High Voltage Productions, LLC., a Charleston, South Carolina-based film production company attempting to finally bring a docudrama to life about late Australian vocalist, Bon Scott, is on the receiving end of threats of legal action by powerful law firms in New York City and Sydney, Australia. The firms represent the band, their production and branding companies, and the Estate of the late singer, respectively. They are attempting to block the much anticipated and widely publicised production that was last reported being given serious consideration by NBC Universal’s international division in London, UK. This controversy comes as AC/DC marks its 40th anniversary this year some thirty three years after the tragic death of Scott.
Former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans talked to The Australian and in the new book The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, reveals that the band nearly fired Bon Scott after overdosing on heroin in Melbourne in 1975. Evans said AC/DC’s founding members Angus and Malcolm Young, who were anti-drugs, took a dim view of their iconic frontman overdosing on heroin in Melbourne in 1975.
“There were some doubts about Bon at that stage,” Evans said. “He’d had a problem or he’d had an OD very early on. It was just a dabble . . . Bon just made a bad decision. It was only one bad decision. From what I was led to believe and came to believe, it was a very, very isolated incident. I never saw any evidence of anything remotely like heavy drugs (when I was in AC/DC).”
With sales of over 200 million albums, AC/DC is not just the biggest rock band in the world. It’s a family business built by three brothers: George, Malcolm and Angus Young. And, as with any business, some people prospered while others got hurt along the way.
The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC is unlike any AC/DC book you’ve read before. The 320-page paperback is less a biography, more a critical appreciation, it tells the story of the trio through 11 classic songs and reveals some of the personal and creative secrets that went into their making.
Important figures from AC/DC’s long way to the top open up for the very first time, while unsung heroes behind the band’s success are given the credit they are due.
Accepted accounts of events are challenged while sensational new details emerge to cast a whole new light on the band’s history – especially their early years with Atlantic Records in the United States.
Former AC/DC members and musicians from bands such as GUNS N’ ROSES, DROPKICK MURPHYS, AIRBOURNE and ROSE TATTOO also give their perspectives on the Youngs’ brand of magic.
Their music has never pulled its punches. Neither does The Youngs.
After 40 years, AC/DC might just have got the serious book it deserves.
Rock & Metal Chronicles is the first volume in a series of books detailing some of the most popular and revered albums in the entire annals of rock and metal. Featuring extensive reviews of albums by such hard rock and metal titans as AC/DC, JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH, MOTÖRHEAD and ROB ZOMBIE, rock writer Neil Daniels offers a handy 390-page reference guide for the rock fan.
Neil Daniels is the author of over a dozen books on rock and metal, including acclaimed biographies of Judas Priest, METALLICA, AC/DC and IRON MAIDEN. He has written extensively about rock for such publications as Powerplay, Rock Sound, Fireworks and Record Collector. He has also written sleeve notes for a number of albums by such artists as Al Atkins, Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, Gentle Giant, Lake and Wet Willie.
According to Reuters, AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson will make a guest appearance on “The Last Ship”, a soundtrack primarily featuring Sting for a Broadway production of the same name.
“The Last Ship” explores the central themes of homecoming and self-discovery, drawing upon Sting‘s memories of growing up in the shadow of the Swan Hunters Shipyard in Wallsend. His personal reminiscences illuminate universal truths — the complexity of relationships, the passage of time and the importance of family and community — to form an affecting, complex parable for our modern times.
The play, in which Sting has been creatively immersed for nearly three years, debuts on Broadway in 2014 and is a collaboration with Tony Award winners Joe Mantello (director; “Wicked”, “Other Desert Cities”), John Logan (writer; “Red”, “Skyfall”) and Brian Yorkey (writer; “Next to Normal”). “The Last Ship” tells the story of the demise of the shipbuilding industry in 1980s Newcastle which had, for so long, shaped and overshadowed the city, its development, and its community.
Due on September 24, “The Last Ship” album is produced by Rob Mathes (Sting, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Lou Reed, Carly Simon) and engineered and mixed by Donal Hodgson. It will be available as both a digital and physical release in two configurations — a 12-song version and a 2-disc deluxe version featuring 5 additional tracks. (The 12-song version will also be available on vinyl.) A super deluxe edition, containing 2-discs comprised of 20 tracks within special packaging, will also be sold as a physical product exclusively at Amazon.com. AmazonMP3 will be the exclusive retailer for the 20-track, super deluxe digital edition.
AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson will be profiled on tonight’s (Saturday, June 1) episode of the “Rock Icon” series on the British art-oriented channel Sky Arts 1 HD at 8 p.m. U.K. time.
A description of the program reads as follows: “Johnson is profiled in this documentary special by former MP and heavy metal rock fan Louise Mensch (wife of METALLICA, Jimmy Page manager Peter Mensch). As well documented, Johnson stepped into the shoes of original frontman Bon Scott after his untimely death in 1980. Since then he took the band to even greater heights with hit albums ‘Back In Black’ and ‘For Those About To Rock We Salute You’. Now living the life of luxury, Louise meets one of her girlhood idols uncovering the man behind the metal and finding out what makes him tick. She’ll also be discovering exactly what is is about this seemingly immortal genre of music that is so special.”
According to The Pulse Of Radio, AC/DC has officially given its endorsement to a campaign to get a statue of late lead singer Bon Scott erected in his hometown of Kirriemuir, Scotland. The band posted an item about the project on its official web site and pointed to the site of DD8 Music, organizers of the campaign, where fans can donate to the project’s fundraising drive.
The project needs to raise 50,000 pounds, or $75,000, by June 5 to move forward, and is about a third of the way there. DD8 Music has launched a Kickstarter account to raise the necessary funds.
