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Raw footage of AC/DC killing it at an Australian high school 40 years ago (& Bon Scott’s bagpipes!)
01.24.2018
10:41 am
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The 1976 lineup of AC/DC, L to R; Phil Rudd, Bon Scott, Mark Evans, Malcolm Young and Angus Young (chained to the desk).
 

“Bon was the biggest single influence on the band. When he came in, it pulled us all together. He had that real “stick it to ‘em” attitude. We all had it in us, but it took Bon to bring it out.”

—the late Malcolm Young on AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott and his impact on the band.

To be precise, the footage in this post of AC/DC playing a live gig at St Albans High School in Victoria, Australia in 1976 is 42 years old. And, as you might have hoped, there is a good bit of rock and roll mythology associated with it, especially when it comes to one of the songs they performed to a rabid teenage audience, “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll).” The song was written by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young with help from vocalist Bon Scott and first appeared on their 1975 album T.N.T. produced by George Young (RIP) and his Easybeats bandmate, Harry Vanda. It was also one of the first bonafide rock songs to include bagpipes competing with guitar riffs for attention, though the 1968 jam from Eric Burden and the Animals “Sky Pilot” was likely the first—but I’m sadly no expert as I skipped all of my “Bagpipe 101” classes in college. Now, let’s get to what is undoubtedly the best thing to ever happen to a bagpipe, Bon Scott, and AC/DC virtually combusting on a stage at St Albans High School in Victoria, Australia in 1976.

A few weeks ago the footage in this post was making the rounds all over social media, though it appears to have originated on a Facebook page dedicated to the roving teen gangs of Melbourne, Australia active during the 60s and 70s, the “Sharpies” or “Sharps.” In the raw, nearly six-minute-video we get to see riotous black and white footage of AC/DC slamming through “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)” with Bon playing his trusty bagpipes. But was he? Forget those meddling kids, solving this caper requires the sleuthing skills of someone with a dangerous mind. And as luck should have it, I happen to have one.
 

A very young Bon Scott decked out in traditional Scottish dress.
 
Like the Young’s, Bon Scott was Scottish by birth (he and his family moved to Melbourne when Bon was six) and indeed had prior experience with bagpipes, having played the drums in a pipe band as a youth—a position he held shortly for AC/DC as well after graduating from being their roadie/driver. Scott’s skill with the bagpipes has been disputed in several books about the band, such as AC/DC FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s True Rock ‘n’ Roll Band, and a book authored by former AC/DC bass player Mark Evans, Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside of AC/DC. According to Evans, Bon honed his bagpipe skills in the studio while the band was recording T.N.T.. The idea of using bagpipes in “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)” was the suggestion of elder Young brother George. In this piece of video footage of the band being interviewed at the Mascot Airport in Sydney on April 1st, 1976 for Australian TV show Countdown, Bon quipped that since he had played a “bit of recorder” before (with prog rock outfit Fraternity), he figured he could also “play” the bagpipes. Scott also reached out to bagpiper Kevin Conlon inquiring about purchasing a set of bagpipes as well as enlisting Conlon to teach him how to play. Here’s Conlon recalling the day in 1976 he got a phone call from Bon Scott before the band shot the notorious video for “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll”:

‘‘I got a call from Bon, and he didn’t know who I was and I didn’t know who he was. He wanted to buy a set of bagpipes and have a few lessons. I told him they would cost over $1000 and it would take 12 months or more of lessons to learn how to play a tune. He said that was fine and came down for a few lessons, but as we were only going to be miming, he just had to look like he was playing.’‘

The Bon Scott pipe-plot THICKENS! Now it’s time to discuss theories as to why Bon stopped bringing his precious bagpipes out on stage—and the band’s eventual omission of bagpipes—live or otherwise—during “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll).” First of all, the challenge began when it took the efforts of Mark Evans, Phil Rudd and Malcolm Young to get Bon’s bagpipes to work after laying out $400 bucks for it, a virtual fortune for a touring band in 1976. Even with his recorder experience and help, Bon just couldn’t seem to get the hang of playing the bagpipes well enough. Then, George Young got the idea to loop in recorded and edited bagpipe music (all of which is noted in Martin Popoff’s book, AC/DC: Album by Album), over the PA during the song, which didn’t help Scott much. This led to a loud argument backstage between Bon and Mark after a gig which concluded with a frustrated soundman taking the bagpipe cassette and “smashing” it against a wall.

Keep reading after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.24.2018
10:41 am
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‘Let My Puppets Come’: The 1976 puppet porn that nobody asked for but we got anyway


The cover for the VHS of ‘Let My Puppets Come’ a puppet porn film from 1976.
 
