Episode 55: Highway to Hell (AC/DC)

Leah continues Spooky Season with a band that has faced tragedy after tragedy- AC/DC. But, they’re not without their fair share of antics. From Angus almost making his signature costume a Spider-Man knock off to recording on a tropical island, this episode will surely not bore you.

Show Notes and Images

The death of the lead singer. A link to a murderer. Attacks from conservative parents. AC/DC has faced more challenges than most bands, but always come out the other end swinging and kicking ass. In this episode we walk through the Young Brothers origins, early years of the band (this is where Spider-Man makes an appearance), the death of Bon Scott and how the band managed to pull themself out of that tragedy.

Episode Transcription

So when are you having kids? No. No, I bring that up. So I am having to be at work. Oh God. So I had these kids come in with their mom and you know, when kids are, they’re like, I have some Halloween candy, like near my desk for people to get. Cause I like to go all out and, you know, I encourage the kids to get some candy and things like that.

And you know, the kids are just there standing around while the mom does, you know, stuff, stuff, work stuff. And so, you know, you start off conversation with the kid and you just. And I decided to go the dad joke route, which I later regretted. And I just go. Yeah. What grade you in? And she goes bird and I was like, ah, best three years of my life.

Right? Some simple. When I tell you the deaths there, this eight year old, I don’t know how old she has had this eight year old gave me, it scared me almost to my core. And then I looked at her I’m like, that was my dad’s joke. Look at. She thought you were really stupid. Yeah. Like I’m telling you whatever generation, this is generation alpha.

I’m going to tell you right now. They’re scary. Word of advice. They’re not fucking around. They’re scary. Yeah. Anyway, that’s my that’s the only story I have. Uh, kids are scary in case you didn’t know, happy Halloween, happy, happy Halloween. I’m going to go dress up as a kid, a very scary kid. This comes out in the 29th, so that’s appropriate.

Yeah. I’m a fan and I’m Leah, and this is your rock. You

We have no business to discuss. We discussed at all. Uh, we could read a review. It’s been a while since we, oh yeah, we probably should. Let me pull up her review. Is it my turn to read it? Yeah. This is from well disguised, shout out to the guys that will disguise and it says they nail it. These ladies are informative.

Sure. But also just a lot of fun to listen to thoroughly enjoyed the Aerosmith episode. Thank you. Thank you. Well, disguised, I also enjoyed the Aerosmith episode. That was a good one. I still think about that raccoon. He got through the mail. That’s my, as my dream, I want to write pet raccoon. I don’t know how my cats would like that, but I think I would want a pet Fox.

They’re pretty cool. They’re like a cross between a cat and a dog. I follow a like wildlife rehabilitator who has a Fox and a raccoon right now. That’s so what you’re saying is I’ll have a Fox, you have a raccoon, they have play dates. Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. We’re not here to talk about raccoons as much as I would love to.

We just started a podcast. She will raccoon, you know? Oh, well we have one to maintain that’s enough. Oh, we’ll just get you to quiet. The thing media now take our rock history and you do raccoon history, raccoon history. Yeah. It’s a work in progress. We’ll we’ll pitch it later. This is not how I want to introduce my topic.

So, sorry, this is going to be not a segue, but, um, it’s a quote, my Lord and savior, Luke Spiller. Are you ready for some acadeca so, yes, that is. What was formerly my number one stretch show until this last round that I went on. Um, they did an impromptu highway to hell cover, and I got the very, like, I just happened to hit record.

Right. As he was saying that. And every time I hear ACDC now I hear him going acadeca so am I missing something we’re going to get there? Okay. We’re actually gonna talk about why that they call it that. Okay. Um, so this is ACD. If you have not figured that out by the title of this episode, uh, w what’s wrong with you.

Um, and this requires a very heavy trigger warning of, um, this is the most death we’ve ever had an episode. So brace yourself, um, also. This is a wild fucking ride. Like at no point in this episode, get comfy. Are you going to know what’s happening next? I went down, so I got to adjust my blanket, adjust the tortilla, just the tortilla blanket.

Okay. Uh, at no point you’re going to what’s happened next. I went down so much. Rabbit holes. Okay. Cause this is a wild fucking story. So we begin with Angus and Malcolm young, the brothers that are the heart of this band and their father is William. And they live in the crane hill district of Glasgow, Scotland, William dad.

He first worked as a wheel. Boy. Don’t fucking know what that is. Little boy wheel boy wheel boy, and a rope house. Okay. And then he worked as a machine and saw operator. In an, a specified business. No boy. No. Yeah. Um, but in 1940 he joined the Royal air force. He served in world war II as a flight engine mechanic.

He’s really good at fixing things. Um, and after the war, he works as a yard man for a builder. And then does some time as a postman. He marries Margaret she’s a housewife and they have a bunch of fucking kids, um, fast forwarding. So they have eight children. When I say they, a bunch of fucking kids, they bunch of fucking kids in 1963, Malcolm is 10 and Angus is eight and they get packed up and moved from Scotland to Australia.

Ooh, quite the move because there was apparently a big freeze in 1963 that wasn’t the worst record. Worst winters on record in Scotland. Snow was eight feet deep. Ooh, eight feet deep. That is Ooh, three feet taller than I am tall. Yeah. Um, and dad, William saw a TV ad that showed Australia and let like a travel incentive, someone somewhere.

So one got a raise for that, from that campaign? Yes. It was some kind of travel incentive that like offered Scottish families, assisted travel to move to Australia to start a new life. And they were like, fuck this snow we’re moving to Australia. And so the young family packs up 15 members of their family.

So like I’m guessing some great, they only have 10 households. I’m guessing some aunts, uncles, grandparents, two to two grandparents each. Yeah. So 15 members of this family pack up and move to Scotland or start moving out of Scotland to Australia. Malcolm and Angus are the youngest of the eight children.

And as you can imagine, they have no more. Because they have eight children and do dads work in like, as a construction foreman. Um, but they grew up in a household, surrounded by music. Everyone played an instrument they’re jamming all the time. Like they basically shove a guitar in your hands when you’re born and they’re like, go.

Yeah. Um, and they have, they felt that’s too specifically the younger boys Mac would Angus fell in love with classic rock. I went especially crazy. When older brother George joined a band called the easy beats, which actually took off in Australia, like they had a semi-successful run in the U S too, like they had one big hit.

