All other writers retain their own copyright.
Links to articles follow each piece
Here is a recent sightings of your FFanzeen publisher on the Web. Note that I have not edited the text of the pieces, so all materials are as they were in the originals.
Metal Shrine is a Swedish metal webzine published by überfan Niclas Müller, who also writes for the online AC/DC Machine. Here he Q&A’s me about my photos (and some text) regarding AC/DC playing CBGBs in 1977, that appear in a book by Phil Sutcliffe called AC/DC High Voltage Rock´n´Roll: The Ultimate Illustrated History. Niclas interviewed me through email. The original full piece also has interviews with Sutcliffe, and editor Dennis Pernu (who mentions me; it will be in Vanity Plate 2). To see the complete piece, please follow the link at the bottom of the article. The introduction is in Swedish, but the interview is in English.
Bokrecension och Q&A´s!
"AC/DC High voltage rock n´roll: The ultimate illustrated history" (2010)
AC/DC tillhör de där riktigt stora banden som kan sälja ut gigantiska arenor världen över, utan att egentligen behöva göra någonting. De skulle inte behöva ge ut fler skivor, utan bara snickra ihop en turné och ändå dra mer publik och håva in mer pengar än de flesta band.
Senaste albumet ”Black ice” blev en försäljningsframgång utan dess like och den tillhörande turnén kom att bli en av deras största och längsta. Själv hade jag åter nöjet att se de gamla herrarna på Stadion i Stockholm och var fullkomligt lyrisk efter konserten. Sällan har väl ett gäng i den höga åldern utstrålat så mycket energi och glädje, som AC/DC gjorde den vackar sommarkvällen.
Muiskjournalisten Phil Sutcliffe har med hjälp av Voyageur press snickrat ihop en rejäl bok drygt 220 sidor, sprängfylld med allehanda godis från bandets långa karriär. Historien berättas kronologiskt och tar upp de viktigaste händelserna, men bygger i mångt och mycket mest på andra böckers och tidningars informationsflöde. Nej, det roliga med denna bok är allt det andra. Fantastiska foton från tidigt 70-tal, bl a från ett improviserat gig på legendariska och numera nedlagda CBGB´s i New York. Eller varför inte bilderna från Whisky A Go Go i LA 1977. Det är svettigt, hårt och rockande.
Till alla bilder förljer kommentarer och berättelser, ofta från fotograferna själva. Men det bjuds även på mängder av backstagepass, gamla biljetter, svåra skivor och roliga gamla konsertannonser från bl a brittisk press. Med andra ord ett riktigt himmelrike för AC/DC-fantasten!
Phil Sutcliffe står för den genomgående historieberättelsen, men mellan hans utdelade portioner bjuds det äeven på iakttagelser från andra mer eller mindre kända människor. Journalsiter som Martin Popoff, Sylvie Simmons och Anthony Bozza får även de berätta sina tankar och minnen kring bandet och gör det bra och i de flesta fall underhållande. I slutet av boken finns även en genomarbetad diskografi och varje album har en egen sektion i boken där allehanda folk får ge sin syn på respektive album. Klart läsvärt!
En kille vid namn Bill Voccia har en enorm samling med AC/DC-prylar och hans saker finns representerade genom hela boken. Dessutom ägnade sig folket bakom boken till månaders inköp från Ebay, för att få ihop ett så intressant och givande material till boken som möjligt.
Kanske är det inte några större eller nya sensationer som det bjuds på i boken, men det var nog inte heller tanken. Hur som haver är det en riktigt snygg bok där tyngden lagts på bildmaterial och samlingsmani. Dessutom är flertalet bilder sådana som aldrig tidigare sett dagens ljus. Bara det är värt summan du får lägga ut på detta verk. Köp. Läs, titta och njut samtidigt som du spelar ”Powerage” i bakgrunden och återigen slås över hur makalöst bra bandet är. Få har lyckats komponera ihop så tunga och slagkraftiga riff som bröderna Young!
Jag tänkte att det kunde vara kul att höra lite om bakgrunden till boken och hur man jobbat med att sätta ihop den. Sagt och gjort, jag mailade Phil Sutcliffe, Dennis Pernu (redaktör) och Robert Francos (fotograf) och fick omgående läsvärda svar tillbaka.
Robert Francos (Bidrog med bilder och berättelse):
Tell us about that show at CBGB´s!
Robert: (Edited from my blog at http://ffanzeen.blogspot.com/2008/11/acdc-at-cbgbs-1977.html:) On August 24, 1977, I went to CBGB's to see one of my favorite powerpop bands, The Marbles. As their set was ending, suddenly there was a commotion at the back of the club. Then I noticed part of the crowd moving toward the stage, surrounding a cluster of people. That’s when they announced AC/DC as the next band to play over the speaker, though they were not scheduled. It seems AC/DC had been playing in town at the Academy of Music (which would be renamed as The Palladium) to support their High Voltage album, and wanted to check out the club. The band proceeded to play a full impromptu set, which actually lasted longer many other local bands’ turn at the mic. And this was after their playing a full concert uptown shortly before. The late singer Bonn Scott ran around the relatively small stage, ripping his shirt off along the way. Meanwhile, guitarist Angus Young also frenetically moved like a madman, brandishing his guitar like a weapon of noise, and playing their fun version of pop metal. At one point, Angus switched guitars that either had a remote or a really long cord (I can’t remember which). He then made his way through the crowd, while playing wild solo licks, and went outside. So, there was little Angus, while still playing thrashing chords, talking to the transient gents from the Palace Hotel milling outside CBGB.
