I never recognized this. Does that mean I'm stupid? haha
    JMZ08
    Going by your grammar and fragmented sentences... Quite possibly.
    RJ13
    Ok, now I'm obviously and idiot, and feel free to slander me with downvotes... ...but who is Duff McKagan?
    PuddleJumper11
    Classic Guns N' Roses' bassist is what he's best known for, but he has a lot of other stuff going on. Velvet Revolver, and his own band, Loaded.
    slash_015
    And came out with (i think) 2 solo-lp's. "Beliefe in me" got some pretty cool songs. ("10 years" an "Just not there" are pretty cool, i think ) And with a few Guest-Appearances (Jeff Beck, Lenny Kravitz, Slash, Gilby Clarke, Matt Sorum, Dizzy Reed, Sebastian Bach)
    intheshadowplay
    One of the dudes from G'n'R who isn't Slash or Axl.
    foxytabber
    Who are Slash and Axl? All I know are Duff McKagan, Steven Adler, and Izzy Stradlin. Lol but seriously, the latter three are the unsung heroes of the band.
    RndyW0
    Izzy Stradlin, the man whose name is also a question. Izzy Stradlin? Yes...he is
    purplexing
    "The Simpsons wasn't as famous in 1988 when he was asked if Fox could use him name on a new fictional beer brand. Little did he know how big the show would become..."
    LightxGrenade
    Favorite Duffman scene: when he's watering his lawn and Moe comes and slaps a sticker on his face "DUFFMAN CANT BREATHE!" lmao. Had no idea They named Duff beer after him, that's pretty cool. And as for the whole learning business skills, I think ANY adult regardless of their profession who wants to have an understanding and control of their finances needs to learn simple accounting skills.
    Izzy-Sweet
    Why did they even ask Duff McKagan if they could use the name "Duff"? It's not like he's the only Duff in the whole world anyway.
    Zebadee
    What a load of bull.. Heres a quote from veteran Simpsons director David Silvermans Twitter > "@Simpsonology @mxedtr @noisecreep Sheesh. Matt came up w Duff cuz it rhymes w enuff. "Can't Get Enuff of That Wonderful --"" Natch.
    i_am_metalhead
    Sorry, Duff, but Matt Groening has stated that it was not named after you. He picked the name to poke fun at generic, one name beers like "Bud" and "Coors". Stop trying to make yourself look important.
    Simpsonology
    No, you're half right... Groening named it Duff to rhyme with "enough," for the slogan "Can't get enough of that wonderful Duff." Stop trying to make yourself look important by pretending you know something you don't.
    Banjoholic
    As an accountant/musician, I have to say I love this article!! I think it's important for all aspiring "rock stars" or professional musicians to learn how to be business savvy. So many talented acts work tirelessly without ever achieving substantial success due primarily to the fact that they cannot manage their resources or market themselves effectively.
    ozzfest434
    The Music Industry is a business. For those who wish to succeed, you need business and interpersonal skills because you are an entrepreneur. As a musician you need to be able to market yourself to the full potential in order to get any type of riches.
    colster6000
    "Today, Duff rungs a fund-management company" I wonder how he does that? Seriously UG, it would take what 10mins tops to proof-read your news articles?!
    wafflesyrup
    You're all just a bunch of *****s, you know that? Not that I'm anyone to judge. But seriously world, it's time to start feeling a little bit of shame. We're losing sight of what really matters and we're letting these systems bog us down further. Entrepreneur is a fancy word for selfish. Fear for our own survival among those we should call family. Not something to be proud of considering the methods used to develop a business. Rock stars and "Professional" musicians are a plague upon humanity and music itself; sterilizing passion, restricting blood flow to what drives us to create. Narrowing the possibilities and denying variation to multiply and inspire. As if life and love is just some scientific rat maze. It's all fun and games at first, just remember that we DO influence one another. This web of life is becoming a giant collective turd of filth and it's coming straight out of our own selfish *****.
    Scotty Evil
    the ****. i doubt duff would have had a case against the simpsons for using 'Duff' without his permission