But they idolized George and the easy beats. Yeah. Like, which we don’t see a lot of in our history telling you it’s like, you’re, you’re idolizing Elvis or the stripes they’re idolizing big brother George. Oh, which one was my heart. So they both quit school. They joined separate bands and then they. Do you want to form an Alliance with me?

Yes. Yes. Um, so they joined forces and go on the same band. I love it when they tell their parents that they’re in the same band, their parents were like, we give it a week before you guys break up because being so close in age, being. Yeah. Being the youngest siblings, they fought all the fucking time. Um, and so they did not break up after a week, shockingly to the surprise of their family.

And they’re like, guess we got to give this band the name. And so the name, it comes from their sister Margaret. She saw the initials ACDC on a sewing machine in their house. And if you are not American, you know that the ACDC plug is an abbreviation, which means alternating current direct current electricity.

It’s from different electricity’s. Um, but the boys saw it and they were like, that’s going to be our band name because that symbolizes raw energy and they wanted to have this like crazy hyper high energy band, um, side note. Do you hear in school from other kids that it was for a vacuum cleaner? Cause I always heard us wearing a vacuum cleaner.

The name. Yes. I haven’t heard a damn thing about it. I swear. That was like the, one of the things that you like kids tell each other in elementary school, everyone was like, it came from a vacuum cleaner and it’s always stuck in my head as vacuum cleaner, but it was a sewing machine. Uh, Margaret is really the unsung hero of this.

Because not only did she name the band she’s also responsible for Angus’s iconic school boy outfit? No. Um, so when they start the band, he’s only 18 and she told him, he looked really young. She told him he still looked like a school boy, and he should wear a schoolboy outfit onstage. And she kind of said it as a joke, but it stuck.

And I mean, he’s still doing it now. It’s stuck. Um, before they settled on school, boy though he tried other costumes on stage. Oh my God. Yes. Including Spiderman.

Zorro was a gorilla, a knock-off parody version. Um, Superman, which they named super Ang super. And that’s it. I really wish the Spiderman one stuck, but I could see Marvel having a field day with that and sewing them. So, um, Yeah. Uh, and so there, I don’t know who else is in the band at this point, but in November, 1973, they meet up with the basis.

Larry van Crete. Who’s going to be in the band vocalist, Dave Evans, who is at the time. The lead vocalist. He does not hang around very long. The management of the band hates him. They, the band themselves don’t love him. Yeah. He’s pretty much around for five seconds because, oh, and then there’s a drummer, Collin Burgess.

So not even a year later they fired Dave Evans because no one likes him. They’re just not vibing with. And they hire bought the right match. He’s not, he’s really, really not. So they, they fire Chris, Chris, Dave, see, I remember his name. He’s really not important to the story. And they hire bond Scott as the front guy.

That’s a good name. Yes. His full name. Ronald Bond, Scott. His mom and the VH1 documentary calls him Ronald. And it’s the cutest thing. Um, conveniently, he’s also another Scottish immigrant raised in Australia. So that marketing campaign really must’ve worked some good reach cause there’s a lot of them bond dreamed of being a singer his entire life.

And when he joins this band, they bond like brothers almost immediately. Like he’s, he’s the third young brother in this band, but Bob. Is a wild child. And I mean that to the fullest extent, um, by 1974, when he’s joining the band at like, I think he’s like 20 18 20 at this time, he’s already served jail time for assaulting a cop.

Oh, he’s missing several teeth from getting in fights. And he had just almost died the week before and a motorcycle wreck. This dude’s like an Aussie. Yeah. But I think he’s not an awesome. And Ozzy, he’s an Aussie Aussie, he’s an Aussie Aussie. Um, so yeah, they they’re a little scared of him to be honest.

Yeah, no show, uh, he had joined some local bands before ACDC, but they were too boring for his taste. And so when he met the guys at ACDC, he was like, fuck yeah, you guys. The raw energy, raw energy, unlimited power. Um, the VH1 documentary describes him as a pint-sized wild man with an outstanding voice. And he’s the embodiment of the band’s power and passion.

Um, like I said, he’s. It’s very first gig with the band, like very first live performance. He drinks an entire bottle of bourbon, onstage, not a good plan then does some drugs also not onstage onstage stage. What are we talking about here? DH one just said some drugs. They interviewed Malcolm and Malcolm. I mean, I could see like a Snoop Dogg move and just smoking a blunt.

I don’t think it was just that. Oh, he’s shooting. Okay. I’m going to guess it was cocaine. If I had to guess. It was cocaine not really recommended. Um, and the band was like, bro, the fuck, but he put on a hell of a show and they’re like, all right. Okay. We’ll allow it. Yeah. We’re not going to stop him. Um, Plot twist this doesn’t end well for bone.

I kind of figured, as you can imagine, if you, if you don’t know, I’m not, I will ruin it eventually, but I’m not going to get there yet. Um, so that is in, he joins in September and October of 1974, they record their first studio album. High-voltage which if you heard the American release it’s, it’s not quite the same.

This was an Australian only release because they have like, no fucking. And they recorded the entire album in 10 days, which was possible because, uh, the young brothers had already written a lot of instrumental parts and bond. Scott just wrote lyrics to go on top of it. Yeah. And this did really well. It, it, it made it, wasn’t like.

Charting internationally, but it got them enough popularity. They did a little tour around the club scene in Australia, and then they were like, let’s, let’s play the band lineup a little bit more. And so they fire their current drummer at new drummer, Paul read to the band, um, and he fits in pretty good.

Cause he’s just as crazy as the rest of them. So you’ve just got these. Five fucking insane. They’re looking for people that match their level of like intensity. You need to be at a hundred all the way through. If I can take a guess is not going to end well, because in these situations, it’s the Motley crew, right?

You need the dude who plays bass as the grumpy face. You need mic, you need mic. You need a, you need a grounder to bring you down. And it sounds like they’re not going to have that. They do not choose why I’m predicting. They’re going to get into some trouble. Yes, yes. Okay. Uh, so that spring, they get their first, top 10 hit in Australia, which is a cover of baby.

