You have to hand it to book writers like Jesse Fink,Greg Renoff and James Campion.
These three writers have each written classic books on bands that I grew up listening too and still listen to today!
Campion wrote the excellent Shout It Out Loud: The Making of KISS Destroyer while Renoff wrote the superb book on the early years of Van Halen titled Van Halen Rising,
I liked the fact that both Campion and Renoff stuck to a certain era in regards to their books. James with just the KISS Destroyer album and Greg with early Van Halen.( nothing past 1978 in the Halen book) Greg and James did their homework folks as James interviewed KISS producer Bob Ezrin and the various studio people such as engineers involved with the making of Destroyer while Greg interviewed former Halen Bassist Micheal Anthony VH producer Ted Templeman and former VH lighting dude and Picasso Brother Pete Angelus.
These two books(KISS and VH) are worth your time to read!
A third book that should be included and is a mind blower of a read is Bon Scott:The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC’s Back In Black by Jesse Fink.
We all know about Scott’s death back in February of 1980 due to choking on his own vomit or is there more to it than that?
When you get Phil Carson(Atlantic Records President) and Tony Platt(Engineer on Highway To Hell) Mark Evans(Ex AC/DC Bass Player) giving this book glowing reviews we must be on to something here!
Jesse right at the start of the book says don’t be shocked to read about Bon doing all kinds of recreational drugs along with Alcohol being the big one but add cocaine and heroin to that list as well!
Fink does his homework here as this book chronicles the last three and half years of Bon’s life basically as the band began making inroads into the United States!
Fink interviews people at the very first AC/DC show Stateside back in the Summer of 1977 in Texas when AC/DC opened shows for Canadian band Moxy( whose singer Buzz Sherman(RIP) was considered for the frontman role in AC/DC after Scott’s passing) who Jesse interviewed as well for this book!
Fink talks to many people in this book as in the bands that AC/DC opened for like Sammy Hagar/Molly Hatchet/UFO/Cheap Trick/KISS/Foreigner/Alice Cooper. Interviews with Bon’s ex girlfriends/ex band mates/friends acquaintances etc! Jesse traveled to these places to meet the woman in Bon’s life decades ago some living and one has passed on after the interview for this book.
Its crazy the wall that AC/DC puts up against people who want to interview the band etc as Fink tried and actually did get in contact with the band as Drummer Phil Rudd was going to be interviewed. But at the last-minute Rudd changed his mind that even Rudd’s lawyer didn’t know why. Fink is thinking the organization of AC/DC had something to do with it. I agree with him.
I can’t emphasize how great a read this is. Its one of those books you cannot put down. Once your into these pages you really get an understanding that Bon was an outsider to the band he was in.
Basically Malcolm and even with the other guys in AC/DC were not close with Bon at all which kinda surprised but didn’t when you realize Bon filled up his down time with woman and booze.
I don’t want to give away to many details about this book as Fink throughly covers the timeline of Bon’s last 24 hours alive and interviews former U.F.O members Pete Way and Paul Chapman who both admit to doing smack (early 80’s) and the known Dealer that was an acquaintance to them and Bon as well.
Jesse than shifts gears and talks about the supposed lyric book that Bon had written lyrics for Back In Black that mysteriously disappeared when Bon Passed.
It’s no secret that all of us AC/DC fans have talked about the lyrics taking a dip after Back In Black and especially after 1981’s For Those About To Rock. Not that they were bad it’s just that flare that Bon had for writing lyrics was gone and the point Fink makes about the line in You Shook Me All Night Long about ‘Knocking Me Out With Those American Thighs’ was line Bon used in regards to his American girlfriends as far back as 1976!. Hmmmm. More food for thought!
Ask Doug Thaler(Ex Motley Crue Manager) his thoughts on the lyrics to You Shook Me All Night Long!
Jesse has a section where he has Angus telling different stories in regards to the lyrics on Back In Black with actual credit quotes and sources from interviews that Angus and company had conducted over the years. Interesting…..
I could go on with numerous stories but I don’t wan to ruin it for you if you’re a fan of this band. Do seek this book out! It’s available everywhere. Tons of info, different scenarios,confusion and whose telling the truth about Scott’s death?
Since AC/DC always decides to shut everyone out of their business which fair enough it’s their deal and such . It’s good to read about a Singer that put them on the map and whose death is still felt by many decades later!
One of the best Books out there…. Jesse writes a story that needed to be told and makes you wonder what actually went down!
Here’s my own theory…Bon Scott passes away in February of 1980. AC/DC hire Brian Johnson. Write and Record Back In Black(supposedly). AC/DC than ends up playing my hometown of Thunder Bay Ontario Canada in July of 1980 on their Canadian Tour! All this takes place in 5 months!
I’m thinking after I read Jesse’s book that the Back In Black album was completely done and Johnson and the Young brothers tweaked a few things in regards to the lyrics as the music was fully recorded and Johnson just had to sing the songs. Fink interviews someone who was asked to audition but turned it down but what they reveal makes you think about it!