In a 2022 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dylan listed a number of bands and songs that he loved, including The White Stripes, Royal Blood and The Chemical Brothers. He also brought up McKagan’s song Chip Away, from the latter’s 2019 album Tenderness.
“There’s a Duff McKagan song called Chip Away, that has profound meaning for me,” Dylan said. “It’s a graphic song. Chip away, chip away, like Michelangelo, breaking up solid marble stone to discover the form of King David inside. He didn’t build him from the ground up, he chipped away the stone until he discovered the king.
“It’s like my own songwriting, I overwrite something, then I chip away lines and phrases until I get to the real thing. Shooter Jennings produced that record. It’s a great song.”
In an interview in the brand new issue of Classic Rock magazine, McKagan – whose regular band famously covered Dylan‘s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – revealed his reaction to the singer’s praise.
‘I started getting texts from friends,” he says. ‘Axl [Rose, GN’R singer] went: ‘Hey dude, have you seen this?’ I was a little stunned because… Bob Dylan?! I don’t know him, so for me to be recognised by him as a songwriter was great. I’m still a little blown away.”
Asked if he reached out to Dylan to appear on his latest album, McKagan said: “I sent him a deluxe version of Tenderness, and I sent a handwritten card saying: “Thank you very much for your kind words, here’s my record. And if you ever want to write a song together…”
Sadly, McKagan’s new solo album, Lighthouse, doesn’t include a Dylan collaboration, thought it does feature appearances from his Guns N’ Roses bandmate Slash, Iggy Pop and Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell. In the new interview, McKagan looks back on how he met Cantrell and reveals that the pair may make an album together in the future
“Alice In Chains played The Palladium in Hollywood in 1990 and I got up and played,’ he says. “‘We hung out for the next three or four days up at my house – me and the whole band. That began a really great friendship that has carried on through all kinds of ups and downs, but we both came out of it pretty good. We’re talking about doing an album together at some point.”
Read the full interview with Duff McKagan in the brand new issue of Classic Rock, featuring Dolly Parton on the cover and on sale now. Order it online and have it delivered straight to your door.