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The story of the real ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’: Bon Scott’s real-life obsession with bodacious women
10.01.2018
09:49 am
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Bon Scott pictured with two very excited female fans while arriving at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, November 27, 1976. Around this time rumors were circulating about young female fans of AC/DC giving each other home tattoos around Melbourne trying to look like Bon (Scott had at least six tattoos).
 
If you think you know the story behind AC/DC‘s riffy homage to a certain big, bad girl “Whole Lotta Rosie,” you might want to hold on as the author of Bon: The Last Highway Jesse Fink goes into even more detail regarding the actual identity of Rosie, with a little help. On The Last Highway blog, Fink discusses the many mythological tales about Rosie, including accounts from brothers Angus and Malcolm, three journalists and respected rock historians, Sylvie Simmons, Phil Sutcliffe (also known as Mike Stand), Mary Renshaw, and Scott himself. Let’s dig into the gritty details of this late-70s backstage, no-tell-motel sleaze, shall we?

In support of Angus Young’s claim of Scott’s preference for dangerously curvy women, both Angus and Simmons recall a regular groupie duo of Bon’s; Angus called them the “Jumbo Twins” and Simmons—who spent a lot of time with the band during the Bon era, referred to them as the “Jumbo Jets.” Another of Angus’ memories of Scott running into Rosie was when the band was in town to play a show in Tasmania in 1976. Angus says after the show the band took to the streets looking to keep the good times rolling when Bon was approached by a woman in a dark doorway—a very large woman which Angus estimated to have the following famous measurements; 42-39-56. Scott happily entered the room and joined the woman and her friend for the night.
 

A vintage ad for AC/DC’s 1977 live album, ‘Let There Be Rock’ using 34 unique words to describe the band.
 
Sutcliffe’s version is slightly different than both Angus’ and Simmons’. Sutcliffe says things went down in the dressing room of Malcolm Young after a show August of 1976. Malcolm and Bon had hooked up with two girls, one of them they nicknamed “Big Bertha,” yet another interlude with a roomy woman many would come to believe was Rosie. Bon said this Bertha/Rosie would have “broken his arm” if he had refused her advances, so he complied. In a 2003 interview, Malcolm told the story, calling the woman “Big Rosie.” Now, let’s get to the story of Rosie told by the late Bon Scott (as noted by Fink on his blog) which is taken from an audio track included on the 1997 box set Bonfire named after Bon’s promise to call his first solo record by the same name. Scott recalls things went down with Rosie (on more than one occasion it seems) at her place where he and the band would often party just across from the Freeway Gardens hotel in North Melbourne. On Bonfire Bon gives us the low-down on getting down with Rosie:

“We were all staying in the same hotel and this chick Rosie lived across the road. She was so big she sort of closed the door and put it on ya’, half your body, and she was too big to say no to. Then she used to look up and see what band was in town and say “hi over there boys” and we’d go over and have a party. She came to one of our shows, she was from Tasmania actually, and she was in the front row. She was like 6’2 and like 19 stone 12 pounds (around 266lbs). That girl was some mountain. So you can imagine the problems I had. So I just sorta had to succumb … I had to do it. Oh my God, I wish I hadn’t.”

Yeah, the old “taking one for the team” isn’t fooling anyone, Bon. We know you liked big butts and we love you for it. Corroborating Bon’s arm-twisting sexy-times story are both AC/DC roadie, Pat Pickett (Pickett has been quoted as saying he was responsible for an “orgy” involving Rosie, Scott, and others and also knew Rosie personally), and author of the 2015 book on AC/DC, Live Wire, Mary Renshaw. Attempts have been made to find Rosie but have never turned up even so much as a concrete lead though there seems to to be no lack of people claiming to know the real Rosie or to have seen the elusive, show-stealing woman.

If you’ve ever seen AC/DC live, you’ve maybe seen the gigantic, inflated Rosie prop used by the band when they kick into “Whole Lotta Rosie” with her bright blonde hair and red lingerie. I’ve also seen a cool vintage embroidered patch of Rosie in all her glory, but never a photo of anyone with Bon (or other members of AC/DC) who looked even remotely like the girl described in the song. Does this mean Rosie was conjured up through the collective memories of Angus Young and others due to Bon’s interludes with various lusty, bodacious women? Let’s me put it to you this way; Bon Scott said Rosie was real. His version is gospel. Period. The End

Footage of AC/DC from 1979 during a live gig in Paris ripping “Whole Lotta Rosie” apart follows. It includes an appearance by a very talented AC/DC roadie.
 