DD8 Music‘s Graham Calloway said he didn’t speak with anyone from the band before they promoted the campaign on their website.
Guitarist Malcolm Young told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that Scott‘s spirit has always stayed with the group. “He’s always there,” he said. “He never left the band. That’s just the way that we are. You know, we’re very tight as a unit. It’s the reality of it all. You just never forget. There’s so many stories with Bon, and it creeps in every day. And if it’s not one of the band, it’s a fan.”
Individual members of the group past and present have offered their support previously, with former bassist Mark Evans saying last September, “It’s so amazing that Bon is getting honored like this, especially since Scotland is such an important place in the history of AC/DC. Bon already had a street named after him in Kirriemuir and now this!”
The statue would be the second of Scott, who was born in Kirriemuir in 1946 but moved with his family to Australia in 1952. An Australian statue honoring Scott has already been on display since February 2008.
The singer died in 1980 at the age of 33 from alcohol poisoning. He sang on AC/DC‘s first six studio albums, including “High Voltage”, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, “Let There Be Rock” and “Highway To Hell”.
Drummer Simon Wright is best known for his work with the bands AC/DC and DIO. He currently plays with DIO DISCIPLES and has also recently joined Geoff Tate’s QUEENSRYCHE.
Simon joined AC/DC in 1983 and recorded three of their classic albums – Fly On The Wall, Who Made Who and Blow Up Your Video. Simon left in 1989 to join DIO. He was with the band twice, the first for a short period; 1990-1991, the second stint from 1998-2010. Simon recorded four studio albums – Lock Up The Wolves, Magica, Killing The Dragon and Master Of The Moon, as well as two live albums – Evil Or Divine – Live In New York City and Holy Diver Live.
Metal Shock Finland‘s Blackdiamond recently had a chat with Simon and of course as it is nearing the anniversary of the death of the legendary Ronnie James Dio, there were some lovely memories shared by Simon.
You can read some excerpts from the interview below and listen to it in full on the player:
Memories of Ronnie:
“I always found him to be a real gentleman, really smart, a really funny guy. When I got the opportunity to join his band I jumped at the chance. I was in AC/DC at the time and on the verge of leaving.
He wasa fantastic person, not only a brilliant singer and songwriter, but just as a person as well; very considerate and humble. He was the boss as well and could crack the whip when he wanted to!
It just got better every year, making albums together, we were very tight. It was some of the best years of my career. I’ll never forget him, I think about him every day.”
Discussing the classic DIO album, Holy Diver, Simon expressed the following:
“I think I heard some of it on Tommy Vance’s radio show and it just threw me to the wall! I was like ‘Good God what’s this?!’ Every song is killer, it just blew my mind, what a brilliant album. Great songs, great playing, great lyrics, incredible album.
I always like the song Invisible; I thought that was a great song, a great intro and lyric at the beginning and the riff was a bit different to the norm too.”
Simonspoke of his thoughts on joining QUEENSRYCHE and the current situation:
“It’s going really well – I wasn’t sure I must admit, ‘cos there’s a lot of controversy going on at the moment, ‘that name.’ We make a pretty good team, we were on the road for about a month in America , doing the whole Operation Mindcrime album and our interpretation of it. Everybody seemed to like it, it went well.
When asked about there being two versions of QUEENSRYCHE, Simon continued:
It’s about the music for us – we’re not really involved in the politics, we’re just there to play the music. I guess the legal wranglings of it all will be sorted out in November, so it’ll become a bit clearer.”
According to Ninemsn, Australian bass player Neil Smith, a one-time member of AC/DC and ROSE TATTOO, has lost his battle with cancer.
The following statement on Smith’s Facebook page has confirmed that he died early on Sunday morning.
“Neil Smith passed away in the early hours of the morning, Sunday, April 7th. He was sleeping peacefully and surrounded by family,” the statement said. Neil is now in peace and is no longer battling with cancer.
There is not a person out there who has met him and not felt like their lives were better for the experience. He was a loving and devoted father, a loyal friend and all round generous person. He was larger than life, and his passing will be felt.
Thanks to all his friends for their support and love, especially during the final stages of his life.”
Neil was a member of the AC/DC rhythm section in 1974. Rob Bailey, then Mark Evans replaced him before Cliff Williams took over the role permanently.
Footage from Neil’s last gig with Rose Tattoo at Parramatta Goal in 1979 can be seen on YouTube below:
Video footage of Fingers and Stickboy of the three-robot act COMPRESSORHEAD performing a cover version of the classic AC/DC song “TNT” on the German TV program “Die Bülent Ceylan Show” can be seen below.
COMPRESSORHEAD, which hails from Germany and consists of guitarist Fingers, bassist Bones and drummer Stickboy, plays a selection of well-known covers.
COMPRESSORHEAD‘s mission statement:
“Did you ever wonder what Danny Carey would sound like if he had four arms?
“How about if Angus Young had 78 fingers? Imagine what Robert Trujillo would sound like if he was actually made of metal?
“Well, wonder no more, meatbags.
“COMPRESSORHEAD is the world’s heaviest metal band.
“Stickboy, Fingers and Bones are guaranteed to shake and rattle the world of meatbag music.
“Stickboy was created to exacting specifications. Four arms, two legs, one head, no brain. he plays a Pearl 14-piece kit with double kick. Stickboy junior, the bastard child of an unknown mother, takes control of the hihat shuffle. Inception date: 2007.
“Fingers joined Stickboy in 2009 and brings 78 purpose-built fingers, enough to play the entire fret board and pluck.
“Bones is the highest-precision bass player in known existence, and the youngest member of the band. Inception date: 2012.
“Stand aside, meatbags. Oil is thicker than blood.”