Showing posts with label ACDC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ACDC. Show all posts

Monday, 20 November 2017

Problem Child - ACDC

Rick Rubin summed up AC/DC here. Amongst other things he wrote:

A great band like Metallica could play an AC/DC song note for note, and they still wouldn't capture the tension and release that drive the music. There's nothing like it.

The essence of Malcolm Young.

RIP Malcolm Young

Malcolm Young.
The Centre,
The Core,
The Engine,
The Backbone.
The Heart & Soul,
A riff machine.

The essence of AC/DC is the rhythmic guitars and the minimalist groove.

Malcolm was the fucking essence of AC/DC!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Lobby Loyde Part 3 or 4 or 5

My Lobby Loyde posts have been a bit all over the shop. They've featured his stints in 60s bands The Purple Hearts and The Wild Cherries and his short stints with The Aztecs at the end of the 60s and Rose Tattoo at the end of 79 into 80. I've covered The Coloured Balls Ball Power a couple of times and his great production jobs for X and The Sunnyboys. The above tune, Devil's Disciple, I saw on Rage once and thought what the fuck is that? It later turned up on the Ball Power deluxe reissue from Aztec Music. It turns out that it was a B-side to their inferior version of Mess Of The Blues the 7" A-side that originally came out in 1973. Devil's Disciple is a Lobby original and, let's face it, a blueprint for his successors AC/DC. Lobby was on the (coloured) ball and saw them coming and left them a gift. Funnily enough AC/DC had supported the Coloured Balls a few times. Before joining AC/DC Bon Scott would sometimes get up and jam with Coloured Balls when they played in Adelaide as he was a friend of Lobby's from the old days. Bon Scott had been in Perth mod/bubblegum unit The Valentines in the late 60s and Adelaide's Fraternity in the early 70s before joining AC/DC in 1974. Devil's Disciple, along with a handful of other 7"s, was a bridge between the first and second Coloured Balls LPs.

Heavy Metal Kid their 2nd album was released in October of 1974 and just isn't held in the same esteem as Ball Power. It isn't a bad LP by any means. Heavy Metal Kid just isn't as singular as its predecessor. Still it has classic tunes like the opening title track and the existential Just Because that's like a counterpart to Ball Power's Human Being. Other tunes look back to Rock'n'Roll roots like Do It and Leiber & Stoller's Baby I Don't Care. Private Eye is the band at its most pop with a glammed up Peter Gunn riff and lyrics about being a spy. If it was released as a 7" it would surely have been a hit. EMI didn't see the potential for Private Eye to be hit worthy, huh!? The record company didn't release any singles off Heavy Metal Kid and subsequently failed to promote it much as they saw it as commercially unviable.

See What I Mean is a Trevor Young (drums, vocals & keys) composition which takes them into 70s power ballad territory complete with synths sounding like strings before just deciding to sound like synths along with absurd drum fills but it stays on the good side of such zones. Dance To The Music is a strange one where you think its gonna be all good time Rock'n'Roll but turns out to be a muted melancholy tune, like they couldn't actually be bothered getting off the couch to do what they're singing about. Yes and No 's 50 seconds of psych noodling is followed by Back To You, a classic guitar driven Coloured Balls tune with reverbed to the max vocals and keyboards that give it a strange edge. The best bits though are when Lobby gets going and does a little shredding before ending up in space/stadium/lighters in the air rock territory. Need Your Love is almost comic like a Ringo Starr throwback. Sitting Bull is a bit wrong with its faux Native American chants and a little bit awesome because it sounds soo good with its 70s west coast vibe. This tune is reminiscent of similar themed tunes by Silver Apples and JD Loudermilk. The vocals are then over with and the last four tunes are a panoply of instrumentals starting with the boogie Custer's Last Stand then Metal Feathers which is a mellow acoustic and keyboard jam ending with ticking and gonging clock, nice. Space rock enters the fray again on Tin Tango with what could be an early computer game soundtrack which gets all plinky plonky early electronics stylee at the end. The LP closes with 27 seconds of musique concrete. These last four tracks give an indication of where Loyde was to go a couple of years later with his concept cosmic rock sci-fi concept record Beyond Morgia.