An embroidered patch of Rosie from the early 90’s.
 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.01.2018
09:49 am
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Tiny Tim’s delirious covers of Bon Jovi, Pink Floyd, the Bee Gees, AC/DC, and more!
09.25.2018
01:25 pm
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Tiny Tim is one of the great eccentrics of the classic era of rock. Born Herbert Buckingham Khaury, he was a pretty dorky tween, holing up at the New York Public Library learning about the ancient heroes of the early days of recorded music and learning how to play the violin, the mandolin, and (of course) the ukulele. His first album, God Bless Tiny Tim, is a classic of a sort and featured the only song he would ever become famous for, “Tip-Toe Thru’ The Tulips With Me,” a song that dates from the 1920s.

He sang with a falsetto and for many years was pretty much the only human being actively associated with the uke. He had terrible teeth and terrible hair and never, ever seemed to lose his sunny disposition about just about everything. If you check out pictures of him online, he sure did smile a lot, and it didn’t seem remotely like a put-on.

For reasons that are impossible to reconstruct from this distance, his 1969 marriage to Victoria Budinger was a gargantuan sensation—it happened on The Tonight Show and it landed the best ratings in the history of that show—including Johnny Carson’s final show in 1992.

Tiny Tim is a picture-perfect one-hit wonder, but the issue with such figures is, what do you do for the next 30 years of your life? Various people have tackled that issue in different ways. Tiny Tim did not release a huge amount of material but did release several albums, most of which centered on renditions of decades-old curios and self-consciously odd covers of far more recent material. Interestingly, most of his covers dispense with both the falsetto and the ukulele, relying on regular rock guitar and a surprisingly rich and deep vocal style.

God Bless Tiny Tim featured a cover of Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe,” with Tiny Tim singing both parts, of course. It’s as odd a cover as you’re likely to find, but certainly not unpleasurable to listen to. Another early cover that featured a canny blending of falsetto and non-falsetto parts was his version of the Doors’ “People Are Strange,” which he recorded as a demo; it appeared on Rhino’s 3-CD reissue of God Bless Tiny Tim.
 

 
In 1980, for an album called Chameleon, Tiny Tim essayed a cover of the recent smash hit “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, a song that is also notable for featuring falsetto singing, which Tiny Tim didn’t use in the cover. You can find a quote online from Maurice Gibb that runs, “Tiny Tim? Anyone could sing like that. It’s atrocious. It’s hideous, really.” Ouch. I don’t know the facts of the matter, but I would imagine Maurice probably said that back when Tiny Tim was first a sensation—in any case, it’s fun to imagine Tiny Tim doing the cover as a cheeky form of revenge/solidarity.

At some point Tiny Tim perceived the tender underbelly of a certain kind of rock song that he could totally do something with. In 1993 he released an album called Rock, the second half of which is consumed mainly with jukebox hits from the 1950s. But the first half tackles three songs that might be considered classics of the arena rock era, AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name,” and Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.” All of them are quite listenable, although the Billy Idol cover stands out for being in excess of 20 minutes long! Your imagination might be concocting some nightmarishly unlistenable track but I’ve listened to it and it’d be more accurate to say that Tiny Tim just ran with it. Indeed, you might say he was genuinely inspired by it.

In 1996 Tiny Tim had a heart attack while on stage playing his hit “Tip-Toe Thru’ The Tulips With Me” and died shortly afterward. This event led to this unusual headline:
 

 
A couple of years earlier, Tiny Tim had released an album for Seeland/Ponk called I Love Me, which featured a number of unusual tracks such as “I Saw Mr. Presley Tip-toeing Through The Tulips” and “She Left Me With The Herpes” as well as a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2).” 

Listen to it all, after the jump…....
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.25.2018
01:25 pm
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The savage heterosexuality of macho Australian glam rock band Rabbit
04.24.2018
11:31 am
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Australian glam band Rabbit. Former AC/DC vocalist Dave Evans is pictured in the center.
 

“If I was a parent and read this, I wouldn’t let my kids anywhere near this mob, numbnuts described them as frenetic, violently hedonistic and Dave himself was described as savagely heterosexual.”

—a rock critic describing Aussie glam band Rabbit and their vocalist, Dave Evans.

