Ex-Guns N' Roses bassist touts book at MOA

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 18, 2011 - 10:16 AM

Maybe those tattoos on Duff McKagan's right arm aren't designed to make the former Guns bassist's bicep look loaded.

The Velvet Revolver band member, formerly with Guns N' Roses, was at MOA Sunday as an author, signing copies of his book, "It's So Easy (And Other Lies)," which details how he conquered a drugs-and-alcohol addiction. Even from a second floor perch it was obvious there was something different about this fit, heavy metal rocker's right bicep. Instead of being rounded, it had an angular quality -- as though a muscle had been ruptured or torn, much like the pecs of former sexting Congressman Anthony Weiner.

After McKagan's book signing I asked him if he was aware that the tattoos on his right arm created an optical illusion that made the arm look bigger than his left arm.

"That's from a water skiing accident," McKagan explained of "my arm-size difference."

McKagan, whose eyes convey a certain sweetness about his soul, looks much older than a man in his late-40s.

When one of McKagan's young fans remarked that the rocker looks a lot older, I told the young man that's why illicit drugs should be avoided. And then the young man said, "I can't believe it -- Axl Rose at the Mall of America."

Ahh, guess again.

'Rock Star' cooking

Food Network's "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" host Anne Burrell danced around a couple of questions during her Sunday Mall of America book signing.

Burrell was "chair-dancing" and in a playful move when I arrived, flashing me a "rock star" sign and moving her shoulders to the music while autographing "Cook Like a Rock Star."

But she declined to reveal the most disgusting act she has seen committed in a kitchen.

My question was inspired by the time an old boyfriend and I witnessed a famous local chef dipping his index finger into a sauce cooking on a stove top and then slipping the digit into his mouth for a taste. "We're never eating here again," said old boyfriend, with whom I could not have agreed more. And we didn't.

Saturday I bought the most lovely chanterelle mushrooms at Costco, and while preparing them could not resist running some of the funguses under water, then squeezing them dry. Burrell said because mushrooms are grown in "pasteurized manure," there is no need to wash them. Besides, she said, "You need a little dirt in your diet." Speak for yourself, honey.

While some people see Guy Fieri, the Food Network star made famous by Minnesota producer David Page, when looking at Burrell's fright hair, for me there is something about her wispy mane faintly Bozo the Clownesque -- even though she's neither bald nor red-haired.

After pasteurizing my question, as you can see at startribune.com/video, I learned that Burrell accomplishes the look via blow dryer and hair spray.

Shelby's having fun

Retired WCCO-TV anchor Don Shelby tailored some of his lines for his former co-anchor Amelia Santaniello.

Santaniello was in the audience for Shelby's performance as the narrator of the Lab Theater's "Rocky Horror Show LIVE!" Normally, when the narrator starts speaking Shelby explains that he got the smoking jacket he's wearing from Hugh Hefner. Then Shelby reaches into his pocket to discover a prescription bottle containing Viagra, and he pops one of the pills.

On Saturday, as Shelby donned his ascot, he quipped, "I got this smoking jacket, which Amelia loaned me from Frank Vascellaro's closet. What's this?" said Shelby upon discovering the plastic prescription container. "It's Viagra. Amelia, really? You have three children."

Vascellaro, Santaniello's husband, succeeded Shelby at the WCCO-TV anchor desk.

"That's just typical Don," Santaniello told me Monday. After the show, some members of the crowd who hadn't noticed Santaniello told her, "I thought he was joking around. I didn't realize you were here!"

Beth Pearlman, a former WCCO-TV producer, and Mim Davey, assistant news director at FOX 9, attended the performance with Santaniello. "Shelby was fantastic and he was a rock star," said Davey. "He had more young people, 20-year-olds, crowding around him afterwards. I think they were familiar with him from WCCO. And they waited in lines to get their pictures taken and shake hands. Like I said, he was really a rock star."

Shelby demurs that the real rock star of the production is Andre Shoals, who plays Frank-n-Furter.

Donovan's parents at game

That sure didn't look like a Vikings cap on the head of Donovan McNabb's father Sunday during the loss to da Bears.

NBC's "Sunday Night Football" did a cutaway shot to people identified as McNabb's parents and wife at the game. Producers of the sports show delighted in showing a clip of the woman behind mamamcnabb.blogspot.com leaving the game before it ended, although the end was pretty clear early on.

Poppa McNabb was wearing a baseball cap that looked reddish maroon and gold on my TV. Can't the Vikings spot dad a cap? Or doesn't he wish to wear one?

Some Vikings fans don't care what hat McNabb's dad wears, as long as Donovan no longer dons a purple helmet.

Be careful what you wish for rookie QB Christian Ponder, though. Would you want your first start to be against Aaron Rodgers and the undefeated, red hot Packers? Sunday's game at the Dome may not be pretty.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.

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