Please don’t go. But this gets them an appearance on Australian TV or bond dresses and dress. Which was unheard of at the time. Cause this is 1973. Yeah. Cause uh, Freddie hasn’t done it yet. Yes. And because this is Australia, not America. People don’t lose their shit. Looking at you, people who’ve worked out and queen it actually plays to their advantage and add to their bad boy image.

So good for them. And, and like that one TV appearance, they pretty much went over the entire use of Australia. Like they blow up overnight. Uh, side point that is relevant. At this point, they start getting identified with the punk rock movement, which is not a hundred percent accurate. So it’s mainly the British press at the time.

Who’s like new punk rock artist, ACDC, uh, and Angus did not like this. Um, they’re, they’re, they’re really that’s. I wouldn’t put them in there. They didn’t want to be, they, they thought that punk was going to be a passing show. Which it was, they were like, we are a rock and roll band. Get us, leave us out of this label.

Um, their manager started to tell like the press, like it wasn’t even possible to hold a conversation with them about punk without them getting totally pissed off. And like Angus would just walk off if they started asking them about the punk scene, which. It’s hilarious. So in 1976, they get a record deal with Atlantic records to release their music internationally.

And as we know, from the Abbott episode, this is your ticket to making it big. Yes. You get the international distribution to the Americas. You can, you can take over the world. Um, ironic. This made them do really well in the punk scene. I mean, that’s hilarious. It’s because they it’s the raw energy. It is, it is tracks the punks.

It’s also because around this time, Angus starts to gain attention for mooning the audience during their life. And that will do it hundred punks. The love should mooning. England loves some mooning. Um, and they just continued to grow their reputation as the bad boys of rock and roll, which, and this is the 1970s.

There’s like 700 bad boys of rock and roll, but they’re up there. They’re doing bad shit. They released their third studio album, dirty deeds done dirt cheap around this time in 1976. And for the first time ever, they’re able to release an Australian version and an international version at the same time at this point.

They’re they’re done in Australia. Like they’ve lived, they’ve done what they can do. And so they move on to great Britain where they play the, the legendary marquee club and immediately broke the venues all time, house attendance record. Nice. So they didn’t have play in clubs in England for very long. So when they get to England, this is when that iconic ACDC logo, the lightning bolt is born.

Um, They say that it’s separated by Zeus’s own lightening bolt. Hmm. Cute is a little cheesy, but I’ll give it to them. Um, and by the time that they finish up this small club run in England, they are ready to take on American stadium shows. They just jump right in. I mean, if you’re already breaking the marquee, you might as well.

But first. They gotta take a trip back to Britain for a little tourist, black Sabbath. Um, uh, so Bon Scott nausea, Osborne. Oh, oh. As you can imagine, they became really good friends. They’re very similar Ozzy in the Ozzie Ozzie, you have met. Yes. But they’re the only two that get along in the whole band.

Everyone else is like at each other’s throats. Um, geezer Butler actually pulled a knife on Malcolm young. Ooh, well, she tried to play off his was like a silly stage prop knife and it wasn’t a real knife, but, um, yeah, Malcolm always said that it was a real knife and no one’s ever been able to prove that it was a fake knife.

So. Tensions are high. That tour did not last very long. Thankfully. So after that, that small tour with black Sabbath, they come back to America, they are playing, they’re still playing clubs, but they’re like playing the big clubs, like the CBGB and the whiskey. Um, but also playing the Jacksonville Colosseum.

So like, they’re, they’re huge, very, very, very quickly over here, which, you know what this might be the first time a band has ever done. Been hot in America on the show, straight off the bat. Like normally they’re going to slug a little bit some time, but no, everyone loved ACDC in 1977, they released their next album, which was produced by their older brother.

George, do you think is the cutest thing it’s called, let there be rock. Um, and if they weren’t already huge in the U S this is what, this is, what put them there. This makes them a household name. They, it charted around the world. It’s one of their iconic albums. And towards the end of 1977, they changed their lineup yet again and dismissed their basis.

Mark Evans, basically, he got in a fight with Angus and Malcolm and Angus and Malcolm were like, bye-bye, we can replace you. And he’s replaced with cliff Williams on base. The next major breakthrough in their career came on their next album highway to hell. Sure you heard of it. The quintessential ACDC. I don’t think it is actually.

And we’ll get to that. There’s one more that I think is more important, but, um, highway to hell, this highway hall was released in 1979. They got paired with producer mottling on this who he’s, you know, very well known. Very high rated producer. Yeah. And the record label hated this title from the very beginning, like 1979.

Um, so as you can imagine, because 1970. When this record had stores, rumors were started at the band were devil worshipers. There it is. Which let’s be CDC anti-Christ yes. Uh, the devil Christ w we’ll get there. There’s a, there’s a legit acronym that people can put with it. Um, which let’s be honest. This would not be a spooky season episode if we didn’t talk about devil worship about once.

I thought I was going to have them, I episode. And I have some unfortunately did not. Here we are. Don’t worry. Thank you for making it up for us. ACDC has got you covered. Um, but this album meant a lot to the band, so they, they really fought for it to happen. Um, because at this point they’ve been touring for six years straight and this album kind of summed up what it was like on the road for them.

But you know, the nights of highway of, um, high energy. Bonds antics, all of that. And the lyrics get kind of, I don’t want to call them deep cause ACDC doesn’t have the deepest music in the world. Let’s be honest, but they hired a hell, has lyrics that shifted away from the flippant and comical of their previous albums.

Yeah. Towards more of the central rock themes that you think loud, simple pounding, riffs, Groovin music, like they’re just here to party. Yeah. Um, but this album does a little too well. And so what happens? The classic record label puts pressure on them to release a followup album that does just as well.

And so they have to return to. In January of 1980 to record a followup album, it never ends. Well, it does not like this really does not end well. So they’re in London, in January and the, the brothers are in the studio writing and they invite bond to listen to some stuff and he showed up and they noticed how good he looked because he finally had money.

He got all his teeth put back in that he had knocked out in those fights when they first met him. Um, he looked really happy. And they, like, they’re just jamming, they’re playing with stuff. They agree that all this stuff that the boys are writing sounds really good. Um, and they made plans for bond to come back to studio the next week and start laying down vocals.