I've never really analysed Heavy Metal Kid before as I just took at face value, it is what it is. Now thinking about it it's quite a bizarre LP. Maybe they were trying to shed some of their fans here. Who knows? How a spelling era got through on the cover is totally mystifying too. Anyway this eccentric little journey is pretty good though. The Coloured Balls were ahead of their time with their atemporality.

Oh we're missing a u.
*Next Time: The final Part Of My Lobby Loyde Obsession including Beyond Morgia, Obsecration, Hall Of Fame, Retromania Concerts and whatever else.

**Special thanks to Ian McFarlane (Legendary Oz Rock Historian) whose Heavy Metal Kid liner notes I only just read after writing this (new spex), so I added on those AC/DC connections. 

Sunday, 31 May 2015

More On Sharpies & Bogans

I've seen footage of Sharpies so many times in my life, it never occurred to me it might actually be of interest to anyone outside of Melbourne or the state of Victoria. The national broadcaster the ABC has trodden these images out ad nauseam throughout my life so now it's uniqueness is totally lost on me. The music part of it remains of interest but the sharpies kinda attached themselves to those bands. I'm sure those bands wanted an audience and I guess beggars can't be choosers but the bands probably didn't want the ugly controversy & media campaigns that came with it. The Coloured Balls, Australia's finest rock band of the time broke up because of the trouble surrounding the band, not any kind of musical differences or anything. This of course left a huge opening in the pre-punk era for someone to come in and fill that spot. AC/DC were that band and hey they didn't just fill that spot, they filled every nook and cranny throughout the world with their minimal driving guitar rock.

*Simon Reynolds points out similarities to sharpie dancing and the shoulder dance performed here by Mud here

At Coloured Balls shows towards the end of their existence there was just too much violence between Sharpie gangs and a new element that had entered the fray Skinhead Boot Boys. Previous to that the Sharpies had been a cool subculture to play to according to Loyde. The media got themselves an angle and the band were accused of inciting the violence, even participating in it themselves. A writ was even issued to one newspaper for their preposterous lies. I think we can all guess which gutter press paper that was er...there was only one.  So Lobby got fed up, as the shows became a pleasureless experience for the band, and walked away.

I guess the natural progression from the Sharpie was the Bogan. This was more of a loose generic term for a subculture like indie or something like that and it wasn't a gang thing. The hairdo turned to your more traditional mullet ie. shortish on the top and sides (longer than a Sharpie) with much much more business at the back. AC/DC, Cold Chisel, The Tatts and The Angels were the bands that were followed by this lot.

I guess ex-Sharpies who had the gang mentality deeply ingrained in their souls would have later joined some of those skinhead gangs or biker gangs once they were old enough. Gang culture usually leads to some kind of life of crime. A fine example of this would be that Australia's most loved and successful criminal Mark 'Chopper' Read who claimed to have been a Sharpie and is perhaps glimpsed in the above short film. Other international subcultures would have attracted some of the other ex-Sharpies like punk, anarcho-punk, hardcore etc. Then I suppose the rest of the ex-Sharpies would have just grown up, got jobs and started families. But on occasion after a bit of booze on a Saturday Night some sharpie dancing would have ensued, like that scene in the film Mallboy (2001), which I can't seem to find on youtube. The ephemerality of it all (Sharpie culture) is a bit of a mystery though. As far as I know there haven't been any younger generations taking up the lifestyle as a revival. That could be ripe for the picking now! There have been comedy sketches on Sharpies on television's D-Generation, Fast Forward and the like.

Sharpie culture was very white, as white as you could get so it definitely fits parallels with Gabber, Skinheads etc. Although I have read that other ethnicities apart from those from the British Isles were also included in some Sharpie gangs. It was predominantly white though. This could be a reason why it hasn't been revived as Australia became way more multicultural from the 80s onward. Take a very popular underground band from the 80s like The Hard Ons. They were a punk/thrash/pop band that had no members with their roots in Anglo-Saxon culture. The original three piece had backgrounds from Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia and Korea, I think. This was the face of 80s youth culture.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Lobby Loyde, Buffalo, Ian Rilen, Rose Tattoo....

