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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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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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Glamtastic footage of AC/DC *before* Bon Scott
07.08.2016
08:48 am
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As someone who considers himself something of a music scholar, who has worked in record shops most of his life, and writes about music professionally, I’m ashamed to admit that I only learned, like, JUST NOW that Bon Scott was not the first singer of AC/DC. I mean, I’m not an obsessive mega-fan or anything when it comes to the band, but I do own every one of their “classic era” albums from High Voltage up to Blow Up Your Video—even some of the Australian alternates. I feel like that’s enough of a level of fan commitment to make my ignorance about AC/DC’s early years unforgivable. Well, you learn something new every day. Hopefully you, like me, are also learning something new today.

Anyway, check out this footage of AC/DC from 1974.  Here you have glam-as-fuck lead vocalist Dave Evans fronting the band, as well as drums by ex-Master’s Apprentices member Colin Burgess and bass guitar by ex-Easybeats member George Young (older brother of band co-founders Malcolm and Angus Young).

The band sounds a bit like The Sweet here.

The song, “Can I Sit Next to You, Girl,” was later re-recorded with Bon Scott on vocals for their Australia-only album T.N.T., released in December 1975, and on the international version of High Voltage, released in May 1976. The edgier Bon Scott version happens to be one of my favorite AC/DC songs of all time and if you were someone I dated in the 90s, you probably got a mixtape from me with that track on it.

Keep reading after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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07.08.2016
08:48 am
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Street art homages to Frank Zappa, Lemmy, David Bowie, Bon Scott, Ian Curtis & more

Frank Zappa street art mural under a bridge in London by James Mayle and Leigh Drummond
A massive mural of Frank Zappa under a bridge in London by artists James Mayle and Leigh Drummond.

I recently came across images of some beautiful street murals of both the sadly recently departed Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie—which is what got me cooking up this post chock full of graffiti and street art homages to notable musicians and rock stars who are no longer with us.

Of the many public pieces, photographed at places all around the globe, I’m especially fond of the Lemmy/Bowie hybrid that popped up on a utility box in front of a restaurant in Denver, Colorado shortly after Bowie passed on January 10th, 2016, as well as a haunting image of Joe Strummer that was painted on the side of a rusted old van.
 
Lemmy/Bowie street art mashup in Denver, Colorado
Lemmy/Bowie street art mashup in Denver, Colorado.
 
Joe Strummer mural painted on the side of a van by French artist, Jef Aerosol
Joe Strummer mural painted on the side of a van by French artist, Jef Aerosol.
 
Inspired street art dedicated to everyone from Joy Division’s Ian Curtis to James Brown, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.05.2016
09:14 am
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‘Bubblegum’ version of Bon Scott performing ‘Nick Nack Paddy Whack’ with the Valentines in 1969
08.14.2015
10:16 am
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Bon Scott and Vince Lovegrove of the Valentines
Bon Scott and Vince Lovegrove, co-vocalists of the Valentines
 
The term “bubblegum music” came to be sometime back in the early 1960s with help from Brooklyn music producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz. Known as Super K Productions, the duo helped bring “bubblegum” bands such as the Ohio Express (of “Yummy Yummy Yummy” fame), and Crazy Elephant (“Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’” from 1969) large but short-lived fame. The Australian group, the Valentines—whose lineup included a 23-year-old Bon Scott, also rode the bubblegum music train back in the late ‘60s.
 
The Valentines--Wyn Milson, Bon Scott, Vince Lovegrove, Paddy Beach, John Cooksey
The Valentines (Bon Scott, second from right)
 
The Valentines got together after Scott parted ways with the popular Perth band the Spektors in 1966, and enjoyed a rather successful run down under until they called it quits in 1970. The Valentines kind of had it all—great hair, cool matchy-matchy clothes, and two good-looking vocalists who shared the spotlight in Scott and Vince Lovegrove. Lovegrove, who remained friends with Scott until his death in 1980, would go on to become respected journalist and manager of the Divinyls before passing away in a tragic car accident in 2012.

If you’ve never seen the band performing, then you are in for a treat. The footage of the Valentines performing “Nick Nack Paddy Whack” (a riff on the nursery rhyme “This Old Man”) from the Australian music television show, Hit Scene (below) was shot on July 12th, 1969, just after Scott’s 23rd birthday. And the man who would soon front AC/DC looks like he never stopped celebrating. Whenever the camera catches Scott in action (the one on the left without an instrument, he gets his big close-up at about 01:25), he’s either laughing, hilariously and barely mouthing the words to the song, or is grooving out of time with the music while his massive bell bottom sleeve top flops around. In other words, it is two minutes plus of pure, vintage, must-watch awesomeness.
 