I think things got pushed because the dates don’t quite line up with them being there in January and this happening on February 19th, but he had not laid down any vocals when this happened. Um, and on the 19th of February, 1980 bond, Scott reportedly passed out in a car on the way back to an apartment with his acquaintance Allister, or they were out drinking and partying and Camden.

Um, his friend, when they got back to his apartment, I noticed that he had was having trouble getting bond out of the back of the car. So he left him in the car overnight to sleep at all. She sees don’t do that. That’s a bad idea. Don’t do that. Yeah. Do not leave your drunk friend in the car because this is what happens.

Um, he went back down the next morning, tried to wake him. He wouldn’t wake up. Um, he calls an ambulance. They rushed into to King’s college hospital where he’s pronounced dead on arrival. Basically what happened is he was so drunk and his alcohol level was so high that he threw up and aspirated to death.

Um, he was only 33 years old and he’d only been in the band for five years. She’s and it’s really, it’s really fucking sad. It is. And that has happened to so many rock people, that exact scenario, maybe not in the car, but like vomited and then yes, it happens a lot. So don’t leave people unattended when they’re drunk.

Yes. Get your friends help. Um, and because the British media. I think I’ve learned from this podcast, British media is worse than American media, which says something because this happened in Britain, it was sensationalized by the British press. It became a running joke, like, oh, the point where they were poking fun of Bon Scott.

Um, and to this day, like the band hates British media. Cause they’ve never forgiven them for how it was. You never make fun of someone’s staff. No, it was, if you watched the doc, the VH1 deck. The headlines were very, very, very nasty. Um, needless to say that next follow-up album that they were being pressured to make, got put on pause because the band is distraught.

This is their brother, like the third sibling that the young brothers had in the band. Um, and they, they kind of toyed with not making music anymore. They were like, it’s just, it’s not the same. What are we going to do? Um, but his parents, Scott Bond, Scott’s parents were really encouraging and went to the band and they were like, you know, he would have wanted you to continue doing this.

Like, you guys have worked so hard, you’re hella famous right now. Like, you can’t quit the top of your game. Like he would’ve wanted you to go on. And so they were like, okay, we have his parents blessing. Like it was going to be weird, but let’s do it. So they start auditioning a new leader. And guess who showed up to the auditions?

Who slave vocalists naughty holder? No, we almost had a timeline do knotty holder. It was one a multiverse that is, I need that. What if episode? Um, he did not win the spot. Obviously the title goes to Brian, John. Who actually had been a bit of a fan boy of the band himself, which is super cute. Yeah. He saw ACDC on a show called rock, goes to college, which was kind of like a live stream type thing of ACDC playing a college, um, somewhere in, I guess the U a UK, I guess.

I don’t even know. I think Brian’s British. I should know this. That’s embarrassing. And when they addition Brian, they were like, I don’t know, we’ll see what this guy has. We’re still not sold on this whole, like bringing the band back thing. But then Brian came into the audition and it was just like a natural fit.

And he was the first one that they had auditioned that could match Bond’s energy without. Pretending to be him. Right. A fun fact about Brian Little Richard is his biggest vocal inspiration. Oh, I love that. I love so they hire him and they’ve pretty much got the album written, so they just go to work on it.

Um, but. They had a lot of reservations going into making this album because they knew they were gonna have to tour it. And they weren’t sure how touring with a new lead singer was going to go and how it would go over with fans. Um, but spoiler fans loved it. I feel like they, if they were true fans of the band, they had to be understanding like you can’t, it’s not like he left on bad graces passed away.

It was a freak acts. Like it just happened. Yeah. Um, so the album that they go back to work on, ends up becoming back in black. Oh, that’s right. I forgot about back in black. The quintessential. I agree with that. I completely forgot that. Yes. I kind of forget about it cause I always think of how it hell.

Yeah. Um, but back in black, which is not only the quintessential ACDC album, but it’s also one of the best-selling albums of all time, which we’ll talk about. So back in black was recorded from mid April to May, 1980 at compass point in The Bahamas, which is a very strange place to record an album and produced by.

And I’m just gonna read you this quote from Brian Johnson, about the recording process. It was hardly any kind of studio we were in these little concrete cells. Comfy mind you, you had a bed and a chair and this big old black lady ran the whole place. Oh. And she was fearsome. She ruined, ruled that place.

The rod of iron. We had to lock the doors out at night because she’d warn us about these Haitians. Who’d come at night and Rob the place. So she brought us all six foot fishing spirits to keep fucking. Which I love that sounds like a high stress environment to record an album. It does. But also a fun time.

Yeah. It could go either way. Yeah. Um, and Brian had a lot of pressure on him because it’s his first time recording an album. Could you imagine this is how it always is recorded at all men, you get a fishing spear. You go to The Bahamas. This is how it goes. Um, also they kept getting interrupted by crabs, coming into the studio.

I love that interruption by thing. They had to throw crabs out several times that were just like, they’d show up and just like be chilling on the floor. And they’re like, dude, we got to get rid of that. I dunno a song about back to black. So I’m going to just sing a highway I’m in a highway to help dammit here.

It’s exactly how it happened. And also it was super fucking humid because it’s The Bahamas. So that’s not good for your sound equipment. Yeah. And it also was really hard. I don’t know. I don’t really know why they did it in The Bahamas because they were working in London previously. Probably they wanted a break.

They had to bring all the shit over there. Yeah. And it got held up in customs, which is why it took longer than it should have. Yeah. It rained like pretty much every day, which is why one of the opening lines of hell’s bells is I’m rolling. Thunder, pouring rain. I’m coming on like a hurricane. My lightning is flashing around cross the sky.

You’re only young, but you’re going to die. Oh, I should’ve mentioned this entire album was written as a tribute to bond Scott. It opens with these very somber church bells on hell’s bells. It talks a lot about. Death. Yeah, but that was their way of processing bond. Scott’s death. Sure. And because they want it to be a tribute to him and they knew they wanted these bells on there.

That was like the hardest part of the album to record. Hell’s bells, the band manager at the time, like got tasked with finding a Foundry, just specifically make the bells that they wanted to record, but they were taking too long. Like seven weeks went by. From the time they commissioned them to the time they were like, okay, we gotta hurry this album along.

