How To Be Sad with Helen Russell

Season 3 #2 Tracii Guns

September 22, 2021

This episode is something of a departure - how often do you hear a happiness researcher in conversation with a heavy metal icon? Not often enough, we decided. So today’s guest is the man who put the gun in Guns ‘n Roses and LA Guns. He’s had 10 studio albums with LA Guns, two with Brides of Destruction, he’s worked with them all – oh, and he used to play golf with Eddie Van Halen. His music has been described as sounding like ‘the score to some pagan ceremony, or maybe the music they play on the elevator that takes you down to hell’ and he has, he says, always been ‘attracted to the darkness’.


Here, we talk about:

  • how Guns ‘n Roses came about
  • the joys of sex, pizza, rock and roll
  • being an 80s glam metal survivor
  • experiencing the ‘Hollow Ghost’
  • agoraphobia and expectations
  • living Danishly
  • what a good life looks like, now

Follow Tracii on Twitter and Instagram @traciiguns

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad (Waterstones , Amazon UK or anywhere you like to buy books)

Get in touch with the show at

And as ever, BIG thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

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