Last Friday, I went to a gig. Those of you that know me are aware of how rare an experience this is for me. My wife bought a couple of tickets to see an AC/DC tribute band in a local theatre in the town that I live in. Now, I'm a late comer to AC/DC or The Thunder from Down Under as I like to refer to them. But I need to give you some background.
I started to get into music when I was about eleven. Sure, I liked music that my parents played to my sister and I when we were kids. They played Motown and 70's Glam Rock and early Eighties New Wave and I still love that stuff. I can be a bit of a bore when it comes to music trivia too. If only there was a job where I could just do that....
Anyway, in 1985 Mam and Dad bought me a double cassette called Now That's What I Call Music 6 as a stocking filler for Christmas. The "NOW" compilations are still going in Britain. I think they are on iteration 80 these days. Basically, its 40 pop tracks from the past year. The first track on NOW 6 was Queen's One Vision and I have included it below. If you listen to the first couple of seconds the sound is distorted and when my 12 year old ears heard it I thought I had broken the tape player and didn't play again it till I heard it at a friends house and realised that was how the beginning was supposed to sound. Thus began a life long obsession with Queen and ultimately rock music.
The first single (yes those of you born in the nineties, a 45 rpm vinyl single) I bought was Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard. I remember pelting home from the record shop to my folks house and playing it to my Mam and her sister who looked at me as if I was playing them the sound the devils trumpet makes. I then realised that this was my generations music and decided to annoy my folks with it as often as possible. Bon Jovi followed, then Guns and Roses, Poison and Motley Crue. Basically any band with tight spandex pants and enormous hair. If they were girls too, epic. Remember Vixen anyone? That was the first gig I went to at the age of fifteen. The audience was full to the rafters with boys like me and you could cut the testosterone with a knife. It was awesome.
Later, I discovered The Black Crowes. A friend came over to my place and said "Turn that Poison crap off and listen to this!". The opening bars or Hard to Handle started and hair metal and I parted ways. Those lads are epic and it is still a dream of mine to see them live. Fast forward to 2001 when I met my now wife. We're chatting about music and I'm trying not to stare too much at her magnificent legs, when she says "Do you like AC/DC?" to which I reply "Oh, didn't they do that track Thunderstruck?". She stuck me with a withering look and proceeded to list several albums I needed to listen to if I ever wanted to get near those magnificent legs ever again. I listened dutifully (they are very, very good legs) and became a convert. As a side note, anyone who wants to be in a band should listen to AC/DC. That's five guys in the tightest band ever to play. It's the essence of "bandness". If my son or daughter says to me in later life that they want to be in a band, they must listen to Back in Black and If You Want Blood then decide they want to spend the rest of their musical life trying to attain that level of rock mojo. I have been a musician for twenty years now and I'm not sure I'll ever be that good. It's a labour of love.
Anyway, the AC/DC covers band was fantastic. I have seen AC/DC live at Wembley Stadium about three years ago now and it was biblical. Hells Bells (that was the tribute act) didn't just do a passable impersonation, they were pretty frickin' on the money and rocked the 150 strong crowd at that little theatre hard. Not only did they do 90 minutes of classic AC/DC, they were their own support band! at 8.30pm they came on and did a set of classic rock covers that knocked my socks off. They started with The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again, into Sabbath's Children, then Jump by Van Halen and into some Deep Purple and then Are you Gonna be my Girl by Jet. It was brilliant. All that for 13 quid? Same again next week please.
Live music is where it's at. Get into it.
P.S. Here are some rockers for ya...