And so they were like, we’ll just go record some church bells. But they couldn’t do that because every time they would go to record the church bells, you would hear birds flying away and they didn’t want that in the recording. So eventually they Foundry got their shit together, gave them a bell. They recorded it in New York city and it all was well good.

Then the album was released and it sold 16 million copies. Wow. Which confused everyone, because the band was like, this was kind of just like our personal, like mourning process. We’re just trying to get through life. Glad you guys enjoy it though. Yeah. Hit top five on three continents. Got them their first, top 40 single, but this made a follow-up album even harder because they had two bangers back to back.

That’s hard to follow. So instead of talking about their followup album, let’s derail a bit talk about true crime. Ooh. So I’m, I’m not like true crime obsessed in the way that some people are, but like, I know I enjoy a good, true crime story while, so I have no idea how I fucking miss the fact that ACDC was connected to the night.

Stalker what? Yes. Yes. So here’s the background for those of you unfamiliar with. So Richard Ramirez, the night stalker spent a portion of 1984 and 1985 slipping into windows and through unlocked doors in California, which why the fuck did no one lock their house in the eighties? This is something I have asked so much.

Literally that’s why we much would be prevented if we locked our fucking doors. So no serial killers now. Cause we lock her damn doors. Anyway, that’s it. We solved. It just goes on like, God damn it. Another one, millennials killing the killer serial killer industry.

Anyway. So he would slip in through these unlocked doors. He would murder people. Um, and he was dubbed the night stalker because no one could find this guy. Like he. He basically was like a ghost. He would slip into a house, kill somebody and then slip out. But then on March 17th, 1985, he messes up and he actually leaves behind an ACD.

And this garage, um, that’s going to have some DNA in it, isn’t it? No, we’re not quite there yet to DNA testing, but the police are able to start using this it’s about a profile. So they start questioning people. If they knew anyone who wore ACDC emergency. Um, which starts to profile people who wear ACDC merchandise as like Satan worshipers and murderers, but, you know, whatever.

Yeah. Um, it actually is one of the clues that led to Richard Ramirez being identified because his childhood friend said that he was a huge fan of ACDC and probably had a hat. So that’s how they found him. I don’t think it’s the exact, you know, it just takes once hero killer, and then all of a sudden, an all rock.

Yeah, way to go, dude. Um, so Richard Ramirez gets sentenced to death row in California, connected to 13 killings, but this does some damage to the band’s reputation, which is not fair. It is not, it’s really shitty. They had nothing to do with this. I’m starting to rumor Ted Bundy liked. It’s a band. I don’t like limp, Bizkit, Ted Bundy.

Did you know that Ted Bundy lights, whenever he wrote the song, uh, with the chainsaw Ted Bundy, Ted Bundy, it was what started it from, oh, and this, as you will see, this is not the first hit on the reputation or not the last hit. It is the first day. Um, and when the band finds out that like, this is how they kind of solved the case, they’re like, I thought it was a joke at first.

This is crazy. Why are we connected to this? We had nothing to do with this. Um, and then it comes out that Richard Ramirez is a Satanist c’mon so that doesn’t help things come on. That’s not fair. And then he starts telling people that he was inspired by the ACDC song night. From highway to hell, which is hilarious because the song is not about murder.

It’s about sneaking out to go sleep, go hang out in your girlfriend’s bedroom. Yeah. So like somebody needed to learn context. Yes. So he just wanted to blame somebody for his murders. Yeah. It hurts the band because they, you know, the parents see it on the news and they’re like this devil music is making this man go murder.

You’re not allowed to listen to this dah, dah, dah. So things get worse. Don’t worry. Rumors start to circulate that ACDC were devil worshipers because I mean, they do have songs like highway to hell and hell’s bells. Yeah. Um, and then people started to say that AC DC stood for antichrist devil’s children.

Ah devil’s child, which horrified the band. They’re like. The names for rent electric current. We don’t know why you’re doing this to us. Yeah. Gosh, I hate the satanic panic time. It gets all so much because it was so much damage was done to people’s lives for no fucking reason other than people were scared.

No fucking reason. It was Salem witch trials, 2.0, yes. And things do get really bad for the band. Um, so in the book, ACDC uncensored on the record. They is, they talk about how some hotel chains refuse to house them similar boycotts and calls for cancellation threatened their tour dates. Um, the only show that the band canceled was in Costa Mesa in California because local radio stations around the city of Costa Mesa were pressured not to play music from the band.

So like it just, things were not going good for them in California. And a bunch of record stores across the country would put up notices telling customers not to buy ACDC new album, which is shitty. Cause you’re stocking the album. Yeah. But whatever. Or they wouldn’t stock the album and sent all the copies of how it held back.

Geez. Don’t worry. Things get worse. How could it get worse than that? Because enter the filthy. Okay, which we’ve not talked about on the show, but I did a tick talk about once on our tick-tock. Um, but I have more than 60 seconds here, so we’re going to go into it. So in 1885, A great time in America, 18 85, 19 80.

Why the fuck does it say 18 85, 9, 19 85. A great time in America. You know, we’re really concerned about Mo or religious morality as a country. So someone, a bunch of senators and their wives, including tipper gore, make a committee known as the parents music resource center core is a deadhead along with Al gore.

Well, just to let you know, she’s living a double standard over here, cause you’re about to hear what. It is because of them that we now have ratings that explicit content warnings on things, but they’re tasked with making a playlist of the most offensive music at the time, which first of, I think it’s fucking hilarious, dude.

Okay. Someone needs to make that Spotify playlist. Oh, you can find it. I’m sure. Good. Um, so obviously Madonna and prince make this list, but also venom and merciful fate make this list. Um, they call the list, the filthy 15, and it was an example of how the parents music resource center thought that album should be rated.

They really wanted to do something similar to the motion picture association, but they couldn’t quite do PG and R and they couldn’t follow the same rules. Yeah. Um, and so they come up with. The ratings of X for profane and sexually explicit lyrics. Oh, for a cult references, da for lyrics about drugs and alcohol and V for violent content.

