AC/DC: Maximum Rock and Roll - The Ultimate Story of the World's Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band

AC/DC: Maximum Rock and Roll - The Ultimate Story of the World's Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band

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by Murray Engleheart, Arnaud Durieux
     
 

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After more than three decades and 150 million albums, AC/DC has established itself as much more than just a great rock band. For millions of fans spanning several generations across the world, they are an ear-bleedingly loud, sweat-soaked religion.

Now, in a book of astonishing breadth and scope, comes the complete story of AC/DC. Everything you ever wanted to

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Overview

After more than three decades and 150 million albums, AC/DC has established itself as much more than just a great rock band. For millions of fans spanning several generations across the world, they are an ear-bleedingly loud, sweat-soaked religion.

Now, in a book of astonishing breadth and scope, comes the complete story of AC/DC. Everything you ever wanted to know and plenty more you never dreamt of is all here, the ultimate balls-out adventure, laced with sex, drunken escapades, and brawls—topped off with rare intimate photos to create the ultimate portrait of the ultimate rock band.

Editorial Reviews

Billboard (Australia)
“The most authoritative AC/DC book to date.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061133923
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/05/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
605,823
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll
The Ultimate Story of the World�s Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band

Chapter One

With a Glasgow kiss

The crushing mid-1960s summer heat in North Queensland, Australia's last wild frontier and Deep North to America's Deep South, was punishing enough. But the attitude of the locals presented a danger to The Easybeats and their touring partners, The Purple Hearts, that was far greater than heatstroke. No-one liked strangers in these parts, certainly not strangers that looked as they did. Something had to give and in Cairns it did, while Hearts guitarist Barry Lyde, aka Lobby Loyde, waited for a hamburger. An old local who objected to the length of Loyde's hair leapt up and put a knife to his throat. Thankfully, The Easybeats' George Young and Harry Vanda were on hand.

Lobby Loyde: 'George headbutted the prick. He's about two foot tall but, mate, don't get in his road, he's a killer! He just went, "Boof!" and Harry said, "Don't get up!", which he didn't do. Harry could throw a good blow too, I might tell you.'

George's headbutt first, ask questions later approach was an instinctive reaction from his days growing up on the streets of Cranhill, Glasgow.

Cranhill came into being in the '50s when the government decided to forcibly move a mix of people from the tenements of central Glasgow to an area in the east. The housing scheme was based on similar highly successful projects in southern Germany, however on the outskirts of Glasgow it failed spectacularly. The venture became a ticking social time bomb compounded by being out of sight and so out of mind when it came to facilities. By the '60s, razor gangs hademerged on the streets.

It was in this environment that William Young (born 1910) and his wife, Margaret (born 1915), were raising eight children — Steven (1933), Margaret (1936), John (1938), Alex (1939), William (1941), George (1946), Malcolm (1953) and Angus (1955).

Steel production and shipbuilding were the city's key industries, but work was hard to come by, a situation that weighed heavily on William, a spray painter who had been a ground mechanic in the air force during World War II.

Music was an ever-present distraction. Margaret, the revered and only sister among the seven brothers, acted as an evangelist of sorts for all manner of blues, jazz — such as the glorious freewheeling of Louis Armstrong — R&B and the earliest driving rock and roll recordings of Fats Domino, Little Richard and Chuck Berry.

It wasn't long before various members of the family began to play a range of instruments, from guitar, piano and sax to accordion and clarinet. John and Alex picked up the guitar first, while Stevie squeezed the life out of the piano accordion.

In the early '60s, Alex took that grounding into the wider world and secured work in Germany playing saxophone and bass with Tony Sheridan, whose former backing band was a then unknown Beatles.

The decision of Alex to break free with music dramatically increased the daydreams of George, who had shown great promise on the football field. The Youngs were, of course, football fans and supported Glasgow Rangers who, in the '50s, coincidentally boasted a fullback by the name of George Young. In 1961, Rangers became the first Scottish side to reach a European final only to be well beaten, 4-1.

As the '60s progressed, though, the club continued to rack up the trophies on home soil, including winning the Scottish championship and FA Cup in 1964.

By then the Youngs were on the other side of the world, after relocating to Sydney in 1963 on the strength of the Australian Government's £10 immigration package. Maybe in Sydney, Angus, who was eight, could avoid being hit by a car a second time, as he had been in the streets of Cranhill. He made his mark as soon as he arrived, decorating the airport with whatever was in his stomach.

Despite Australia's sun-drenched reputation, it poured rain constantly for six weeks when the family first arrived. To make matters worse, they had to share their basic living quarters in barrack accommodation at the Villawood Migrant Hostel in the city's western suburbs with local snakes and lizards desperate to find somewhere, anywhere that was dry. Everyone was horribly homesick and one night both William and Margaret were reduced to tears. From that moment on, the already strong bonds between the family tightened even further and they were determined to make a success of their move.

William had an additional headache. Apart from the increased employment prospects, he had hoped that the relocation would also act as a circuit breaker on the growing musical career aspirations of some of the family. It was a major if understandable miscalculation. Rock and roll was well established in Australia by the time the Youngs arrived. The switch had been flicked in 1955 with the screening of teen rebellion movie Blackboard Jungle, and its musical soundtrack in the form of Bill Haley and The Comets' Rock Around The Clock transformed normally sedate cinemas into virtual dancehalls. Then came the main players in person.

In January 1957 it was Haley and in October Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Little Richard, while the arrival in Australia of the music of Elvis Presley and a January 1958 tour by Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly and the Crickets slammed shut all the remaining fire exits.

Not content with a typically manic performance, Little Richard also made history. During the flight to Australia, the deeply spiritual singer felt that the plane was being kept in the air by angels. Then when Russia's Sputnik satellite appeared in the night sky over the Sydney Stadium, he believed the sight was a directive from God. In response, he promptly announced his retirement from rock and roll and his entry into a life of religious service. The huge ring he threw into Sydney Harbour the following day in order to demonstrate the level of his faith is still somewhere in the murk.

AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll
The Ultimate Story of the World�s Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band
. Copyright � by Murray Engleheart. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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