Weird alignment of the planets or what? Here's something I wrote a couple of weeks ago and here's a post from several hours ago at Hardly Baked one of Simon Reynolds other blogs. See my comment at the bottom of his post.

Buster Brown were often the support band at Coloured Balls shows. To fit that slot you had to be a fucking tough band! Lobby Loyde actually produced Buster Brown's one and only LP Something To Say in 1974. It was Loyde's first production job actually. Their LP is surprisingly pretty good. It's basically rock about chicks and rock and roll. At stages it is meta-rock of which they were probably blissfully unaware. At one point it even gets a bit poignant when Angry sings about his estranged dad. Mainly though it's about rockin good times just like old school jump blues. Non Aussies take note: A Spunk is a term used for someone you fancy or think is really good looking ie. my wife would say "Fuck Matthew McConaughey is such a spunk!". So it can apply to both genders. Something To Say got the fabulous deluxe reissue treatment in the 00s from Aztec Music as did real Australian 70s classics from The Coloured Balls, Lobby Loyde, Billy Thorpe, Buffalo, Band Of Light and X. Right there are a lot of connections between those 7 acts. Many of which I mentioned in that previous post. I'll try and enlighten you on some of the other connections.

Apart from Loyde producing the Buster Brown LP there is another Coloured Balls connection there apart from Sharpie followings. That is ex-Coloured Balls drummer Trevor Young joined Buster Brown for a little while as original Buster Brown Drummer Phil Rudd went on to join an aspiring little rock group by the name of AC/DC. After Buster Brown split singer Angry Anderson had plans for a group including Loyde on guitar but nothing came of it.

Ian Rilen of future legends X was the bass player with Band Of Light and their one and only LP Total Union was recorded and released in 1973. It was on the boogie/12 bar blues tip. Total Union was overflowing with wah wah and slide guitar. At times it's ultra funky but there's plenty of classic chugging boogie too. Fuck Ian Rilen is an awesome bass player man. The rest of the band are smokin as well. Total Union is an underrated minor classic. Their single Destiny Song (above) was a chart hit. Wicked slide guitarist Norm Roue left to join Buffalo but by that stage Buffalo had already reached their peak. Buffalo's first 3 releases were classic psych-metal LPs not too far removed from their Vertigo label mates Black Sabbath but way more greasy, exhaust fuelled, grubby, less doomed, and at times even inspirational. Those LPs had a great Australian flavour and are well respected to this day. Rilen also left Band Of Light and went on to conceive the concept for the quintessential Aussie hard rock band Rose Tattoo with ex-Buffalo bass player Pete Wells who'd moved onto slide guitar and of course they were joined by ex-Buster Brown vocalist Angry Anderson. By the time Rose Tattoo released one of the great debut singles of all time, Bad Boy For Love in 1977, Ian Rilen had already quit but he did write that tune despite not playing on it. It only reached #13 on the chart! Can you believe that?

Lobby Loyde even joined The Tatts for a year (79/80) just playing bass live but there may be lost tapes sitting in some LA record company's vaults containing an entire LP with Lobby featured on the recordings. Is this mythical though? Because surely it would have shown up by now, in at least some kind of bootleg form. Really though would you just get him to play bass? Fuck he must have been a humble guy. Not taking anything away from Pete Wells, who is darn fine, but you had the best guitarist in the land in your band and he was playing bass? It was like the Master and Apprentice role reversed. 

I know I've posted this before but what a classic eh? Freedom is exemplary tripped out hard psych blues from Buffalo's 2nd and best LP Volcanic Rock 1973. Volcanic Rock would have to be in my top 5 Australian rock LPs of the 70s. I should write more about them one day but I think that's enough for now...

*Track this down though.... Boogie! Australian Blues, R&B And Heavy Rock From The 70s. This is a double cd that was released a couple of years back and contains everyone mentioned here and in Simon's post. Plenty of good Bogan Boogie and some really dodgy shit too.

