Previously unheard recordings from ’80s Seattle punk band the Living, which included a 17-year-old Duff McKagan, are set for release on a new album.
The Living: 1982 will come out on April 16 and features some of the earliest music recorded by the future Guns N’ Roses bassist.
As with many punk bands from the Pacific Northwest, the Living’s story began in a Seattle basement, where the teenage McKagan, playing guitar at the time, teamed up with bassist Todd Fleischman, singer John Conte and drummer Greg Gilmore. The group opened for various acts, including Canadian punks D.O.A. from just across the border. “D.O.A. was basically like my Kiss,” McKagan said in a statement.
After a few months of successful gigging, they decided to hit the studio to see what would happen. After cutting several songs, the project was abandoned as the band split up. McKagan moved to Los Angeles, where he met Axl Rose and took off on his Guns N’ Roses adventure, while Gilmore stuck closer to Seattle and eventually collaborated with future Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard in the band Mother Love Bone.
Although the tracks featured on The Living: 1982 were wild and exciting, they’d never make it into the hands of any producer or label until now. Uncovered nearly 40 years later by Gilmore, the record features seven original tracks, all written by McKagan.
You can hear the first single from the LP, “Two-Generation Stand,” below.
“The Living was the beginning of all things Seattle for me – a turning point in my life,” Gilmore noted in a press release. “I joined a band and a community. These guys are still my brothers. I’ve cherished these recordings since the days we made them. This record is a fantastic document of a loaded moment. I love it.”
“It doesn’t matter what year this music was recorded, cause it is undeniable,” said Gossard, whose label, Loosegroove, is releasing the set. “But the fact that Duff, Greg, Todd and John created these fully realized songs in 1982 gives credence to the idea that this band, the Living, are ground zero for the Seattle sound.”