April 20th, 2012
07:26 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan – rebounding from his “Appetite for Destruction” that cost him his pancreas (and nearly his life) – now has an appetite for investment.

McKagan has launched a financial management firm for musicians, educating fellow rockers on how to manage their own wealth.

“You have no experience of money and if you suddenly get a million or two million dollars or more, you’re just in foreign territory,” McKagan told CNN’s Richard Quest. “If you’re a millionaire, there comes a point when you are too embarrassed to ask: What is a mortgage, what’s a bond, what’s a stock?”

Together with two professional investors, Andy Bottomley and Ian Watson, McKagan founded Meridian Rock Capital Management to tackle this and fill the gap between making millions and managing millions. The music industry, the website says, is often perceived as one of the last areas of the “wild west” from a financial management and planning perspective.

“No manager of an artist is going to tell you your career is limited,” says McKagan, who was inducted last week into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the original lineup of Guns N’ Roses. “They are not going to tell you, in other words, save this money, it could be your last hit record. Because an artist who is 22, 23, or 25 is going to go find another manager who is going to tell them their career is going to last forever.”

The rock star – now bass player for Velvet Revolver – says it is all about proper education, such as learning healthy spending habits and understanding wealth preservation. “You can get into some really crazy spending habits if your getting a bunch of money and you think it’s going to come in,” he says.

McKagan knows what he is talking about. As a young musician he made similar experiences, eventually motivating him to study at Seattle University's Albers School of Business. “There was no real sector in the financial services that was serving me, I couldn’t communicate with advisers, I didn’t know what they were talking about,” he says. “I just didn’t trust anybody so I went to school and sort of figured things out for myself.”

But before finding his new profession, the married father of two children lived a life of excessive drug and alcohol abuse that ended with an exploded pancreas in 1994. It was when his mother visited him in the hospital to look after him when he realized that “the order of things are wrong and I screwed up,” he says.

“So there I am, I am suddenly sober, I have to be sober, my doctor said if you drink you die. So I was trying to fill my time.” And one of the things he did was looking at the financial statements of the past six years he found in two file cabins, realizing that he does not understand them at all.

McKagan says he thinks that Meridian Rock stands apart from other agencies. “I instinctively know my constituency better than anybody else,” McKagan says. “When you’re in your 20s or early 30s, you think it’s going to last forever.

“You don’t want to be broke and old,” McKagan says.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. A

    This article is full of grammatical and spelling errors. How did this get past an editor?

    April 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  2. DC

    You could have at least used a photo of him playing bass.

    April 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
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