If you decide to dedicate your life to being up all night falling in love with rock & roll (like yours truly) you have to be all in. The good, the bad, and the glam. So let’s get right to it, shall we? Glam rockers unite as I bring you a brief history of the flashy rise and quick freefall of Newcastle, Australia’s unhearalded glam band Rabbit.

After relieving Rabbit’s second vocalist Greg Douglas of his short-lived duties, former AC/DC frontman Dave Evans assumed the responsibilities of leading the band. This venture did not go unnoticed as Evans’ brief stint with AC/DC was enough to entice CBS to sign the band thanks to his glammy stagecraft which he had cultivated during his time with the Young brothers. In 1975 Rabbit released their self-titled debut record. The album did alright, and a couple of singles even made it to the charts. This gave Rabbit some real teeth when it came to going toe-to-toe with other Aussie glam rock acts like Supernaut, John Stanley Cave (aka the glitter-bomb that was Sydney glam rocker William Shakespeare), and local heroes Hush and their flamboyant vocalist Keith Lamb. (To attest to the power of Lamb’s persona, he was rumored to have been a contender to fill Bon Scott’s place at the head of AC/DC following Scott’s passing. So there’s that.)

Rabbit would go on to put out a second popular record with CBS in 1976 called Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll which they recorded at the “House of Hits,” or Albert Studios in Sydney, Australia. Its sister company, Albert Productions, was among the first few independent record labels in Australia and played an instrumental role in the rise of AC/DC. The studio was a joint venture of Harry Vanda and George Young (both of notable Australian band the Easybeats, and Young the elder brother of Malcolm and Angus) along with engineer Bruce Brown and they opened Albert Studio in 1973. Brown recorded numerous hits with the Bon Scott era of AC/DC, like “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Jailbreak,” and what some refer to as AC/DC’s calling card, “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll).  Rabbit’s commercial success would put the band on the map, leading to appearances on music-oriented television shows like Countdown, and a twelve-week Australian promotional tour. Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll would also be Rabbit’s gateway to markets like Japan and European locations such as Denmark and Belgium where their album sales were swift. Fans have mused nostalgically that Rabbit’s jams drew from bands like The Sweet, T.Rex, KISS, and of course AC/DC—which sounds about right.

As is often the case, the sudden rush of spandex and shirtless adrenalin would ultimately lead to the band’s implosion. Rabbit would disband during their brief tour in 1977
 

The album cover for ‘Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll.’
 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.24.2018
11:31 am
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Heavy Metal Parking Lot: Photos of AC/DC hanging with a bunch of teenage super-fans in 1979
04.03.2018
04:48 pm
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AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young (RIP) taken outside the Bel-Air Motel in Springfield, Illinois in 1979. Though he kind of looks like a teenager, Young was 26 at the time.
 
Aussie rock leviathans AC/DC have been a band (in one form or another) since their formation in 1973 by the recently departed Malcolm Young and his younger brother Angus in Sydney. The band were pretty popular in Australia, even in their earliest days and would make their way to the U.S. for the first time in the summer of 1977 to play a series of gigs at the famous Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas at the behest of promoter Jack Orbin. Orbin was instrumental in bringing hard rock and metal acts like Judas Priest and the Scorpions to Texas early on and famously bailed Ozzy Osbourne out of jail after he was locked up for pissing on the Alamo Cenotaph—a gigantic statue which memorializes the Battle of the Alamo and the lives of the 189 Texans who died there. History lessons aside, their debut deep in the heart of Texas in 1977 would mark the beginning of AC/DC’s riffy rise to the top of rock ‘n’ roll mountain.

Just like other major rock acts, AC/DC has toured relentlessly for decades, continuing on after the death of vocalist Bon Scott in February of 1980 and the departure/dismissal of vocalist Brian Johnson in 2016. Perhaps you’ve even heard the rumor that the band might be mulling over the idea of bringing in Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses to replace Johnson on an upcoming album and subsequent tour, something that Australian author and noted authority on AC/DC Murray Engleheart was very sure about after Rose stepped in for Johnson in 2016. I don’t know how all these shake-ups are going to shake out but I am sure of this—it’s never a bad idea to take a look back at the history of a band that quite literally changed rock and roll for the better with their enduring battle cries about sex, booze, the devil and spot-on reflections of the occupational hazards of the perpetually shirtless rock-god lifestyle.