Which can you imagine if we had stuck with this rating system? Geez, I, I don’t understand. Um, but ultimately they were like, that’s too many labels. We can’t do that. So they just set it on parental advisory, explicit lyrics. Um, And this, this obviously riled up the musical community. Like it became such a talking point that they had a special congressional hearing in which I don’t know, actually know if it’s congressional, but they had a special chamber of commerce hearing on the contents of music and lyrics of records at which Frank Zappa, John Denver and twisted sisters, DC.

First off quite quite the crew that shows up to this. Yeah. Um, but they were, I mean, this is their livelihood and they were, they were worried that if you put an explicit label content on an album stores, wouldn’t carry it, which became true. I didn’t know this, but Walmart didn’t carry explicit music for a long time.

I mean, obviously it came back in our lifetime. Cause I remember seeing them there. But yeah. I mean, if your albums not in Walmart, like that makes it really hard to find. It’s basically putting a Scarlet letter. Yeah. You know, and that’s not fair to the artist, like. It’s not fair. No. So like I said, they made the filthy 15 of course ACDC gets onto, of course, because they’re the hot ticket item at the time.

Prince’s song was the one that started at all. Yes. Darlene, Nikki. Um, this ACDC gets on there for, let me put my love into you. As you can imagine. He, he, he, he, he, it got there for its sexual references. Um, when Angus young was interviewed about this, cause obviously they were like, let’s talk about you being on the filthy 15, uh, and this, the band and.

That they were on there. Their reputation’s already taken a hit. And he said, people who want to strangle other people’s rights are possessed by one of the worst devils around the Satan in their soul, which is called intolerance. Ooh, rock and roll is about one simple thing. Freedom. And when someone tries to murder them, We’re against it.

Excellent, excellent. Quote, slow clap. Um, and the, the tax like this, just keep coming into the late eighties, but ACDC, despite having the entire conservative Christian culture attacking them, kind of just says, fuck the haters and ignored them and continued to release a string of three gold records. Good for them.

So good for them. And they went on a tour. Attendance was not hurt at all. Yeah. But despite the outward fucker, attitude, this really started to eat at Malcolm. Like he, didn’t not want to be associated with this devil worshiping. Right. Like why would you, yeah. Like you don’t want go into, we make jokes about it all the time, but I’m not a devil worshiper, you know, like.

Uh, especially with the media is coming at you every single day. You’re on a national list that basically says you’re a shitty artist because you have sexual references in your songs. It starts to, it starts eating you. And so he starts to drink a lot. Oh no. He says that it pretty much, he felt like Dr.

Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, he would keep it together just long enough to perform on stage. But the second he would come off, he would fall apart and he eventually. You got to admire this man strength. Cause he eventually went to Angus and said, dude, I have got to take a break or I’m going to end up dead. Yeah. And so yeah.

Yeah. We don’t normally see that either. Like I think he might be our first like self-aware artist. Yeah. Normally, I mean, it’s good for him that he recognized like I’m on a bad path. Yes. So they actually recruit their nephew Stevie to fill in. Well, he went to rehab and he did eventually get sober with the help of alcoholics anonymous for him.

In 1990, they released their 12th studio album. We’re jumping ahead a bit. There’s, there’s a lot to cover here. It’s called Razor’s edge. And I really only put this in here because that includes the album that thunder struck is from. And I didn’t realize that thunder struck wasn’t around until 1990. It feels very wrong, feels very out of place.

Um, but the album did go multi-platinum and top 10 in the U S if things were not bad enough, In the history of this band, like they could, they could literally have nothing else happen to them and they would have had enough mishaps in their career. Yeah. But don’t worry. They get, they get some more on a why he keeps saying, don’t worry.

You should be worrying. Um, on January 8th, 1991, they’re playing a concert in salt lake. And things go south very quickly. The venue is general admission, not assigned seating, and they let everyone in at one time. And so when they opened these doors, 1300 fans rushed to their seats and three fans are trampled to death in this process.

She’s first off, I don’t understand how people were stampeding that fast. They tripled three people and it’s not a huge venue, like 1300. It’s not a stadium. No, but yeah. So three fans get trampled to death and originally, before they hit the stage, the band is only told about one death. They’re told one fan died, but you know, things are tense out there.

We know that you’re taking it hard. Like the band did not want to play. They, they were all like pretty much crying backstage. Cause this is their worst nightmare. But management was like, you need to go on and play or things are going to get really bad. They’re going to riot like. I’m sorry, what you need to go on.

Um, and then they told them about the other two when they got off. And they were like, if you had, if you had just told us the truth in the beginning, we wouldn’t have done that because that makes us look really shitty. Yeah. And the media did use it to make them look really shitty. Yeah. They the media, the next day starts putting out headlines, such as band played on while kids died with a photograph of Brian Johnson, smiling upon stage.

Um, and it, it, the band takes it really hard. And to this day, Malcolm or to the day that the VH1 documentary was filmed, Malcolm will not talk about it. Like he just shuts down. If you ask him about that salt lake city show. And to just rub the salt into the wound. Um, the families of these teenagers who did die, sued the band because they were like, it’s a wrongful death claim.

Um, but the courts ultimately agree that it was not, the band was let free of all charges. It was just a freak accident. Like yeah, the band, the band had nothing to do with it. They were backstage at the time. Like. It was really the S the theaters, Paul. Yeah. It sounds like they had a really shitty thing.

Bossy. Yeah. It’s not anything to do with the band, but I just feel so bad for them because like I said, their surroundings really are just like trying to just make music, make music they love, and it’s just, they keep getting hit with all these unfair. Yeah. And they’re just trying to five. Yeah. Um, but they do get a little bit of a pick me up in September, 1981.

Because Russian president, Boris Yeltsin invites them to headline a free concert for young Russians who had helped to block a communist coup well, that’s nice. The show was supposed to be in the red square, but so many people showed up. They had to move it to an airstrip outside of Moscow. 1 million Russian showed up for this show.

Holy hell, which is the footage is super cool because a former Soviet air base. And there’s just people that’s crazy as far as you can see. And they actually credit this show for giving them a lot of hope going into the 1990s, the rest of the 1990s. So nice. Just like having a breath of fresh air for a lot of loss and being beaten up by the media and all of that, that stuff.

And now for my favorite sidebar of this entire presentation in 1994, Pacific GameWorks created a proposal for a video game project for the Atari Jaguar tiled ACDC defenders of metal. Yes. Which this game does not end up happening. And let me tell you. There are a bunch of idiots for not making this game.

