AC/DC FAQAuthor: Susan Masino
Review by Sal Serio on April 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm
Publisher: Backbeat Books
There’s probably no one on the planet more qualified to write the ultimate fan’s guide to AC/DC than Madison journalist Susan Masino. Having first met the iconic and diminutive Australian rock group in 1977 during their first tour of the United States, Masino struck up a friendly rapport with the band, which has lasted over the years. Additionally, Masino has developed a professional relationship with AC/DC, having interviewed them a few times, including, perhaps, the only interview with the entire band at once - including Bon Scott - in late 1977. Masino also published the book “Let There Be Rock: The Story Of AC/DC” in 2006.
So, do you think you know everything there is to know about AC/DC? Well, think again! Even at over 330 pages, I found “AC/DC FAQ” to be a quick read, fascinating and engrossing. Literally every page included gems of fun and intriguing information about the band that even a longtime fan like myself was completely unaware of. Masino interjected her own personality and “insiders” perspective to the book to keep the story fresh, interesting, and somewhat personal, which keeps the read from being dry or formulaic. Included are ample photos of rare memorabilia and live shots to enjoy.
Obviously, I highly endorse and recommend this book, but should you need some examples of what to look forward to, then, here you go: Detailed stories of the group’s formative years, and the influence that older brother George Young (along with his partner Harry Vanda and producer Ted Albert) had on Malcolm and Angus’ career. An in depth exposé of singer Bon Scott’s early musical endeavors, before joining AC/DC (no, Bon was not their first singer!). The complete transcription of Susan’s taped interview with all five members of the original classic-era line-up of AC/DC following a gig in Milwaukee in 1977. Technical gear-head breakout of the guitars and amplification units that the Young brothers have used over the years. The real story of the statuesque Rosie from Tasmania, who literally rocked Bon Scott’s world and provided the inspiration to one of AC/DC’s all-time great songs “Whole Lotta Rosie”! A breakdown of each and every AC/DC album (import and domestic) and everything one would need to know regarding those recordings. Stories and insights from the group’s road crew, including their early tour manager and eventual pyrotechnic professional. There’s also a rundown of every tour that AC/DC ever played.
Of course, no book about AC/DC would be complete without a look at the sad and tragic ending to the life of one of rock ‘n roll’s most charismatic and unique front men, Ronald “Bon” Scott. “AC/DC FAQ” takes the reader through the bizarre and unfortunate events of February 18, 1980, which led to Scott’s passing, alone, passed out in an automobile in London after a night of heavy drinking, or “death by misadventure”, as is often stated. However, the book also provides insight to how AC/DC rebounded from this tragedy with the “Back In Black” album, a tribute to Bon Scott, and one of the most massive successes the recording industry has ever seen. Included are also accounts of other tributes to the late singer, such as the life-size bronze cast of Bon that stands near the ocean shore in Fremantle, Australia, nearby to where Scott worked in the crayfish boats before adopting his persona as a brazen and ballsy rock ‘n roll singer. Another curious story came during the recording of “The Razors Edge” album, in 1990, while listening to the album’s playback, a backing vocal track was discovered that no one recalled recording. The singer on that track sounded just like Bon Scott.
Susan Masino will be at the Bowl-A-Vard Lanes in Madison, WI, (2121 East Springs Drive) on Saturday, April 18 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm for the official “AC/DC FAQ” publishing party. There will be books to purchase, and Masino will be signing and greeting fans. At 9:00 the festivities continue with a live performance by the band Denim N Leather. Get it hot! Masino will also be featured on “The Jimmy K Show” on maxinkradio.com, at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, April 14, to discuss “AC/DC FAQ”.