James At 15 is the singer, record breaker and fire breathing frontman for the punk/metal hybrid band KNOWLEDGE IS FOR FOOLS (aka: KIFF). James has previously shared some of his thoughts on ACDC's career, his favorite albums as well as his thoughts on Malcom Young's death last year. This time James shares some personal history involving his love of ACDC as well as 70s & 80s Hard Fuckin Rock.
After re-reading the stuff I wrote about my favorite AC/DC albums a day or two after Malcom had died and Wolf had just posted on this blog on New Years Day. Here We are 2018, the future of AC/DC as of now is uncertain. I got to thinking about the bands history and my history of what seems like a life long fan. I guess it was late the 70s when I discovered them. 78? I would have been 12 or 13. Just a year or two into My rock fan super crazed lover of loud beginings. Like most kids of that era. I started with KISS. Became obsessed. After I ran out of KISS albums to buy. I started looking into other hard rock. Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Aerosmith and a few others all came next. I guess besides KISS . Nugent was second on My list of the ultimate rockers ever. Which led Me into tuning in on a very exciting episode of the Midnight Special. A episode advertised as being hosted by Ted Nugent ! I stayed up and watched Ted as He along with Wolfman Jack & Steven Tyler introduced great stuff like Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy & Aeromith. And right in the middle of it all. A band I had never heard of. AC/DC ! Boom I was instantly hooked. AC/DC plowed through a wild version of their classic Sin City !
After that. It was a week or two before I could purchase a actual AC/DC album. If You Want Blood Live was a new album at the time. There it was that insane & brilliant album cover in the new release rack. I had to have it. The only other LP available locally at the time. Was Powerage. It was a few months before I could get My hands on that one. And seems like by then. Or shortly after came Highway To Hell which I also tuned into big time.
AC/DC had truly became one of My favorite bands during this time. Especially since also at this time My beloved KISS had put out Dynasty & those mostly crummy solo albums. Nugent was still still strong with Weekend Warriors but then came State Of Shock which for Him was weak. I was searching for harder heavier. Which also around this time led Me to Judas Priest & punk. But that's another story. But it is worth mentioning. That a lot of older rockers of the late 70s. Originally thought AC/DC was a punk band! For the most part. The term heavy metal was not a common thing. I mean it was used by rock journalist in Cream & other rock magazines. But to a working class kid in a smaller Midwestern Indiana city. Heavy metal? Punk ? We didn't know. It was just Hard Rock to us. I remember reading one AC/DC interview. Where some asshole journalist. Eager to lump AC/DC in with the punk movement. Asked Angus & Malcom if they were punk. Malcom responded with what the fuck is a punk. And then when asked if He had any sympathy for punk. Angus simply responded .... None!
Anyway during this time period. I had become a huge AC/DC fan. I was itching in the worst way to see a concert by them. But at that age I depended on the goodwill of older friends and relatives. And permissions from My Mom to see concerts. So I never got the chance. Sadly Bon Scott died during the Highway To Hell tour. Then came Back N Black a new singer. Same great band. I was pleasantly surprised AC/DC was still great ! Of course that's the album that took them beyond huge. A year or two later I finally got to see them on For Those About To Rock tour. Another great album. And a great concert. Next came Flick Of The Switch. Even better album & tour. Then Fly On The Wall 1985. By then I was living in North Carolina. We went to see them on that tour. Greensboro Colosseum. With then new guitar god Yngwie J Malmsteen opening. A great concert for sure. It was one of the last of the great arena seating giant concerts I saw. Parking lot drug & booze insanity. Ultra violent redneck fights throughout the night inside the arena LOL. The end of an era.
After that came reserved seating. Metal detectors. DUI checkpoints. Other buzz killing aspects to concert going. My interest was waning anyway. I was still searching for harder heavier. which by then had led Me to the then fairly new thrash/speed metal scene. as well as hardcore punk & related insanity. AC/DC began a cycle of putting out album after album of same old same old. Beyond a couple songs. They just seemed like they had slowed down. Got kinda boring. Going through the motions. I saw them a couple more times live. Well just because they came to town. Friends were going and it was the fun thing to do. Don't get Me wrong. Those concerts were still fun. But it was never the same again. Still what a incredible run they had.