Calling to mind Jeff Krulik‘s Heavy Metal Parking Lot, most of the images below are of the band intimately fraternizing with their fans in spring of 1979 in the parking lot of the Bel-Air Motel in Springfield, Illinois during the If You Want Blood tour. I also included a few staggering live shots of the band and their rabid fans which help to further perpetuate the notion that AC/DC has always had some of the most dedicated fans in the world—something that hasn’t changed to this day and probably never will. Lastly, many of the images of Bon Scott in this post were taken during the final year of his life making them a rather poignant glimpse into the end of an era of AC/DC which all legitimate fans of the band revere. Devil horns out!
 

A photo of Bon Scott flanked by Angus Young performing their first ever gig in the U.S. at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas on July 27, 1977.
 

Fans losing their minds at an AC/DC show in mid-to-late 1970s.
 

Scott and Malcolm Young signing records and other items for their fans in the parking lot of the Bel-Air Motel in Springfield, Illinois 1979.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.03.2018
04:48 pm
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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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Blistering footage of Bon Scott’s final TV appearance with AC/DC
11.07.2017
09:02 am
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AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott showing us all what it’s like to be a real rock and roll singer back in the day.
 
Though it wouldn’t start out that way, February of 1980 was almost the beginning of the end for Austrailian juggernauts, AC/DC. The band had started the year laying the groundwork for their next studio album, Back in Black. But as we all know, the hard-partying antics of vocalist Bon Scott would catch up with the 33-year-old, and after yet another night of blackout boozing (as well as possibly dabbling in heroin), Scott was found dead inside his Renault 5 in the street by his South London residence on February 19th, 1980. There has always been a fair amount of speculation regarding Bon’s death, new details of which have been painstakingly researched by author Jesse Fink in his 2017 book about Scott, Bon: The Last Highway

Bon would perform his final live gig with AC/DC on January 27th, 1980 in Southampton, U.K. The band was no longer just a sensation in their native Australia but was finally breaking through to U.S. audiences after the Mutt Lange-produced smash, Highway to Hell penetrated the Billboard Top 200. The record would eventually smash through to the top twenty where it would peak at #17. Following the Southampton gig, AC/DC would appear on Top of the Pop’s on February 7th lipsynching to “Touch Too Much.” Three days later the band was in Madrid for an appearance on Aplauso, a popular Spanish television music program. This time AC/DC ripped through “Beating Around the Bush” (whose opening lick borrows a bit of fire from Fleetwood Mac’s 1969 single, “Oh Well”), with an unbridled lipsynching fury so hot that it’s hard to tell they aren’t actually playing “live” at times. Here’s a rough translation of the Spanish host introducing AC/DC for what would be the band’s very first show of any kind in Spain, and their final appearance with Bon:

“Today on TV Aplauso we receive a new group in Spain: AC/DC. They’re Australian and are considered as one of the best rock bands of the last generation without submitting themselves to the New-Wave or Punk. They’ve got a lot of fans in England and today for the first time in Spain, AC/DC!”

The studio audience in attendance for Aplauso is comprised of people who look like they about get a free car from Oprah...

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.07.2017
09:02 am
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Of overalls and platform boots: Brian Johnson’s ass kicking pre-AC/DC band, Geordie
09.11.2017
11:21 am
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The perpetually jolly Brian Johnson during his days with the band Geordie.
 
A few weeks ago I wrote about former AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson and his “acclaimed” jingle for the Hoover Vacuum company in 1980. Since that time, I’ve been digging around Johnnson’s pre-AC/DC rawk days—and I’ve loved every minute of it. If I were stranded on a desert island and had to live with the music of one band, it would be AC/DC. Give me Sabbath or give me death, I’d still be okay departing this world if Angus, Malcolm, Cliff, Bon, and later Brian Johnson, played me out. A girl can dream, can’t she? For now, let’s get back to the focus of this post—AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson and his band, Geordie.

