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Power Up

There’s a new AC/DC record out today. It’s called “Power Up” and because it sounds like every other AC/DC record that means it kicks ass and is pretty much exactly what the world needs right now. They are the freight train that always runs on-time.

My friend Alan Stout shared a great Angus Young quote with me today..

“People say we’ve made 11 records and they all sound the same. That’s not true at all. We’ve made 12 records that all sound the same.”

For those about to rock, they’ve been saluting you for 47 years. Malcolm is gone but the crunch has stayed in the family. Stevie Young fills the enormous shoes of his uncle. All the songs are credited to Malcolm and Angus (according to Angus the vaults are overflowing with riffs and song ideas over the years, so don’t expect this record to be their last), and it’s great to hear Brian Johnson’s ageless howl again. All the songs are about whatever it is AC/DC songs are about, mostly sex and Satan, sometimes both at the same time. The lyrics remain absolutely, ridiculously un-woke…

You got a long night comin’
And a long night pumpin’
You got the right position
The heat of transmission

…but Johnson screeches with such a lascivious leer that he could make Shakespeare sound filthy. And I only know the above couplets because I googled them. So, what lyrics? Don’t bore us, get to the chorus. There’s enough monster riffs here to keep guitar teachers busy for months.

No drum fills or ballads allowed. One of my favorite records of theirs was the last one, “Rock or Bust”, and on first few listens “Power Up” is keeping up. This band is so reliable it’s goofy.

I remember being in 8th grade and desperately wanting to impress this girl. Her birthday was coming up. So of course I bought her “Back in Black” on cassette, because that’s just what you did back then. And for about a week she liked me. You don’t forget bands like that.

Of course I also bought a copy for myself, which is what you did back then too. The thing sold a kerbillion copies. Everybody was buying it for their girl and themselves. If a girl didn’t like AC/DC, she wasn’t worth your 14 year old time. And if she liked them then, you know she still likes them now.

I remember this crazy YouTube thing posted by some whacked out fans who traveled to Australia to find out where Angus lived. They were gonna knock on his door and tell him just how awesome he was…..and found his house super easy…..a low-key ranch in a suburb in Sydney or something….no mansion….no fences….no security. Neighbors had told these guys that Angus kept up a pretty regular schedule….heading to the corner store for cigarettes at the same time every day and stuff like that. They were terrified that it was this easy….and eventually got up the nerve to knock on the front door, and of course Angus answered, and besides being a bit perplexed that these lunatics flew halfway around the world to say hello, he was about as chill as a guy could be. Seeing this was about as cool as hearing “Whole Lotta Rosie” for the first time.

And speaking of, I had no idea Bon Scott was dropping Rosie’s measurements in that song until way later….but I did manage to twist my virgin guitar fingers into an approximation of that killer riff, and when that happened it was like the parting of the red sea. Press on son, press on. And I did. And I still am. (Years ago I wrote that if Tipper Gore could put a parental warning sticker on a riff, it would be from “Whole Lotta Rosie”)

I have no idea how much longer these guys can keep this up. I mean…..Angus is 65 years old and still wearing his school boy uniform and devil horns, and Brian Johnson is almost deaf. Early-onset dementia stole Malcolm. Their drummer pleaded guilty in 2015 and served 8 months for threatening to kill a former employee. There’s lots to think about, clearly. Normally they’d be taking this record around the world on tour, but Covid ain’t going anywhere. No telling how many folks are knocking on Angus’s door these days. Like everybody else, they know he’s home.

But it’s 2020. And we need something that doesn’t suck. We need this record, and this band.

Thank you boys…

In a bit..


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Bryan Fishkind
    November 13, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Great story! I’m not even that much of an AC/DC fan, but I am becoming one of yours! Thanks.

  2. November 13, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Bryan thank you!

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