What did you think of it? Were you impressed?
Robert: I'd never heard the band before, honestly, except for clips on television concert programs. They were fun, to be sure, and active on stage, that was obvious. I was more impressed with Angus's playing than Bon's vocals at the time. I couldn't make out what he was singing thanks to accoustics, volume, and Bon's growl, but that is pretty common at any club. If I would have known it was Bon's last tour, I may have been more observant of particulars and details, but I just enjoyed it for what it was. Though I'd been going to punk shows for a couple of years, metal was a bit out of my ken, so I had no base on which to compare it, so I just accepted it. It was also strange considering that AC/DC was a polar opposite of the powerpop Marlbles I had come to see (though the Marbles' guitarist, Howard Bowler, is a phenom in his own right). One of the things that impressed me was how well AC/DC all "moved" together. It was sort of like a jazz band that had been playing together long enough to know each other well enough to play off of them. And considering they just finished a who-knows-how-long show uptown, they went in full throttle. Yes, it was impressive.
How many photos did you snap all together of that show?
Robert: 11 in color, 18 in B&W. The band was moving around so fast, and I did not have a flash at that time, that all the pictures were blurry due to the movement. At first I was disappointed by the blur, but after some time I found that the effect was almost like echo from the guitar, giving a true feel to the motion of the moment. A few of the photos have appeared in two books so far: "33-1/3: AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell'" by Joe Bonomo (2010) and "AC/DC: High-Voltage Rock'n'Roll The Ultimate Illustrated History" by Phil Sutcliffe (2010). While both quote me, Sutcliffe's lists me as one of the many "Contributed By".
What was the crowd´s reaction to the band?
Robert: During their performance the audience was a 50/50 mix of people who had been there before and a crowd that had followed them from uptown. Just about everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Some of the 50% who were there before were in shock that AC/DC was playing at the club and were so fortunate, yet there was a very small group who were just not impressed at all. Obviously the 50% that came with them were whooping it up quite a bit. CBGBs had tables throughout then (which would be removed during the hardcore days to come to make room for a mosh pit), so the entourage that came with them stayed toward the back of the dining area, near the bar.
Did they play an encore?
Robert: I don't remember. Now, mind you, I taped the show on an audio-cassette. I lent it to someone a years ago who wanted to hear the Marbles. Then, a couple of years later, I sold a pic I took that night of AC/DC to a collector from Europe, and as a thank you he sent a bootleg CD to me of the show. It was from my own tape! I know because it starts with someone making a comment about Angus's legs, and it was me... It's only about 20 minutes long because the tape ran out. However, just a couple of years ago, getting ready to move, I found the second part of the tape, only to misplace it again during the move (I have hundreds of tapes, being interviews, live shows, and demos of bands, many unlabeled). At some point, when I find it again, I'll make it available to collectors, but until then, oh, well, guess people will just have to drool in antici-----pation.
Did they stay and hang out after the show?
Robert: No, they stayed long enough for a drink, and then left with their entourage. By the time the Marbles came back for their second set, they were long gone.
Did you ever see them live again?
Robert: Never had the pleasure. I've seen some YouTube videos, but I don't think Brian Johnson has the stage presence Bon did.
What other cool shows did you attend in NY City? Did you take more photos?
Robert: Without exaggeration, I have attended thousands of great shows here in NYC over the years. For example, I saw Alice Cooper four times during the '70s ("Welcome to My Nightmare," "Billion Dollar Babies," etc.), saw Slade a few times (love them; first time in '74, I believe, the opening band was Aerosmith; the second time it was Brownsville Station, who I enjoyed more than Aerosmith), I've seen the Ramones dozens of times (first time, June 20, 1975, with Talking Heads opening...found out later it was the Heads very first show; there were 12 people in CBCBs that night), saw Tom Petty play CBGBs and the Bottom Line, Television, Patti Smith, Dictators, New York Dolls, Lene Lovich, and soooooo many others. I started taking pix of them in 1977, when I got my first real camera (first roll was of the Ramones), for two reasons: first, because I was seeing so many bands that I couldn't remember them all, and having pix helped, and especially for the second reason, as I was starting my fanzine FFanzeen (ran from 1977-88), and I needed photos for the interviews and articles. I have thousands of photos of bands from back then.
What are you up to these days?
Robert: Now I have my own blog at ffanzeen.blogspot.com, where I write about music, culture and my life. I also have a CD/DVD review column at jerseybeat.com/quietcorner.html. I moved out of New York in 2009, and am currently living in Saskatoon, in the middle of the Canadian plains. I am once again getting into local music. For example, just last night I saw a great reggae group (led by a Belizian native and now Canadian) the Oral Fuentes Band.
Oh, and if anyone wants me to go to review your release, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you're playing in Saskatoon and want me to write about your show, just put me on the guest list....