The Valentines performing “Nick Nack Paddy Whack” on the Australian music TV show Hit Scene, July 12th, 1969

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
She’s Got Big Balls: Bon Scott gets in drag for AC/DC’s very first TV appearance, 1975
‘Kenneth, what is the frequency?’ The weird connection between AC/DC and the 1986 Dan Rather assault

Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.14.2015
10:16 am
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She’s Got Big Balls: Bon Scott gets in drag for AC/DC’s very first TV appearance, 1975
09.22.2014
08:59 am
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Bon Scott in drag
 
AC/DC made their first TV appearance with Bon Scott (who replaced originally vocalist Dave Evans) on an Australian charts program called Countdown. The group decided to do the blues standard “Baby, Please Don’t Go,” the b-side of their debut release with Scott, as it was more popular than the a-side of the single. With brand new bassist Mark Evans in tow, the boys were backstage getting ready to go on, but their singer was nowhere to be seen.

With only seconds to go before taking the stage, Bon still hadn’t appeared. When he did, right at the last minute, he was dressed as a schoolgirl, complete with blonde wig, tattoos and a disturbingly short skirt. The band could hardly play for laughing and for Mark Evans it must have been an interesting introduction to what made AC/DC special. The look on (drummer) Phil Rudd’s face said it all. (AC/DC – Uncensored on the Record)

Scott was also sporting earrings, blue eye shadow and rouged up cheeks. It’s quite a performance. The unforgettable footage can be had via AC/DC’s Family Jewels DVD.
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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09.22.2014
08:59 am
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‘Let There Be Rock’: AC/DC live in Paris, 1979
11.09.2012
10:25 am
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image
 
Let There Be Rock is a film version of one of AC/DC’s greatest concerts. Recorded during their Highway to Hell tour, at the Pavillon de Paris, France, on December 9th, 1979, this concert contains a great selection of some of the band’s best known early numbers (“Highway To Hell,” “Let There Be Rock,” “Whole Lotta Rosie”), together with stunning performances from an unstoppable Angus Young (only pausing for some oxygen) on guitar, and blistering vocals from Bon Scott.

Track Listing:


01. “Live Wire”
02. “Shot Down in Flames”
03. “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”
04. “Sin City”
05. Interview
06. “Walk All Over You”
07. Interview
08. “Bad Boy Boogie”
09. “The Jack”
10. Interview
11. “Highway to Hell”
12. “Girls Got Rhythm”
13. “High Voltage”
14. Interview
15. “Whole Lotta Rosie”
16. “Rocker”
17. “Let There Be Rock”

Tragically, 2 months after this concert, Bon Scott died, his body found in the back of car outside a friend’s house in London.  His demise started the version of AC/DC we know today, with former Geordie singer, Brian Johnson on lead vocals.
 

 
With thanks to Miles Goodwin
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.09.2012
10:25 am
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This Charming Man: A delightful interview with David Niven

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I always thought David Niven was Scottish, mainly because this great, charming actor regularly claimed he had been born in the town of Kirriemuir in 1909.

Kirriemuir is known as the birthplace of Peter Pan author, J. M. Barrie, and AC/DC frontman Bon Scott. It is also famed for Walter Burnett’s Kirriemuir gingerbread, which I recall eating in thick buttered slices as a child, thinking this tasty treat was the very stuff Niven must have lived off as a bairn.  Of course it wasn’t and Niven hadn’t been born in Scotland, rather he was a son of London, born in 1910.  Still, it only added to his tremendous style and charm, which made me find him so likable as an actor and raconteur.

That and the fact his films, in particular The Way Ahead, A Matter of Life and Death, The Elusive Pimpernel, Around the World in 80 Days, and Separate Tables were regularly screened on local TV during the sixties and seventies, possibly in the misguided belief Niven was Scottish.

Some of this great charm can be seen here in this brief interview with Sue Lawley, from 1973, where Niven discusses his childhood, pot, alcohol and good luck.
 

 
With thanks to Nellym.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.18.2012
06:27 pm
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AC/DC’s major exhibition ‘Family Jewels’ arrives in Glasgow

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AC/DC’s official exhibition Family Jewels has opened at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, where it will be on show until February 2012. The exhibition will then move on to America.

Its the first time this band approved exhibition has left Australia, and Scotland was considered the most obvious place to bring the show as there are strong links between the country and the legendary band. AC/DC’s founding members Angus and Malcolm Young were born in Glasgow, while the late, great singer, Bon Scott was born in Kirriemuir - also know for its gingerbread.

The exhibition contains over 400 items celebrating 35 years of one of the world’s greatest rock and roll bands. From photographs, programmes, tour posters, tickets plus personal memorabilia, letters, song lyrics to rare stage costumes, including one of Angus Young’s school uniforms and Bon Scott’s last leather jacket. This is all interspersed with 3 hours of live concert footage, video clips, interviews, which all details the history of AC/DC.

This is a major one-off exhibition and a must-see for AC/DC fans as well as for those interested in popular culture. Check details here and pictures here.
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.20.2011
05:21 pm
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