AC/DC – BACK IN BLACK
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Sometimes it takes a cover of a great song by a current artist to get a young heart interested in greatness. For instance, Feist’s cover of “Inside and Out” by the Bee Gees, or Destiny’s Child’s cover of “Emotion” by the Bee Gees. So at 13 years old when 3rd wave ska was taking over Detroit, I went to the Beat Hotel in Berkley and picked up American Skathic, a compilation on Jump Up Records. Detroit was repped really well! The Skolars (aka Telegraph), The Suicide Machines, and the Parka Kings! So good! Also on this compilation is “Shook Me All Night Long” recorded by Gangster Fun. I had never listened to AC/DC before, but since I like the song so much, I took the leap out of ska world to take a listen.
AC/DC are just ridiculously good. Loud. Fun. Abrasive. Catchy. My next glimpse of the band was the scene in Empire Records when the manager locks his office and plays drums along with “If You Want Blood You’ve Got It”. Again, such ballsy rock n’ roll! This is when I knew I was definitely a fan.
For any of my old college buddies, one of the most imposing forces in the Columbia College Audio Arts & Acoustics program was one Jack Alexander. He is the head of the Live Sound department and used to run sound for AC/DC tours. When he did reinforcement demos in the live sound suite, he would often crank AC/DC records. I can’t think of the band without being brought back to these intense sessions. I was the only girl in the class of 25. Jack called me “madame”. I’m not sure if it was because I was the only girl or because he didn’t know my name. Regardless, my love of AC/DC was revamped during college and I used to play “Back in Black” as loud as possible in the morning if I’d had friends spend the night. I thought it was a great way to wake people up!
In a recent improv class, a girl casually asked me where AC/DC was from and I quickly responded,”Australia”. Why do I know this shit? How was I so terrible in history classes in high school, but I can remember inane information about a zillion music artists? Maybe it’s because of Pop Up Video or something. If high school teachers turned all classes into game shows and music themed video tutorials, I would most likely be an historian tenured at Harvard as we speak.
Goodbye, Back in Black.