Bon Scott was a brilliant lyrical badass with a unique voice. After He died. Malcom took over writing lyrics with the help of Brian Johnson. Now Brian Johnson is gone. Malcom who wrote 90% of the songs to begin with is gone. Drummer Phil Rudd is doing solo albums on & off house arrests, rehab & heart attacks. Bassist Cliff Williams has anounced He's retired. Angus piloted AC/DC through a tour with His nephew on second guitar, Chris Slade on drums & Axl Rose on vocals !!! WTF ??? But yeah I have to admit. As bad as I hate Guns & Roses. The footage I saw of Him with AC/DC was not that bad. Some friends that went to see that tour. All came back with good things to say. I guess they did a ton of Bon era songs. I guess I would rather see Axl Rose with AC/DC then Guns & Posers. Still I personally would have voted for Rose Tattoo's Angry Anderson to take Johnson's place on the mic. I mean He's short old & Australian just like Angus. Seems natural right? I remember When Bon died. The rumors were all about Dan McCafferty from Nazareth or Marc Storace from Krokus. I guess those were just rumors. But its fun to think. Of what AC/DC would have sounded like with those guys.
Another AC/DC urban legend. Has always been that they had recorded a lot of the stuff from Back In Black with Bon Scott just before He died. How cool would that be? Sadly I don't think that one is true. The book AC/DC Maximum Rock N Roll. Is a great read filled with stories. Insight, rumors and theories about the band. All told from Roadies, Ex wives & girlfriends other bands etc. The band members themselves. Especially the Young family. Have always preferred to let the music do the talking. Beyond general promotion of whatever latest album & tour they are pushing. Notorious for being short with interviewers.
Sadly earlier in 2017. We lost another important figure in the history of AC/DC. Older brother George Young. George played a big role in producing and steering the band. Through the 70s & 80s especially. George Himself was also a damn great guitar slinger. He led the Legendary Australian rock band the Easybeats. Who had a string of great hit songs in the late 60s/early 70s. One of My favorite George Young stories. Is that while touring in Europe sometime around 69 or 70. Playing a show with the Yardbirds or Clapton etc. He was asked about how incredible a guitarist Eric Clapton was. George just shrugged. And said I got a couple of kid brothers back home could play circles around Him. So Now You Know the rest of the story LOL.
I do realize. Knowing Wolf's readership and fan base of Scumfeast. Probably 95% of You are Extreme metal diehards. Honestly while I have a basic understanding & appreciation for that world. I'm not a huge fan. Beyond some of the classics. And a few bands and albums I have tapped into over the years. Mostly from My days as a booker promoter of underground shows & clubs. I occasionally hear stuff I like. Through Wolf & this blog. Or other bands My band ends up performing with. But I'm mostly stuck in the 70s & 80s punk & metal hard rock world. Just being honest. How does this relate to this blog & AC/DC? More or less. I guess cause I'm old & Wolf's old. We can remember. A time when Yes. AC/DC was considered extreme to some. They really were one of the loudest. Most over the top acts at one time. Long before death & black metal. Late 70s eraly 80s AC/DC was one of the bands scaring the hell out of little old church ladies. Listening to the dark ominous intro to any number of today's black metal songs. Its the direct decedent from 1970's intro the the first Black Sabbath song & intro onto 1980s intro to AC/DC classic Hells Bells. While the current black metal band is certainly taking things to new extremes. And doing their own thing. Everything came from somewhere. And had AC/DC & many other dad rock dinosaurs not walked the earth first. Who knows what today's metal might sound like?
All this from a couple of brothers. Who really only considered what they did as a supercharged version of the Rolling Stones? But yeah even the Rolling Stones had they days of scaring the death out of church ladies.
RIP George & Malcom Young , And Bon Scott ! Long Live ANGUS !!!
Another interesting side note. A lot of people don't realize this. But Bon Scott was not AC/DC's original singer. They started out life as a Australian club act. With a singer named Dave Evans. Dave only sang for one year. Only one 45 was released. Today its very rare & collectible.
So through Youtube & My natural curiosity about this type of thing. I started checking this stuff out. After Dave was replaced by Bon Scott. The Young's later said He just did'nt fit in. He went on to have some mid 70s success. In Australia in a hard rock/glam rock act called Rabbit. I checked some of this stuff out. I liked it ok. Interesting anyway. Check it out.
I have always wanted to check out Bon Scott's pre AC/DC stuff. Just have not yet done it. Future read? Thanks for reading this far.
LOOK FOR MORE COLUMNS BY JAMES AT 15 THIS YEAR AS HE WRITES ABOUT KISS, NUGENT, MOTORHEAD AS WELL AS VARIOUS HARD FUCKIN ROCK FROM THE 70S AND 80S.