Friday, November 7, 2014

What's with AC/DC?

From the trivial to the tragic to the insane:

First, a year or so ago, I learned that Brian Johnson no longer wrote the lyrics to the songs he sings with AC/DC.  Now, we all know it ain’t Shakespeare.  Lyrics in a typical AC/DC tune I wouldn’t want either of my daughters to hear until they were in their thirties, and me no where to be found while they were hearing ’em. But to me, a fan since high school in the mid-80s (quite devout my senior year and summer), I always liked the nod-nod-wink-wink intentionally low-brow tavern humor about them.  You got the sense, listening to an AC/DC song, that you were with your buddies drinking pitchers of beer and shooting pool and having a grand old time on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

So to find out that Johnson hasn’t had any interest in “composing” lyrics for the past couple of albums was a minor disappointment to me.

Then, last summer, news outlets were reporting that Malcolm Young, founding member of the band and older brother to Angus, was retiring from the band due to a mysterious illness.   Malcolm, who really was the “sound” behind AC/DC (Angus was the “show”, though he himself has carved out a unique role in rock music as a guitar soloist).  And from what I’ve read, the brains behind the band, too.  Then it was leaked that he’s suffering from early onset dementia (I think he’s like 60).  How very tragic.

Finally, news yesterday that their founding/latest drummer, Phil Rudd, is being charged by the authorities with trying to hire a hitman to kill two men.  Now, I don’t know the details and I don’t think I want to, but … who does this?  You’re part of a multi-million dollar enterprise – even if just only on the payroll and maybe not holding a piece of the action – you still have to be seeing some significant cash flow.  Additionally, you’re getting up there in years, you have a lifetime to look back upon and reflect on … and you’re trying to hire men to kill someone for you?  Insanity!  The drugs they found at his New Zealand home kinda put it in perspective.  Still, though – insane!

So the band that was Summer 1985 for me, the band that taught me to play guitar, the band who inspired me to buy a 1969 Gibson SG, the band whose every cassette/album/CD they put out from 1974 to 1990 I bought, the band I saw twice in the 80s with all my friends ...

What’s up with AC/DC?

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