because i’m the luckiest man alive, i got to see the Back in Black tour when i was in high school.
i was blown away.
ive followed them ever since, ive seen them maybe 10 times since and loved them with all of my heart.
the band has an amazing history and part of their uniqueness is, for whatever reason, they don’t play with other bands.
angus has never laid down a solo for any other band.
and brian johnson, only once, sang with another band live after he joined ac/dc, and that was with Billy Joel (!) onstage because billy wanted to do Shook Me All Night Long with the singer during one of his Madison Square Garden shows.
brian also was on a Sting song once but that was so bizarre that even in a blog that says “nothing in here is true” dare i even mention it since the reader might think this whole thing is farcical.
sadly it is not.
yesterday AC/DC put out a cold-hearted press release wishing Johnson farewell. they said that it was due to doctors orders. they claim medical professionals said Brian could permanently lose his hearing if he continued to tour with the hard rock group that he has fronted since he did the impossible: fill the shoes of Bon Scott in 1980.
not only did Brian take over for Bon, but his debut with AC/DC was Back in Black, one of the best selling records in the history of records which sold over 50 million units world wide.
my interns are telling me Back in Black is the 2nd biggest record of all time next to Thriller.
and then he fronted the group for 36 years, every record they made with brian sold millions of copies, every tour was a mammoth world wide arena filling moneymaker
how do you say goodbye to your singer with a short press release after all of that?
if angus wanted to do something he’d never done before (play with a new singer for a few gigs) did he really need to fire Brian to do it?
granted, things are tough for Angus right now, his brother and long time co-writer and BFF malcolm has slipped into dementia and is close to death.
at 61 years old he doesnt fly around the stage as fast as he once did
which must be depressing.
but could it be as depressing as being kicked out of the band and replaced by a screeching Axl Rose who is clearly only doing it to a) bring attention to the Guns n Roses “reunion” tour b) avoid Slash c) distract himself from making the Guns show the best it can be.
meanwhile Brian is saying he was kicked out. that as soon as he told the band what the doc said that they didn’t even listen to him when he told them that the doc wanted to figure out a way to work with the issue. all his stuff was shipped to his door and it was over.
so i have mixed feelings about last night at coachella when during the guns n roses headlining performance they brought out angus for two songs.
of course it’s great to see him and hear him and have him back in the desert where they rocked two, two-hour sets last year. and despite the fact that axl didn’t know parts of Whole Lotta Rosie, he did sound good.
but it all felt like a royal F-U to loveable brian
how am i supposed to like this, let a lone love it?
and why wasn’t Slash allowed a solo?
is angus losing his mind too?
is angus not a nice guy?
did malcolm balance him out and thats why we never heard or saw any of this?
now i gotta buy Brians book from 2009 and see if there are any clues.
i’ll have plenty of money because now i wont be buying any tickets to see ACDC with Axl fronting it
Long time AC/DC crooner, Brian Johnson, has been told by doctors that if he continues fronting the hard rock group he will go deaf.
Instead of retiring, now that his brother Malcolm Young is back home due to dementia, and his drummer Phil Rudd can’t leave Australia due to bizarre criminal allegations, lead guitarist/atraction Angus Young seemingly still wants to travel the world blowing the roof off the mother.
So here’s who I think should be the next singer of my favorite rock group
10. Glen Danzig – he’s probably a little too heavy for AC/DC but maybe that gruff could add a little edge to the aging group
9. Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) – this dude was born to front a real rock band. Don’t get me wrong, I think The Darkness is incredible. But because it’s sooooo derivative of 80s hair metal groups, many think they’re a joke. I believe. Justin is one of the few that could hit the high notes and the idea of a triple guitar attack on numbers like “Shoot to Thrill” or “Bad Boy Boogie” is fascinating.
8. Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) – there aren’t many singers who could add even more power to AC/DC anthems. Bruce could. And he could fly the damn plane.
7. Kid Rock – If there is any complaint about the dynamics of AC/DC music it’s that it’s one dimensional. Kid Rock could add a layer of Southern rock and warmth that hasn’t been there since Bon Scott died in 1980. Imagine what he could add with piano on tunes like “Have A Drink On Me” and “The Jack”. And what about harmonica on “It’s a Long Way to the Top” instead of bagpipe?
6. Andrew W.K. – The only downside of Andrew W.K. leading AC/DC is he’d be so great at it that kids would think that he wrote all the songs. And his energy might kill Angus.
5. Ad Rock & Mike D. – Everyone loved the original mashup of Aerosmith and Run DMC. What if you were treated to a night led by the remaining members of Beastie Boys with the live accompaniment of AC/DC on songs that maybe might include some new freestyle verses.
4. Kim Gordon – Some say Joan Jett is the perfect female singer/guitarist to front AC/DC but I’d rather have Kim Gordon who would give a spookier take on “She’s Got Balls” and “Inject The Venom”.
