Did Duff McKagan Write About Seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman Just Before His Death?

Duff McKagan
Kevin Nixon/Metal Hammer Magazine/TeamRock via Getty Images

Duff McKagan photographed during a portrait shoot for Metal Hammer Magazine on Oct. 29, 2012.

In an excerpt from former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan's forthcoming book How to Be a Man (And Other Illusions) published in The Village Voice, the rock legend describes a very strange, tragic night in the West Village in February 2014. And although he doesn't divulge the name of the late actor described in his story, it doesn't take an enormous leap of deductive reasoning to wonder if he's talking about Philip Seymour Hoffman.

A rep for McKagan declined to comment when asked for comment on this story.

McKagan tells the story of being in New York in early February 2014 for Super Bowl weekend. He and his friends were staying in the West Village and ran into a "very famous actor" whose name he doesn't reveal "out of respect for his children." According to the story, McKagan's friend Ed "commented that the actor had been clean for something like 23 years, but he'd heard that he'd recently started using again." McKagan's crew and the unnamed actor simply nodded to each other but didn't speak.

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"Later that afternoon when we came back, we saw the actor in the street again and could tell that he was waiting to score," McKagan wrote. "Should we offer our friendship and a safe place? This is sometimes the dilemma for sober guys -- as we all know, you can't force a guy to get sober. He has to come around to it himself. We went back into the apartment."

After describing a pleasant run-in with Paul McCartney later that night, McKagan wrote they returned to their West Village apartment and "ran smack-dab into the actor again on the street" at 1:30 a.m. "Waiting. Again. Shit, man. We thought that maybe he was on a last run before getting clean. Surely if we saw him again in the morning, we'd have to say something," McKagan wrote.

"The next morning -- Sunday, February 2, 2014, the morning of the Super Bowl -- I heard a ruckus outside our front door. I went out to take a look. There was an ambulance and police, and a whole crowd of press people and fans. The actor had OD'd and died sometime after we saw him at 1:30 a.m. the night before."

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While McKagan doesn't mention the "very famous" actor by name, deductive reasoning point strongly to Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Oscar winner struggled with drug abuse as a young man before going sober for most of his career. But Hoffman relapsed later in life and died of an accidental drug overdose on Feb. 2, 2014, in a West Village apartment. 

Of course, it's possible he's talking about another famous actor who died in the West Village on Feb. 2, 2014, of a drug overdose after years of sobriety. It's not as if he describes Hoffman by name. Just, you know, by an overwhelming amount of information that fits the bill. 


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