Sunday, July 1, 2007

Finished: "AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll" by Murray Engelhart w/Arnaud Durieux

Finished: AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll by Murray Engelhart w/Arnaud Durieux, 2006,978-0-06-113391-6.

Okay, but not great. At 456 pages this took forever for me to finish; the book's thickness was intimidating.

This is more of a superfan book than a throough biography. It's not fauning and starstruck but the authors are obviously big fans of the band. Dissention and management problems are mentioned but never gotten into. Drug and booze problems by two of the band members are glossed over. At times this seems like a 400 page tour history.

Most of the book covers the beginnings of the band plus the first ten years, or so, until Bon Scott's death. The book realy suffers from what seems to be a complete lack of interviews with bandmembers and management. The many quotes seem to come from previously published interviews.

Angus and Malcom Young grew up in 1960s Sydney listening to rock records while older brother George was having a few hits with the Easybeats. Angus and Malcom are big fans of old blues performers and rockers like Chuck Berry. They both played in a variety of bands with changing line-ups until Bon Scott joined up and things started to click for them. The guidance and prodcution skills of brother George were a big part of their success.

The first half of the book is much more interesting with coverage of Bon and their work in Australia. The authors like to talk of all the chicks they were banging in Australia and the wild, alcohol fueled parties they had. For a hard rocking and party happy band it's surprising that Angus is a tea-totaler. Angus's nights were spent in his room smoking cigarettes and playing guitar. Hell, the guy is an introvert who had green teeth from lack of dental hygiene. He woudl wonder why chicks would have sex with him but never hang out.

AC/DC always saw themselves as a straightforward rock and roll band. No frills and pretensions, just straightforward rock tunes with plenty of rhythm. That the band during their time in London got lumped together with all the punk bands was surprising. That they get lumped together with hairspray bands like Motely Crue and Poison is a cruel joke.

I have spent a lot of time on youtube the last couple weeks listening to AC/DC tunes.

Additional, 5 Jy 07: a copy of Let There Be Rock came in for me today. The 2003 reissue's liner notes are by Engelhart.

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