First off, Geordie’s oddball name was taken from a word that is used to describe the citizens and unique dialect associated with residents of Johnson’s place of birth, Newcastle upon Tyne in England, a place where everyone speaks in Johnson’s nearly impossible-to-understand endearing verbal sway, and the origin site of black metal pioneers Venom. Before joining Geordie, Johnson had some minor success playing various working men’s clubs in the North East of Newcastle with the Jasper Hart Band. Johnson recorded a few singles in the early 1970s with the group before leaving to join forces with his first serious band, USA which would later become Geordie. At the time, glam rock was everything and Geordie was born right smack in the middle of the exploding glitter bomb and musical liberation that was led by the likes of T.Rex and the New York Dolls. Every great story about rock and roll ever written contains at least one piece of WTF mythology, and this one is no exception. The tale associated with Geordie is especially surreal as it concerns the first time that Johnson met Bon Scott while he was fronting one of his pre-AC/DC bands, Fraternity (later known as “Fang”).

According to Johnson, Fraternity/Fang opened a few shows for Geordie in the group’s early days. During one of Geordie’s performances, Johnson was gravely ill battling a dire case of appendicitis—which I can tell you from experience is horrible and will take you down quick and hard. Despite this, Johnson borrowed a tip from the “How to Rock and Roll and Not Be a Giant Pussy” handbook and played the fucking gig in what I can assure you was horrific pain. Johnson was suffering so badly that he laid down on his side on stage and was kicking and screaming in agony—but still, he persisted, and somehow finished the show. Bon bore witness to the spectacle, thinking it was part of the show just like pretty much everyone else at the gig. Later on, after joining AC/DC, he would tell his new bandmates about the gig noting how impressed he was by Johnson’s “performance” and admiring the fact that his future replacement was on the floor kicking and screaming on stage exclaiming “what an act” it was to behold. What an “act” indeed.
 

The awesome cover of Geordie’s 1974 album ‘Don’t Be Fooled by the Name.’
 
Geordie did pretty well for themselves until the later part of the 70s when the increasing popularity of new wave and punk bands like the Blondie and the Sex Pistols killed their appeal. Before their demise in 1976, Geordie would put out four respectable as well as mostly commercially successful records that produced a bunch of hits including “All Because Of You” from their 1973 debut album Hope You Like It that plowed its way into the UK top ten. Though they would technically call it quits in 1976, Johnson would revive Geordie as “Geordie II, ” and his Geordie bandmates would plod onward with a new vocalist Dave Ditchburn. That version of Geordie would produce an album that contained songs featuring Johnson’s vocals as well as Ditchburn’s called No Good Woman before disappearing for good sometime in the early 80s.

More Geordie, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.11.2017
11:21 am
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AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson’s balls out metal vocals for a Hoover vacuum commercial in 1980
08.24.2017
08:34 am
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An early shot of AC/DC with vocalist Brian Johnson (pictured in the center).
 
I recently got into a profound internal dialog about AC/DC’s post-Bon Scott days, which, as much as my heart will always belong to Bon, were still very formative for me. It’s also a bonafide fact that Brian Johnson himself helped give us another 34 years of music from one of the greatest rock bands fucking ever. Honestly, just think for a minute about it this way—imagine if 1980’s Back in Black never got made. It could have happened. But as usual, I’ve digressed away from the awesomeness that is this post—that time back in 1980 that Johnson got a call from the folks at the Hoover Vacuum company about recording a jingle for one of their television commercials.

According to Johson, he was offered “350 quid” (or about $700 at the time) with residuals to do the commercial for Hoover, on the very same day he got the call from a representative of his future bandmates in AC/DC about auditioning as Bon Scott’s replacement. In an entirely awesome turn of events, after Johnson came in and recorded the most metal jingle of all time for Hoover, he walked across the street to Vanilla Studios where AC/DC was holding their auditions. As Johnson recalls, he opened the door to the studio where Angus, Malcolm, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams were jamming announcing himself as “Brian from Newcastle.” Malcolm brought the weary Johnson a bottle of beer which he immediately sucked down to get into the mood. The band then asked him what he might like to sing for them to which Johnson suggested “Nutbush City Limits” the ass-kicking 1973 single from Ike & Tina Turner. Johnson was offered the dream gig a few days later.

The Hoover commercial, and more, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.24.2017
08:34 am
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Mega-post full of rare vinyl picture discs from Russ Meyer, Blondie, Divine, AC/DC & more
08.14.2017
09:44 am
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A limited edition picture disc for Blondie’s 1978 record ‘Parallel Lines.’
 