3. Jack Black – It would be the funniest AC/DC show you’ve ever seen, that’s for sure.
2. Jack White – It would be the sexiest AC/DC show you’ve ever seen and the dual lead guitar duals would be legendary.
1. Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine) – hopefully they’d play a half hour of Rage tunes as an encore.
if you know me by now you know im remarkably predictable. i am extremely loyal to the people and things that i love. and if i love you im gonna love you forever and ever, through hell and high water. AC/DC has been in my top ten favorite bands since i first heard “dirty deeds” sneering through my junior high school radio.
so when bob, my friend i’ve known since kindegarden, wrote me to tell me that AC/DC was playing at Wrigley Field, the holiest place i’ve ever been to, i said oh thats nice. he then asked if i wanted a ticket and i hesitated because i had just seen them at Coachella and it was good, but how many times do you have to see them in a year?
the answer is: as many times as they play Wrigley Field, dummy.
so i flew in monday, took a train out of the burbs on tuesday and as i got near the park i texted Bob who was pre-partying with our friend Rick and asked where should i meet you guys.
and bob said, at the corner of clark and addison in front of the Ernie Banks statue
and it was on.
the weather was perfect, none of us had ever looked more handsome. the Cubs were in first place (practically) an angus was about play some of our favorite tunes for us.
rick reminded me that his first concert was with me, my sister, and her friend Nikki – ac/dc’s for those about to rock at the rosemont horizon. and he hadnt seen them since! say what? i had seen them maybe 4-5 other times. maybe more.
and i must say, im super glad Bob motivated and got tickets because this was the best show id seen them do since my first one, Back in Black where my mom just dropped me off alone at the Rosemont, I sat in the 14th row and my soul was saved by rock n roll.
this show, everyone was telling me, was the hottest ticket in chicago. scalpers were getting 2x and 3x the face value. bob joked that we were up in the nosebleeds, but Wrigley is so small that even that was fine. and whats best is the beer vendors are allowed to walk around and serve you at your seats. so when you wanna pee you just pee in the cup and give it back to them. recycling!
jk, you pee on the sox fans.
almost everyone had AC/DC shirts. almost everyone was singing to all of the songs.
almost everyone was drinking a beer out of a cup that said Cubs.
almost everyone was way in to it in a way that i havent seen in a VERY long time in LA.
i mean, 30,000 people totally cheering and singing during the opening tune “Rock Or Bust” the title track off their latest album – which is their 15th studio record
and they were into it
but when it comes to Angus’s guitar solo they cheered even louder.
and it’s not like he’s Miles Davis up there,
for the most part he sticks to the solo you’ve heard on the record.
he might miss a note or two or pluck a string a little early
BUT THATS FINE WITH US WE LOVE WHAT HE DOES
so we buy the tshirts and the records and the concert tickets
and the light up devil horns
and we sing along to the nonsense that doesnt mean anything deep
because when it comes right down to it we’re not all that super fucking deep neither.
turn that shit up!
there was one beautiful exception: Let There Be Rock was insane. Heres a small excerpt
and it was loud. even in the nosebleeds. even across Wrigleyville, home of yuppies and old schoolers who demanded that the show be over at 10pm. fine with us. the concert started early and ended right on time to canons and fireworks.
so thats the good news. the bad news was we could see the hologram of Brian perfectly fine (pictured to the right of the center beer), but the Angus hologram was only working sporadically.
speaking of beers. they had to hide the Old Style! Obama!
someone told me that Budweiser has something to do with it. either the Cubs cut a deal with the beer giant or they lost a bet or something but no vendor could walk around with Old Styles and if you went to the beer stand you had to ASK for it and when you did they cracked open a can and spit in the cup first.
RULES IS RULES they said.
but you know what, Old Style at Wrigley WITH spit is still better than Budweiser out of the tap anywhere. so i happily accepted it and tipped generously.
with that said WHAT THE FUCK WRIGLEY FIELD, does no one stand by their man any more?
afterwards we spilled out into the streets – which were closed to cars and made our way into a nearby bar that let us in free and inside was an AC/DC cover band that played pretty much all the other songs that AC/DC didn’t play at Wrigley and weirdly that was incredibly fun too!
and we met some drunk girls and… Ronnie Woo Woo!
did i mention that everyone had AC/DC shirts and jerseys and baseball gear and drones and homemade clocks ALL with Angus or AC/DC on them? incredible. Chicago I LOVE YOU!
fist of all how many bands can pull out MONSTER hits as song #4 and #10 on the set list and their biggest tune as #12 of a 20-song show? it’s almost as if theyre showing off. it’s almost as if theyre saying oh yeah, well how about this.
only Nirvana buried “Teen Spirit” in weird places in their set list, far as i recall. but everyone else saves the best for last or starts the show with it but usually keeps it for the end because they dont want people running for the exits.
why would you ever want to leave one of the best shows of your life?