I've interviewed a lotta local rockers since I started writing for the Straight back in '82, but I can't remember a single one who had anything bad to say about AC/DC.
I can remember lots who had something good to say, though, so here's a handful.
Matthew Good, singer-songwriter and social activist: “Let’s just put it this way, man. As far as I’m concerned, Back in Black is just a benchmark rock album. I think that for anyone who kinda missed the glory of the ’60s and early ’70s—you know, that whole Almost Famous kind of magical kingdom of rock ’n’ roll—for them that album is the early ’80s. When Back in Black came out, it’s kind of like… You know those samples of Tide that used to be left on your door at home? Well, Back in Black kinda came in the mail, if you know what I mean. Everyone got one, whether they liked it or not.”
Devin Townsend, world-renowned metal legend: “The first time I ever saw a porno magazine was at my buddy’s house where we were paging through a dirty one in his bedroom, and we had Highway to Hell playing in the background.”
Mike Fraser, engineer of several AC/DC albums: “I really like a lot of the early AC/DC stuff. I mean, obviously Highway to Hell and Back in Black were great. And I love Brian-I like Brian or Bon, like ’em both. But you know when a band first starts they’re very hungry and lean 'n’ mean, and sometimes that's where the better songs come. So I really like the old era.”
Stormin’ Norman Casler, blues harpist and former host of the CFMI Sunday Blues show. “All I know is AC/DC reminds me of high school in Trail, and the good old water tower, which is where we used to go all the time with AC/DC 8-tracks and our six-packs, you know, skippin’ outta school. They are the epitome of a rock ’n’ roll band. They party, they get naked, and they like it loud.”
J.J. Caithcart, owner of the heavy-metal specialty shop Scrape Records: “I remember playin’ a lot of football in the summer when I was younger and we listened to For Those About to Rock a lot of the time. We’d have the big stereo speakers outside the window of the living room when we’re playin’ in the front yard. We used that as sort of the energy/adrenaline music to get us goin’.”
Mike Kischnick, lead guitarist with prog-metal act Empyria. “I just recall it from lotsa parties and the slags on Surrey. Every Surrey pit party had AC/DC’s Back in Black; somebody was playin’ that.”
Jay Clarke, criminal lawyer and horror author, aka Michael Slade. “When I was writing Cutthroat I got lost in the middle of the book, because the plot was so difficult to bring together. But I went to see an AC/DC concert, and I was so pumped and powered when I came outta that, that I sat down and wrote myself right through the problem and pushed on to the end of the novel.”
Newt note: In the author’s note to Cutthroat there’s a dedication to the band that reads: “AC/DC, for a jolt when juice was low”.
Thanks for the 42 years of high-voltage hard-rock, guys.
AC/DC plays Vancouver's B.C. Place Stadium tonight. Tickets still available here.