THE LIVING [feat Duff McKagan] – ”1982” (2021)

THE LIVING [feat Duff McKagan] - ''1982'' (2021) full

This one was requested and it’s a very interesting piece of rock n’ roll history; with Guns N’ Roses, bassist Duff McKagan reached cult status, but before GN’R, there was THE LIVING. The short-lived punk band by no other than McKagan himself recorded an LP, but it was never released, well… until now. Yes, the guy on the cover is Duff.
The Living: 1982” is a seven-track long LP that is reminiscent of the English roots of punk. But McKagan was by no means the only future-legend in the band. Greg Gilmore, on the drums, went on to be part of the famous band Mother Love Bone.
The future Guns N’ Roses bassist reflects back on the album saying: “Would this even ever get out of our basement? We had something magical then, and it was ours, so who gives a fuck!”
At the time of this recording McKagan was 17 years-old and handle the guitar. But don’t for a second let that fact that they’re younger (at the time of this recording), than most of you reading this that this record is not a professional undertaking, because it as well done as anything else from the era, and in some case, which will be unnamed, a better quality.

These songs are filled with all the youthful ferocious energy that you’d expect from a group of seventeen-year olds. This is punk rebel youth.
What amazes me about this record is how great it sounds for an indie, 8-track recording. The guitars are in your face and upfront, but not drowning out or taking over the other players. Gilmore’s drumming is on point all through the record, and the vocals, both lead and background, or outstanding and not buried in the mix. Great performances by the entire band.

Whether it was recorded in a fancy shmancy studio, or some’s basement doesn’t really matter, because from the initial power chords of the opener ‘A Promise’, you’re hooked. The next song ‘Two Generation Stand’ packs a huge wallop filled with angsty lyrics that represent a bunch of punkers trying to survive Ronald Reagan’s world.
‘Live By the Gun’ is as topical today as I was in 1982, perhaps even more so, with the band commenting on the evils of guns in society.
“No Thanks” starts with a short backward track, which almost sounds like “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles, but that might be because The Beatles used a backwards track as well. It’s hard not to combine music history with the album, as it is part of it.

When everything in life sucks, “Life Is A Terror” might be the anthem. The song deals with frustration in life and ends with a nice and heartfelt “fuck man.”
The finale ‘I Want’ goes at a neck breaking speed that when it’s over you’ll be covered in sweat from the pure energy exploding out of the speakers, as the band laments about the things that the rich and affluent have, and the things that they’re being held from achieving, or even obtaining.

This record represents the American side of punk bands that started everything in the late seventies, and evolved into the next wave of bands that roamed throughout the Eighties, to small fanatic followings.
This record not only rocks but is a genuine piece of history that chronicles a legendary rock figure starting to come into his own, and how criminally undervalued this band was, as well as the entire movement itself.
The way ”The Living: 1982” takes people to a different time and place shows the magic of the LP.
Highly Recommended


01 – A Promise
02 – Two Generation Stand
03 – Live by the Gun
04 – A Song for You
05 – No Thanks
06 – Life is a Terror
07 – I Want

Duff McKagan – guitar
John Conte – vocals
Todd Fleischman – bass
Greg Gilmore – drums



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