AC/DC: Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be Paperback – 5 Sep 2013
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Mick Wall penetrates the closed world of Aussie rock legends AC/DC.
From the Inside Flap
Megan Fox likes to be seen wearing their T-shirts. Keith Richards says guitarist Malcolm Young is better than he is. While the LA Times memorably asked: 'Why so many Satanic lyrics? Why the bisexual implications in the name? Didn't the lead singer drink himself to death? What kind of heroes are these?'
The answer: the kind that has sold over 200 million albums, played more than 10,000 shows, and still doesn't give a f*** what you think about it.
They are AC/DC and this is their never-before-told story. From their gang-busting origins on the notoriously heavy Australian pub scene of the early 1970s, to their punk-defying assault on first Britain then America in the 1980s - ruthlessly shedding many of the band members, managers, producers and record company executives that helped them get there - this is the hard-hitting, behind closed doors, in-depth biography AC/DC fans have been waiting for.
In Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be, world-renowned rock chronicler Mick Wall unearths fresh, previously unheard testimony from all the key players in the AC/DC story. In doing so, he recounts more than the story of one band; he tells the story of a family - a clan - that brooks no quarrel from outsiders.
Uncovering for the first time the truth behind the mysterious death of singer Bon Scott in 1980, and giving unflinching insight into the dizzying highs and often self-inflicted lows of their career thereafter with replacement Brian Johnson, this is the story of three determinedly ruthless brothers - Malcolm and his schoolboy-uniform-wearing younger sibling Angus, and older brother George, who masterminded all their early albums and remains the eminence-grise behind AC/DC to this day.
Tough guys from the Glasgow schemes, the Youngs have seen off drugs, death, divorce and the eternal damnation of critics to become one of the biggest, best-known rock bands in the world. 'We know what we are,' Angus once said. 'Rock'n'roll.'
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Top Customer Reviews
I came to be an AC/DC fan relatively late in life, starting with the two obvious albums, Highway to Hell and Back in Black. I collected the rest of the Bon Scott era catalogue over recent years, as well as the main post-Scott works, but I perhaps haven't paid the earlier albums the attention they deserve. I think the highest compliment I can pay to Mick Wall's book is that it has made me go back to those records a fresh ear.
The greater part of the book is dedicated to the Bon Scott years, with much time spent on the Young brothers' formative days, the successes and failures of their elder sibling George, and Scott's time spent moving between Australia and England in one band or another. There were many revelations within these pages, at least for this ill-informed reader, including the strictly enforced hierarchies in the band. I never knew, for example, that Malcolm Young was and is the boss of the operation.
It has to be said that Wall's depiction of AC/DC, and in particular their internal politics, is often less than flattering. He strips aside the good-bloke personas of the brothers Young and reveals them to be ruthless in their dealings with everyone from road managers to other band members. Malcolm Young's near-tyranny goes so far as to almost derail AC/DC's career on more than one occasion. If you're looking for a rose-tinted view of the band, you'll be disappointed. This is very much warts-and-all. Wall's portrayal often seems filtered through his own personal feelings, particularly on the circumstances of Bon Scott's death, but this is no bad thing.Read more ›
I have to share Mr McIver's view that it took some balls to so firmly focus on the Scott years. With so little of the book left to discuss Brian Johnson there was a very real danger of the the latter quarter seeming rushed and perfunctory. That it is not, in any way, is a testament to Mick's skill and talent as a storyteller.
Rudd's exit is jaw-dropping and is covered quite unlike anyone else's account, with new insights and information that add to the depth and substance of the work.
Mick has a real nose for sniffing out previously unknown facts and weaving them skilfully into his work and so it has proved here again. You think you know the ACDC story? Trust me; not until you've read this, you don't.
Outstanding and essential reading for any serious lover of 20th century contemporary music.
By the time for those about to rock was released I had all their albums to that date.
This book covers in great detail that period, rather glossing over the more recent stuff.
It's clearly and openly stated that noone within the band or current crew has cooperated, and it's true that many of the sources have been fired by them, well really Malcolm, so you could say its likely to be biased.
I was particularly interested in the Bon Scott aspect, clearly an intelligent and warm guy, allowed to decend into hell without any intervention.
I think it's probably accurate as I've read before frankly that malcolm is a tyrant.
It's a real shame as they are superb, but they have lost their direction since I don't know when.
It's now all I need to re-affirm my view that ac/dc pretty much ended when Bon died, a few songs and perhaps BIB being an exception. Their best album for me is Powerage.
My first moan is that as with a lot of the other AC/DC bio's too much of it is based around what the Young brothers and Bon Scott did before the band emerged which would them take up nearly 2/3's of the book when you then put in the equation of the Bon Scott years. then you would end up with three chapters racing through Brian Johnsons part in the band. Now considering that Brian Johnson has been in the band almost 4 decades i feel he does deserve a bit more of a input in the book.
I thought that maybe Mick Wall would of been different but he did exactly what the others have done , so to me if you want the ultimate AC/DC bio buy " Maximum Rock n Roll" it is better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Detailed and chronological and yet still has a narrative which holds your attention. The last part of the book brings the whole myth crashing down quite abruptly though. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Patrick J Evans
Definitely a 5 amazing read from start to finish. A must for ANY rock fan. What a amazing rock band.Published 6 months ago by charlie watson
I have been reading this now for about two weeks, and have commented to others that it's the best book I've ever read about AC/DC. Read morePublished 6 months ago by KimDurose
Read about how the band really was more of a family than a rock band, how they were going to make it no matter what and get therePublished 12 months ago by Steve
Mick Wall is releasing rock unauthorized biograpies at a frantic pace these days. And they usually work, fortunately. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Botnik Roller