I can not find any information about this video game, except for on a message board from 2003. That’s where you find it. It’s in way back machine. That’s how like archived this is, but I found it this person, I guess they worked for this company and somehow had located the promo docs. Yeah. And because it’s from 2003, I couldn’t download the docs because links are broken, but he had copy pasted.

Pieces of promo docs. And I just need to read you this exercise. You guys thought the journey video game was good. Yeah, this is better. I need this in my life. ACDC for Jaguar will be a hard rocking, sometimes humorous, but never frivolous battle for musical supremity in which the band together, or as individually.

We’ll fight its way up through various levels of musical opposition in various venues, the entire adventure we presented in the context of a holy crusade in which the band was meet and vanquish the best and worst at each genre. Yes. Disco, rap, pop, pseudo. Country, jazz, oldies, classical and use Zack in order to establish their undisputed supremacy.

I love this. An example of a level might include removing their way through hordes of leisure suited, travel to lookalikes, battling their way through stage door security, getting past an army of roadies, and finally. Facing the BGS and big diamond summer. God, I love it. And I want it. I can’t even read this seriously anymore.

And finally facing the BGS and big Donna summer in mortal combat? No. Okay. I just hear like Jack Black. The characters of this, just Jack Black, doing different voices. Finally, this is a project which perhaps above all others screams to be made proceeding. Rob ACDC is after all music. A cool action back action game back to the rampaging window, busting soundtrack and stand for the ACDC logo has all the makings of a hit let’s crank it.

I love it. And I’m very upset because some indie gamer go ahead and take care of those for us, please. Like that’s a genius idea. Play the shit out of that. Yes. I need that for Nintendo switch a hundred percent Toby Fox from Undertale. Get on it. Yes. That’s your next project, but yeah, that’s, that’s we’ve this is at least the third video game I’ve covered.

Yeah. Best of the three really sad at Atari did not get on that. That’s a shame. That’s an extra really shame. Skipping forward to the 2010s because we’re going a little long here. We’re reaching the end. Um, I just think this is hilarious. ACDC is the responsible entity for the iron man to soundtrack. Like if you go to ACDC discography, there’s iron man to soundtrack.

Oh yeah. That’s fair. That’s true because that’s it. I think it’s hilarious. The entire soundtrack belongs there’s score, obviously that’s separate, but yeah. That’s it I’ll just say CDC. Um, and then in 20 2010s things get messy for them again, like they’ve been riding good for almost 20 years here. Yeah.

Putting it behind them. Yeah. They, no one, no one has like been caught a Satan worshiper. No one has died. Yeah. But then. Things start to happen. So in 2014, uh, rumors start to circulate that Malcolm young is sick and that the group is disbanding and they, they, they don’t confirm these rumors. They don’t deny them either.

So Brian in an interview says, we’re definitely getting together in may in Vancouver, we’re going to pick up guitars. We’re going to have a plunk and see if anybody has any great tunes or ideas. And if anything happens, we’ll record it. But then in September of 2014 management confirms that Malcolm has officially departed from the band citing that he’s been diagnosed with dementia and admitted to a nursing home, or we give her full-time care.

That’s so sad. A source close to them was quoted in this article saying that he had completely lost his short-term memory. Oh, I hate that. Yeah. So it actually, um, they, they. Malcolm retires. They replaced him with Stevie who had filled in when Malcolm went to rehab, they do record a new album. Um, unfortunately Malcolm’s last show with the band was, was years prior because they had been taking a break.

It was in June, 2010 in Spain, and he did pass away in 2017 at the age of 64 after his battle with dementia. That’s so sad, which is really sad. Um, they’d so young, too, super young. They did replace him permanently with Stevie nephew, Stevie. Gotcha. Um, so all that’s happening, Malcolm’s out of pictures, TVs, and also in 2014, remember Phil Rudd.

We mentioned him, the drummer, he came in late. He releases his first solo album. It’s called head job. And he’s like, yeah, we’re going to go on tour. I have no intention of retiring. We’re gonna make this work. But then in November, He’s charged with attempting to murder, threatening, to kill possession of methamphetamines, possession of cannabis, all following a police right on his home.

So I guess he threatened to kill his former assistant. Y he’s in jail now. Well, why are you wasting your time at 60 some with that junk? He, I don’t know when he did it, but, um, he did plead guilty to all the drug charges and threatened to kill his assistant and pretty much the next day they took him off the website and replaced him with Chris Slade.

Wow. I don’t know where he came from, but to this day, he’s, he’s the drummer, uh, in March, 2016, they announced. The final 10 days of the rocker bus world tour, we need to be rescheduled because Brian Johnson’s doctors had ordered him to stop touring immediately because his hearing loss had accelerated so much that he risked complete deafness.

If he kept touring, he later had to come out and interview and say that. His hearing loss was not from performing with the band for 36 years, but rather from his love of auto racing and having to forget, he frequently forgot to put on earplugs. Yeah. That we’ll do it. One specific race ruptured his left ear drums.

Oh, those things are loud. Yeah. They’re really fun. I mean, as you remember, this is drag race. It is, it literally shakes the ground. Yes. How loud it is, where your hearing protection. But it sucks when you can’t do your job because of your hobby. Yeah. But, um, He had to come out and make a statement that he was no longer able to tour, but he was doing treatment and hope to return.

One day, he specifically thanked Angus young and cliff Williams for their support. And he kind of retired for a little bit. Um, at the time his last show was in the February, 2016 in Kansas. And the band doesn’t really want to quit, even though they don’t have Brian anymore. So they add Axl rose as their new lead singer for the rest of their 2016 tour dates.

I don’t know how I feel about that. I, again, well, we’ll get to this eventually, but Axl rose was a shitty person, so whatever, I guess it was 2016, but yeah, I don’t like that. Um, so things aren’t looking really great for the future of the band at this point. Malcolm was dead. Weren’t they going to release, release some music we’re getting there.

Oh, sorry. Malcolm’s dead. Drummer is in jail and Brian can’t sing because he can’t hear. And then things kind of go dark. They finished the 2016 tour with, with, uh, axle it’s I’m assuming it was fine. I don’t really know. Um, and things go dark for four years. Like we don’t hear much about the side. The occasional it’s the 50th anniversary of this album.

