Duff McKagan (LOADED, VELVET REVOLVER, ex-GUNS N' ROSES) has authored a special report for Seattle Weekly; an excerpt follows:
The red-light districts in Hamburg, Amsterdam and elsewhere in Europe are heavily populated with youth hostels and “backpackers hotels,” cheap and spartan places for young travelers with a Euro-pass to rest their heads. These hostels, and the culture surrounding them, has always intrigued me. Yet I have never stayed in or even been inside one of these places. Until this week. I’m currently on tour with a band (WALKING PAPERS) that is trying to build an audience and fan-base throughout Europe. We are playing those clubs in those shady areas and red-light districts.
We played a place called the Winston in Amsterdam last Sunday (April 28th). The club wasn’t configured to have a backstage room for the band, and on these ancient blocks and lanes, there is definitely no room for expanding these structures. The Winston is directly attached to a hostel (same owner), and our “backstage” room was a room with a bed, some chairs, and a shower—on the 3rd floor of this particular youth hotel.
I guess I’ve had preconceived notions of what these hostels were like, and instead of ripped up walls and urine-stained carpets, we found this hostel to be clean and actually rather arty and yes, almost classy! What the? The club fed us dinner there in the lounge of the hostel, and the Chicken Kiev and fresh chopped salad was ridiculously good. The music that was getting cranked through the system in the lounge was stuff like THE STOOGES and BOWIE, and good and weird dancey stuff that I have no idea what it was.
I was completely intrigued at this point. What gives? These rooms are cheap, and their lounge was hipper than shit!
To read Duff's report in its entirety, click here
Walking Papers released their self-titled debut album in October 2012.