acdc maximum rock n roll

Murray Engleheart / Arnaud Durieux
Harper
2006

After more than three decades and 150 million albums, AC/DC has established itself as much more than just a great rock band.  For millions of fans spanning several generations across the world, they are an ear-bleedingly loud, sweat-soaked religion.  Now, in a book of astonishing breadth and scope, comes the complete story of AC/DC.  Everything you ever wanted to know and plenty more you never dreamt of is all here, the ultimate balls-out adventure, laced with sex, drunken escapades, and brawls – topped off with rare intimate photos to create the ultimate portrait of the ultimate rock band.

My personal history with legendary rock band AC/DC goes back to my childhood, when one of my uncles deemed it necessary to give me his cassette copy of Highway To Hell.  The music was unlike anything I was exposed to up to that point, mainly because at the age of 11 my music choices were limited to the Top 40 radio, and whatever my parents deemed appropriate enough for my tender ears.  This little bit of subversion on the part of my Mother’s younger brother was perhaps the catalyst I needed to become the metalhead I am today.  And growing up, especially when I hit Junior High and High School, the music of AC/DC was one of those bands that were practically issued to you if you wanted to perceived as “cool” musically.  Well, to the upperclassmen and some members of my own class as well.  By the time I graduated High School, I had several of their albums in my personal collection, and it wasn’t at all surprising to hear one of ’em cranked on my stereo at any given time of day.  Or night.  Yeah.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m a fan of the band.  Still am after all these years, although their output have become few and farther between, and personal tastes continue to change and evolve.  And of course, as a pop culture history junkie, I couldn’t resist picking up this copy of AC/DC’s biography when I found it for sale at the local Wal-Mart back in 2008.  You knew I was cheep, right?

Anyway, as a history of the band, Maximum Rock & Roll goes pretty in-depth and behind the scenes, from the Young brothers Malcolm and Angus’ childhoods as Scottish transplants to Australia, their initial forays into rock n’ roll, and the early days of AC/DC, their rise to fame and the untimely death of Bon Scott, and their Phoenix-like rise from the ashes to become one of the greatest rock bands ever.

Unlike a lot of biographies either in book or television form (I’m looking at you, VH1’s Behind The Music), Maximum Rock & Roll goes beyond just the sensational and controversial stuff, and tells stories that are just as interesting and give you a deeper understanding of the members’ daily lives in and out of the band.  For instance, despite popular rumors, main guitarist Angus Young was never really the partier; he usually spent his money on comic books and milk shakes, and drank a gallon of tea after each show to stave off dehydration.  And while certainly being the partier of the group, Bon Scott himself was perhaps the most loyal friend and down-to-earth guy you could have ever known.

With stories and various other information following the making of every album they recorded in their discography (apparently, their classic Back In Black was produced so well, that the band Motorhead played it during sound checks to test the PA system’s sound), and featuring pictures from the band’s history, AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll was one of those satisfying band biographies that offered up stuff that wasn’t just another exorcise in “I already knew that”.  Highly recommended for fans of the band, and general rock and roll junkies like myself.

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