Get Your Jackets Its Time To Go Home: Part 3 – AC/DC
In late 2014, we found out founding member Malcolm Young of AC/DC had to retire due to health concerns. Those who know AC/DC know that this was Mal’s band. He drove them to worldwide superstardom. He came up with many of the legendary riffs. He would never let the band steer off course.
They always stayed true and consistent. They never had public infighting. They never did solo projects. They were, in fact, AC/DC warts and all and you could take it or leave it..After the completion of their last album, Rock or Bust, long-time drummer Phil Rudd also left the band because of legal troubles. That meant 2/5 of the core that had steadied the band for decades were out. They were replaced by Stevie Young on guitar and Chris Slade on drums. Both of these men were briefly members of AC/DC so it kind of felt acceptable at the time. They toured the Rock or Bust album and I was lucky enough to see them twice in 2015. The shows were amazing. Stevie had done his uncle proud on guitar. Chris Slade did a commendable job in Rudd’s absence. It was hard seeing them without Malcolm and Phil but Stevie and Chris mitigated the hurt.
As the band was doing the arena leg of the tour in 2016, word came down legendary front man Brian Johnson had to leave the band due to hearing issues. Seriously? Is this band cursed or something? The duration of the tour had to be postponed until AC/DC found a new singer. The band decided to hire Axl Rose to replace Brian and finish the tour. Again, another topic I could go on about but I must stay on message.
I had the opportunity to get a refund for my tickets at their rescheduled show here in New York. I decided to take the refund. No Malcolm, no Phil and now, no Brian? That means, no Jeff! I refused to recognize this ‘version’ of AC/DC. What made AC/DC who they were was now gone. Their music was great but it was the charisma of Malcolm, the steady beats of Phil and the energy of Brian that helped bring that music to life. AC/DC is 50% music and 50% performers. Simply plugging in new players to play the notes and sing the songs is not acceptable to me.
Their future is up in the air. No one knows if they will continue or if Angus Young will decide to hang up this School Suit. I implore Angus to keep the band’s legacy in tact. I beg him to stop. There is no need to keep AC/DC going at this point. They are one of the great rock bands of all time. Please, Angus, do not turn AC/DC in to Kiss. Please!! You’ll become a joke just like they are. It’s unfortunate that several key band members had to retire but that is what happens with age. Angus can keep making albums and he can keep touring but it would behoove him to do it as a solo act. AC/DC is not about Angus. It’s about, as Brian Johnson said, ‘five average guys who made this magical thing called AC/DC’, my iPod is inundated with AC/DC music and it always will be. I just hope Angus does right by Bon, Mal, Cliff, Phil and Brian.
Kiss, Guns and AC/DC all have the right to continue as they see fit. As a fan, I have the right to disavow myself from them. The spirit of rock is about rebellion. Once it becomes about money then it becomes bastardized. I refuse to support or recognize any band that leaves its rebellious roots for greener pastures. Unless something unforeseen happens, none of these three bands will be getting another dollar out of me. They made their decisions and I made mine. Just like with our parents, we continue to see the bands of our youth. Their hair is gray (what’s left of it) their faces are wrinkled, their voices are shot and they move on stage like a bunch of snails. Yet, we still pay top dollar.
There comes to a point where it is simply time to go home. The party is over.
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