It’s the 40th like nothing, but on 28th of September, 2020 ACDC updates, their social media with just an illuminating neon lightning bolt and the band’s logo, which fucking broke the internet that day. Let me tell you this. Yeah, it was crazy. It was like peak pandemic sadness. When we were on a then ACDC coming out with new music.

They were like tomorrow, our new single, and we’re like, what the fuck? This immediately started rumors of they’re coming back. They’re going to do a tour. I don’t know why tour rumors are circulating and September, 2020, but whatever. We needed something to look forward to. And the next day, everything was updated to a new online store.

Teasing the name power up, which was very quickly learned to be the new album on September 30th. They confirmed the return of Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd. Guess he’s out of jail and cliff Williams, the band alongside Angus and Stevie young on October 1st, 2020. They released their new single shot in the dark.

Which is great. And November, they dropped their new studio album power up. And just in the way that back in black was dedicated to Bon Scott, this album is dedicated to Malcolm yellow. That’s sweet. Well, should I do it is really sad, but I do love the parallel there. Yeah. Um, so that is the history of ACDC that was good to touch on there.

Their musical style and legacy they’ve often referred to themselves as a rock and roll band. Nothing. Nothing, nothing less. I appreciate not punk, not punk. Do not call them that they do get a lot of criticism for being simplistic, monotonous, lowbrow, and sexist. Yes. Their music is simple. Yes. At all. It doesn’t sound the same, but does sound really similar?

But I don’t have a problem with that. If you have a sound and you stick to it. Cool. Like that just makes your music recognizable and synchronous with you. As far as the sexist comments, um, Angus and an interview called the band pranksters more than nothing else. Like they’re not, we’re not out here trying to be overly macho.

We take the mute. Like the actual music far more seriously than we take the lyrics. Most of our lyrics are just throw away lines. Like they don’t mean anything. Like I said, they’re not out here writing the deepest lyrics you’ve ever heard in your life. Um, we are not named three songs. We’re not going to sit here and talk about sexism.

The rest of the night. Cause I don’t have time, but I did get a little conflicted with this because I have always loved ACDC. And so I found this expert, her book and what it’s called under my thumb songs that hate women and the woman who loved them and author Fiona Sturges writes an essay for this book about ACDC and she acknowledges that she’s a feminist.

And that the band’s music is problematic for her. Um, and she believes that it would be daft as opposed to damaging for Fe female listeners. If they can understand the band to be a bunch of archly sex, obsessed idiots with sharp dunes and some seriously killer riffs. Um, but she also points out that some of their songs such as whole lot of rosy and you shouldn’t be on Nightline.

How female characters in them that are having a good time and are in the driving seat of the sexual encounter. So like, yes, they’re sexist, but they, they kind of tried that out a little bit. Yeah. It’s, you know, sexism has always been in the industry, but there’s always been waning spectrums of it. Yeah.

They’re not the worst offenders I’ll give you exactly. And that’s what, you know, it’s still not right. We still can acknowledge. It’s not right. And this is not me trying to paint a rosy picture of. But like you said, they’re not the worst offenders of it. And hopefully they’ll just come to realization that, Hey, that was wrong because there’s a lot of other, other artists that truly do hate women.

And you hear it come through where these lyrics are more, just like a boy. Yeah. They’re not, and it’s not like it’s still not right. But that’s part of the culture of that time of the boys club. The beautiful thing is learning to evolve past that. And looking back of the bands that we’ve discussed, they are not, they’re not the worst offenders and I don’t think they, I truly don’t think they meant any harm by it.

Not until I give them an excuse, but I don’t think they meant it the way that people in 2021. Sure. Want to interpret it. Um, they obviously are one of the most influential bands on like our generations creations. Um, 2003, they were inducted to the rock and roll hall of fame. They were, I guess, this. Um, Brian on, oh, I forgot his name.

Wasn’t able to perform. So guest vocals were provided by Steven Tyler of Arizona, which love him. Yeah. Unlike Axl, rose. Glad that didn’t get axle. Yeah. And then here’s just two random facts that I just really needed to include in here. In 2000, there is a municipality. Near Madrid named Lygon. I don’t know how to pronounce that.

I’m sorry. They named a street, uh, call de ACDC, which is ACDC street. And knock on Angus went, attended the inauguration, but later that very same day the plaque got stolen. And they reckon that it was a collector or some really enthusiastic fan. And I guess they had a backup plaque because they replaced it two hours later.

Well, that’s nice. And then three days later it was stolen and they put a new one up and it was stolen. So the moral of the story is stop putting up plaque. No, the moral of the story is the government started selling replicas of the street plaque next to the original street. So they love that ingenuity.

Um, and then the final factor I will give you is in 2009, the recording industry association of America upgraded the group’s us sales figure from 69 million. Nice to 71 million making ACDC the fifth bestselling band in the U S history, selling more albums than Madonna and Mariah Carey. The RAA also certified back in black as doubled diamond, which is 20 million in us sales that’s units, not dollars.

And by 2007, the album had sold 22 million copies, which makes it single-handedly the fifth best selling album of all time in the U S and that is the chaotic history of ACDC acadeca acadeca. I really appreciate how much spookiness was in that episode. It’s a lot of weird shit. Oh, I never explained the acadeca thing.

Uh, I guess in Australia and Britain specifically, that was just what they called them. They didn’t say at ACDC, like we did it got like colloquial colloquial realized I don’t want to be acadeca and it was just like a thing. I think it was funny. Mostly Australian audience. Yeah, which it sounds Australian.

Um, but yeah, but now I always want to call them acadeca because of Luke. How about that? Where are you drinking? I’m drinking a October Fest by founders. It’s not great. I don’t like it. I have nothing nice to say about it. I like Hannah’s pretty. I liked it. I liked it more than a mine threw mine away after three sips.

Yeah. I don’t, I didn’t love it.

thank you for listening. You can leave us a review on apple podcast or good pods. Special. Thanks to death of fond for intro riff, you can visit our website as she will rock you.com there you’ll find our social information, our show. Where you can contact us and our merch, please buy merge. We made a cute just for you.

Other than that, don’t do drugs, some drugs.

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