The first thing I learned while pulling this post together is this—there are entirely TOO many Madonna-related picture discs. The flip side of that dated news flash is the fact that an astonishing number of rare, collectible picture discs exist, many of which I’m sure you will want to get your hands on, if you can. The other thing I learned about picture discs today is that there is a shit-ton of pretty looking vinyl that features nudity. For instance, a few soundtracks from the films of titty-titan Russ Meyer such as Mudhoney, Supervixens and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! have all gotten special, topless picture disc pressings.

The vast majority of picture discs in this post contain interviews with the artist or band, though in some cases they do actually play music like a record should. Now before you remind me that music doesn’t sound all that great on a picture disc, I’m already well aware of this. I do however love collecting vinyl of this nature not just for their novelty appeal but because I also view them as a form of art that is still a vital part of vinyl culture today. When I called this a “mega-post,” I was not kidding as there are over 25 images below for you to check out, many of which are NSFW thanks to Russ Meyer of course. You have been warned!
 

Side A of a picture disc featuring music from the Russ Meyer films, ‘Good Morning…And Goodbye!,’ ‘Cherry, Harry & Raquel,’ and ‘Mondo Topless.’
 

Side A of a picture disc featuring music from the Russ Meyer films, ‘Up!’ ‘Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra Vixens,’ and ‘Supervixens.’
 

Side B of the Russ Meyer album above.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.14.2017
09:44 am
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Big Balls: Rarely seen, intimate photos of AC/DC taken back in the 70s
07.10.2017
01:17 pm
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Angus Young (top left), Phil Rudd (top right), Bon Scott (bottom left), and Malcolm Young (bottom right).
 
Spoiler alert! This post does, in fact, contain an image of AC/DC guitar hero Angus Young’s balls, a sight you may have witnessed yourself if you’ve ever seen the band in concert. And that’s because Angus is known for flashing his ass and low-hanging fruit in the wild, much to the delight of AC/DC’s loyal fans during their live performances.

I got to thinking rather nostalgically about AC/DC on Sunday as it would have marked the 71st birthday of long departed vocalist Bon Scott, who passed away at the way too young age of 34 in February of 1980. Many of the images in this post were previously uploaded to various AC/DC fan forum sites, and others were published in rock magazines in the 1970s. I also came upon more that were taken backstage by fans of the band as well as some behind-the-scenes images that were captured of the boys while they were recording their face-smashing 1978 album Powerage in 1977. Some days, the Internet is very generous, and today was one of those days.

Of all the groups who reside at the top of the mountain that built rock and roll, AC/DC is probably the band with the most universal appeal. I mean, do you know anyone who doesn’t like AC/DC? I sure as fuck don’t.  And if I did, I’d get right to not knowing them as quickly as possible. Even after the death of Bon, which nearly caused the band to call it quits right then and there, they not only carried on but would put out one of the most influential albums of their career—1980’s critically acclaimed Back in Black with vocalist Brian Johnson. With Johnson at the helm, AC/DC would put out a slew of studio albums that collectively sold more than 93,000,000 copies worldwide as of 2014. While it’s possible you may have seen some of the images in this post before, I’m betting that you haven’t seen most of them. Either way, this stuff is a treat for the eyes that deserves two devil horns up! Some of the pictures are NSFW which should make sense since this is AC/DC we’re talking about. Also, balls.
 

In the studio during the recording of ‘Powerage’ in 1977.
 

An early shot of AC/DC and drummer Phil Rudd’s awesome sweater.
 
More mayhem with AC/DC after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.10.2017
01:17 pm
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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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Blistering footage of a young AC/DC blowing the roof off the sucker in 1978
10.19.2016
12:15 pm
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Perhaps I’m guilty of overusing words like “blistering” or “insane” when it comes to describing a live performance by AC/DC, especially when the perpetually shirtless Bon Scott is involved. However in this case both words perfectly describe this footage from the band’s appearance on the short-lived BBC television show Rock Goes to College back in 1978. The gigs filmed for the show were intimate affairs—limited to a few thousand fans which you really get a feel for when you watch the young hell-bent Aussies (Angus Young was only 23 at the time and his brother Malcolm just 25) rip through songs from 1978’s Powerage (as well as the band’s live record If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) from the same year), 1977’s Let There Be Rock, and 1975’s T.N.T. The resulting set is an absolutely titanic cross-section of the band’s already spectacular catalog. Also of note is the fact that in 1978 the band was still somewhat “under the radar” though they were already wildly popular in their homeland which makes this raw footage shot in the UK extra compelling.