Gerard Damiano directed the legendary 1972 porn film Deep Throat but he also played a part in the skin flick under the goofy name “Al Gork” who was credited as the “Last Man” in the film. Four years after that accomplishment Damiano would write and direct a porn film called Let My Puppets Come. The bizarre movie utilized marionettes that looked much like the beloved cast of The Muppet Show. But instead of musical numbers and comedy sketches, Damiano’s degenerate puppets spent their time on screen engaging in all kinds of hardcore sex acts with other puppets and the occasional human.

The 45-minute raunch-fest coincidentally made its debut the very same year The Muppet Show first aired on television. Most people who have witnessed the car-crashy horror that is Let My Puppets Come call the film everything from “charming” (huh?) to a downright “disasterpiece” both of which sound like pretty fair assessments to me even though I’ve never actually seen the flick in its entirety. Damiano enlisted the voice skills of sleaze king Al Goldstein, the co-founder of SCREW. Goldstein was also joined by actor Louie De Jesus (the twisted dwarf from the 1976 film Bloodsucking Freaks) and Viju Krim (who played the ballerina in Bloodsucking Freaks).

Apparently, it was Damiano’s intention to make a “sexy” puppet film, but somehow he ended up making a movie about puppets having orgies and engaging in sex acts with a puppet dog. Even good old Al Goldstein gets a blowjob from one of Damiano’s puppets which only ups the bizarro factor of the long out of print film. Occasionally VHS or DVD rips of Let My Puppets Come pop up on auction sites like eBay or on Amazon but they aren’t cheap like the horny stars of the film, and even a copy of the VHS can run you $80. I’ve posted a few images from the movie along with a trailer of sorts that features an unreleased theme song for the film “Take Your Baby to the Movies.” Everything that follows is NSFW and also confusing as fuck. Enjoy!
 

 

I’m not sure what is going on in this still. At all. And that’s probably okay.
 
More tawdry puppet activity after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.06.2017
09:05 am
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Glam rockers Supernaut & their epic 70s jams about lollipops, ‘Space Angels’ & bisexuality
05.15.2017
10:03 am
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Austrailian glam band, Supernaut.
 
I don’t know about you but I personally think the title of this post has something for pretty much everyone, though my statement might not make a lot of sense right now if you’re not acquainted with Aussie glam band, Supernaut. Who should not be confused with alt-rock Serbian band Supernaut, though the Aussie’s did swipe their name from the epic 1972 jam of the same name by Black Sabbath so there’s that. Anyway, don’t worry. Everything will make sense shortly because I’m here to help you get to know Supernaut a lot better.

Initially calling themselves Moby Dick, the earliest version of Supernaut was the idea of three English transplants—brothers Joe and Chris Burnham and vocalist Gary Twinn. Popular in the bar scene, they would eventually become Supernaut after joining forces with bass player Philip Foxman. In 1976 Ian “Molly” Meldrum, Australian musical impresario and the host of the massively popular television music show Countdown became aware of the band and the story of how that happened is quite surreal and plays out much like a scene in a movie where an aspiring musician gets that fabled “big break.”

Vocalist Gary Twinn recalls that Meldrum had arrived in Perth with his pal Paul McCartney, you know from the fucking Beatles, and the duo spent the evening hitting up some of the local clubs. The glittery glam rock stars were aligned in Supernaut’s favor that night as Macca and Meldrum happened to wander into a pub where Supernaut was playing a live set. After the gig, McCartney allegedly told Meldrum that Supernaut was the “best band he had seen in Australia.” Acting on the endorsement Meldrum would give the band two big breaks by helping them get signed to Polydor in 1976 and again later that year when he invited the band to appear on Countdown. It was Meldrum’s support helped Supernaught ride the wave of criticism they received after the release of their very first single “I Like it Both Ways”—a song that celebrated the joys of bisexuality. Here are some of the lyrics that helped influence the decision of pretty much every commercial radio station in Australia to outright ban the song from their playlists:

Johnny’s with a Julie he tells her she’s his girl says “I’ll love you always”
She got to love to find within his schizophrenic mind because he likes it both ways
One day it’s a rose another day a thorn he just can’t make the choice
Like when he seems so hard to find he can’t make up his mind between a high or low pitched voice
I like it both ways
I like it both ways
I like it both ways
I like it both ways

 

A shot of vocalist Gary Twin from the video for ‘I Like it Both Ways.’

While getting zero traction from commercial radio would have normally been a bit of a death blow to a band just getting their start, with the help of Meldrum and other television appearances, the controversial single would end up charting in the top five. Later that same year Supernaut released their self-titled album which went gold. Whatever your own personal definition of having “it” is, Supernaut had that and more including the right clothes, rock god hair, and legitimate musical chops. Again, with Meldrum at the wheel of the glam rock spaceship that was Supernaut, he would fund, direct and produce the video for “I Like it Both Ways.” The video, while fantastic, was partially the product of a technical error after a camera was mistakenly pointed right at a television monitor causing images to replicate in a feedback ripple effect while the band performed in front of a green screen. The trippy accident went over well with the band and the crew and the video itself received wide praise for its accidental innovation. And if 1976 hadn’t been good enough to Supernaut, they would also receive the “King of Pop Award” for Best Australian TV Performance.