Hang on! One more. This was the sound of mid 70s Australia when I was a whipper snapper. These were the kind of people (all the above bands and their fans as well) my dad would refer to as creeps. The kind of people who had panel vans, wore thongs (Non Aussies take note again: Thongs = flip flops. Footwear not underwear) with ultra tight testicle or camel toe showing jeans (before that fashion became de rigueur in the late 90s/early 00s). I guess my dad's creeps were what we later knew as bogans. I guess that term is probably redundant now. I think it was very time and place specific, connected to demographics of suburbs at a particular time. The Western and Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne are now completely different to what they were in the mid 70s. Particularly in regard to socio-economic groups, lifestyles, ethnicities and property prices. The term bogan was coined sometime in the late 70s/early80s. The word Bogan originated from Melbourne which is the capital of the state Victoria. Bogan was a reference to people in the outer Northern, Western and Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. When I moved to Northern NSW (taht's like 1000 kms away from Melbourne) in 1989 and was still in high school the kids didn't understand what I was taking about when I used this term. When I described bogan characteristics they said 'Oh you mean a 'Westie.' A Westie refers to to people from the outer Western Suburbs of Sydney. Sydney is of course the capital of NSW. Westie, I think probably, predates bogan by a few years. These terms were very regional and kinda parochial, I guess, until they were fully integrated into the wider Australian culture many years later. People now in Northern NSW would know the term bogan. There have been books written on the subject and the term has been used in tv shows and even a few tv show titles. One wonders if the term Westie ever gets used these days? I nearly wrote it in that post about The Lime Spiders a while back ie. they were a cool garage band from Sydney's West but by the time of Volatile in the late 80s they were probably over with being cool as that's a fairly adolescent obsession. So their Westie roots were showing through probably because they were growing older and realised there was nothing wrong with their Westie upbringing. Instead of being ashamed they were probably realising a lot of Western Suburbs culture was good. Particularly the music ie. all the slimy boogie, Alberts Productions (AC/DC, Rose Tattoo maybe even The Angels), the hair, the cars, footy etc. I mean I'm sure they probably still loved their 13th Floor Elevators, Ugly Things, Nuggets and whatever else too.

Anyway that was a tangent! Let's get back to Jump In My Car which was like a number 1 hit forever in the summer of 75/76. This was the commercial face of Aussie Boogie and yet it's been accused of being a rape song ever since. Fun fact: The Hoff did a cover of this a few years back that was so bad it was good but not good enough for me to post here right now. His abject persona would have fitted into the creep category for sure.

I could go on and on and.....maybe later......

Friday, 11 October 2013

Still Life-Oneohtrix Point Never

Has Oneohtrix Point Never become some kind of born again fundamentalist using propaganda videos to get his point across?

Either that or he's havin a laugh at the expense of others. Roll up roll up ...A modern day freak show for you all to see. No exploitation here folks just good clean healthy fun.

*Uh Huh, here's an essay on this video right here. This is what xxxxxxox says in the comments at Rouge's Foam about the essay

 "Its clear that the only point of this smug little uni grad zero books clique is self aggrandizing. You all police culture like your petty little incoherent screeds are remotely interesting to anyone."

I thought that was hilarious and pretty on the ball. Couldn't help but think though 'did xxxxxxox's manuscript get knocked back by Zero Books?' Also couldn't help thinking he was being a culture copper himself.

Back to that video, just look at reality tv though and you'll see how much people love exploitation. People want to be exploited, exploit and watch others exploit and be exploited. Nothing much has changed since the days of freak shows has it? We still love to see the freaky shit don't we? Shows like Embarrassing Bodies and that one about the guy with the massive balls* are popular for a reason. X-Factor, Idol et al have a fair bit of laughing at the unfortunate and the mentally ill. There's big bucks in this shit.

*Was AC/DC's Big Balls the theme tune for that?

Friday, 6 September 2013

Melbourne II

AC/DC in Melbourne goin up Swanston St!
There's even a lane in Melbourne called AC/DC Lane.
I know they're not a Melbourne band.
Didn't they live here for a couple of years though?