See it after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.19.2016
12:15 pm
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Literal heavy metal: Brass band plays Motörhead, Maiden, Sabbath, and AC/DC


 
Over the weekend, my Facebook feed—and a fair few others’ as well—blew up with a years-old video of a Dutch brass band called Heavy Hoempa busking Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” at the prog/metal festival ProgPower in 2013. Despite its age, the video went viral seemingly out of nowhere, racking up 50,000 shares in just a few days. If you weren’t one of its three million viewers, check it out now, it’s quite wonderful.
 

 

 
Thing is, that’s just a small taste of their offerings. The Uden-based Heavy Hoempa, which I’m pretty sure means “heavy busker,” specialize in metal covers; per Google translate, their self-description on Twitter is “Solid rock with a big wink from blazers with balls.” The band still exists, purveying quite wonderful versions of metal classics including “Paranoid,” “The Trooper,” and “Highway to Hell.”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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10.03.2016
08:13 am
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Pinball machine featuring the Stones, Elton John, The Who, AC/DC, KISS and many more
09.06.2016
10:17 am
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The pinball arcade was where the boys in leather jackets hung out. The guys into Heavy Metal, Hell’s Angels and books by Sven Hassel. That’s what I recall from growing up. The pinball machines were always situated at the far end of the arcade—past the lines of slot machines with itchy-fingered retirees spending their hard-earned cash and the whey-faced office clerks on their lunch break in off-the-peg suits and white socks.

In those days smoking was permitted indoors—so the back of the room where the pinball machines and the boys in denim and leather hung out was always thick with blue cigarette smoke. Just go down to the back of the room and inhale a few breaths—it saved you on the cost of buying smokes.

For some reason pinball machines were associated with being tough. I was never really quite sure why. Manliness and the ability to use flippers dexterously meant—obviously in some secret code I was unable to fathom—that you were a tough guy. These boys sneered at punk. Tolerated Prog. Hated Glam and Mod—which was strange as most liked Slade and The Who. What they did like was Black Sabbath. Deep Purple. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. AC/DC. And The Rolling Stones—post 1968.

Their bravado was all front—like the flashing lights and bells of the pinball machines they played. The pinball was a totem for their nascent identity. In a few years time, some of these boys would be in their own off-the-peg suits playing slot machines during their lunch breaks.

Pinball has always had that macho outsider image—which probably explains why certain hard rockin’ bands and artistes have opted to merchandise their product through pinball machines.
 
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More rock and pop pinball machines, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.06.2016
10:17 am
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Grapefruit: Forgotten Beatles protegés produced by Lennon & McCartney (and their AC/DC connection)
08.29.2016
11:59 am
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Unless you’re a truly “deep cut” Beatles freak—or a big AC/DC fan (I’ll get to that in a minute)—it’s unlikely that you’ll have heard of the 60s pop-psych group Grapefruit. Recalled by history as the first performers to be thought of to be protegés of the Fab Four, Grapefruit—named by John Lennon—were signed to Apple Publishing, although their music came out on Decca Records. They were only an active band for about two years, from late 1967 to the end of 1969. They recorded two albums and some singles before splitting, although their sound changed dramatically for their more “rock”-oriented second album with a different singer. Less Beatlesesque and more like Traffic perhaps.
 

 
Lennon and McCartney were co-producers of a song called “Lullaby” (a number with the working title “Circus Sgt. Pepper”) and Terry Doran, a friend of Lennon’s who’d worked with Brian Epstein, became their manager. When their record came out, Lennon introduced the band at a press conference attended by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Donovan and Cilla Black. Paul McCartney directed a promotional film for their single “Elevator” and band member John Perry was invited to attend the “Hey Jude” recording session.
 

 
Now here’s the AC/DC connection: The group’s songwriter/bassist was a chap named George Alexander, who was born Alexander Young in Scotland, one of eight children who included younger brothers Malcolm and Angus Young who would later go on to form AC/DC. When the Young family emigrated to Australia, he’d remained behind in Great Britain. Another musically talented Young brother is George Young of Aussie chart-toppers The Easybeats.

Their first album Around Grapefruit was reissued in May of 2016 as Yesterday’s Sunshine: The Complete 1967-1968 London Sessions with rare tracks from the original master tapes.

Performing “Dear Delilah” in France on ‘Dim Dam Dom’ in 1968:

 
More of the sweet sounds of Grapefruit after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.29.2016
11:59 am
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