After the jump, glam rock bliss awaits you! 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.15.2017
10:03 am
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Ultra-rare AC/DC promotional songbook full of sheet music, comics & photos from 1976
11.30.2016
12:20 pm
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The front cover of ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap & Other Dine-O-Mite Songs.’ An incredibly rare Australian promotional songbook that came inside of AC/DC’s 1976 record, ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.’
 
Also known as Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap & Other Dine-O-Mite Songs this incredibly rare piece of AC/DC ephemera was put out by the legendary Albert Productions—Australia’s very first indie record label that got its start back in 1964 under the guidance of music maverick Ted Albert. When the mid-70’s rolled around Albert Productions pretty much ruled the Australian music industry, thanks much in part to the wild success of the bad boys from Sydney. Here’s Angus Young on how the band’s relationship with Albert’s helped AC/DC thrive during their formative years from the 2010 book that details the history behind Albert’s House of Hits

When we first went out there, we were lucky enough to get a deal with Alberts’ even before we left Australia, so that was good for us. We didn’t have to go shopping ourselves, but what was good was that Ted [Albert]  advanced us a lot of the money so as we could get out there and tour and back-up the records. For him it was a long-term investment, but it paid in the end. It all helped.

According to the AC/DC Fan site, in Australia when you purchased the band’s 1976 release Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap it came along with a mailer that when sent to Albert and co. accompanied by three dollars, got you a copy of the book in the mail. It’s unclear how many of the books were made but when the do appear for sale online they sell for anywhere from $800 to a cool grand depending on the condition they are in. AC/DC put out other equally rare song-style books like The Rocka Souvenir Songbook and The Explosive Hits ‘76 Songbook around the same time but neither of them come even close to the wow-factor Dirty Deeds achieves.

I’ve included images from the book that include an amusing “AC/DC KWIZ” that I’m pretty sure is impossible to fail, an advice column called “Dear Aunt Haggis…” and a page for collecting the band’s autographs if you ever got close enough to them with a pen. The last layer of cool I will lay on you is the good news that back in 2014 a massive box set homaging Albert Productions was released called Good Times: Celebrating 50 Years Of Albert Productions. The set contains 102 different tracks from over the course fifty years from AC/DC and other notable Aussie bands like the Easybeats, long-running hard rockers Rose Tattoo and garageband favorites The Missing Links, just to name a few. Devil horns OUT!
 

The back cover of ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap & Other Dine-O-Mite Songs.’
 

Table of contents.
 

‘Dirty Deeds comic’ and autograph page.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.30.2016
12:20 pm
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Three Imaginary Boys: The Cure back in the 1970s when they were still teenagers
11.14.2016
12:21 pm
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An early shot of The Cure (L to R: Lol Tolhurst, Michael Dempsey and Robert Smith) hanging on the railroad tracks. This photo was likely taken around 1976/1977.
 
I spent a fair amount of time recently pouring through nostalgic images and musical performances by The Cure while pulling my post about the band’s first show in Boston in 1980. The Internet will often reward you with great things. Such is the case with these magical photos of Robert Smith and his bandmates, some taken as early as 1976.

If my math is correct (numbers and Cherrybomb don’t go well together) Robert Smith and drummer Lol Tolhurst were just seventeen. Bassist Michael Dempsey probably bought booze for them as he was eighteen in 1976. After you let it sink in that members of The Cure were once teenagers just like all of us, I’ll ask you to come to the realization that unlike most of us they were already on a pretty clear trajectory for greatness.

When they weren’t in school together they were already busy writing songs and by 1977 were playing gigs to a fast-growing fan base. All this noise got the teenage Smith, Dempsey and Tolhurst signed to Fiction Records (run by Chris Parry who was also an early champion of The Jam and Siouxsie and the Banshees). By the time 1979 rolled around The Cure were ready to release their stellar first album Three Imaginary Boys and a couple of follow-up singles you may have heard before “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train.” So strap in and get ready for a trip to a time before Robert Smith’s signature electrified goth hair and lipstick was a thing and see The Cure looking more like the images from your old high school yearbook.
 

Michael Dempsey, Marc Ceccagno, Robert Smith, Allan Hill, and Lol Tolhurst taken sometime between 1976 and 1978.
 

Three Imaginary Boys, likely circa 1976/77.
 
More Cure after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.14.2016
12:21 pm
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