Appetite for disaster…

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As most of you have probably heard by now there are rumors flying about Axl Rose filling in on vocals for AC/DC. Here is my unabashed opinion, like it or not.

I have stated many times before how I am of the opinion that AC/DC died with Bon Scott. Angus and the boys soldiered on with Brian Johnson and had some good songs but it just wasn’t AC/DC for me and never would be. Yes, I continued to buy every record they released because I support that way, but there was always something missing for me.

Now we hear of some sort of hearing debacle with Brian Johnson and his immediate departure from their current tour. That departure started the rumor mill going full blast with speculation upon speculation as to who would step up and fill Brian’s shoes. Who indeed…

Within my circle of friends I began to hear a rumbling of Axl’s name being thrown about. Then I began seeing it on social media, and now many websites are jumping on the “Axl replacing Brian” band wagon as well.

Here are my thoughts, the AC/DC machine runs pretty tight, Axl does not. I am of the opinion that given who Axl is (don’t get me wrong he is a great front man) and who AC/DC is it would be like oil and water. I cannot even imagine Axl performing with them for one minute. We were all just getting excited about the impending “reunion” of Guns N’ Roses (don’t get me started on that one) and now this hence the title of this writing, “Appetite for Disaster”.

I would love nothing more than to be wrong and it be a great success for Axl and AC/DC but I just don’t see it…

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the Hellion

 

they journeyed down the Highway To Hell and came Back In Black

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how can a band have back to back swansongs? Leave it to AC/DC. I was watching a documentary on the band and it got me thinking about their career. Keep in mind these are just my opinions and mine alone.

AC/DC has been hanging out in my ears since “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” caught my attention in late 1976. I was hooked from the get go. I really identified with the rebellious dirty sound of these guys. AC/DC was a band full of guys that were the type your parents warned you to stay away from and yet you couldn’t. I felt an affinity towards these guys and made it my mission to collect their music and adopt their attitude.

I earned money to buy High Voltage, T.N.T, Dirty Deeds, Let There Be Rock, and Powerage. I did my best to wear them out as they remained in constant rotation on my turntable. There was just SOMETHING about the vibe of the music.

The summer of 1979 AC/DC delivered unto the world their best work to date, Highway to Hell. This record was perfection start to finish. The songs were flawless, and the cover was every parents nightmare back then. Devil horns, pentagrams, sullen hooligans…heroes to us rebellious youths.

Then a short seven months later my hero Bon was found dead in a car, death by misadventure, taken out like he lived.

In my mind I think that AC/DC made the best album they could ever make and the pressure to top it was weighing heavy on Bon. I think it was Bon Scott era AC/DC’s swansong.

My mind was blown when in the summer of 1980 a new AC/DC record hit the stores, Back In Black. Wait, what?!?!? They had replaced Bon Scott?!?!? Turns out that yes they had.

I bought it and raced home to hear what my beloved AC/DC had done. It wasn’t bad, in fact the record kicked ass. Brian Johnson wasn’t Bon and he wasn’t trying to be, and I was ok with that. It was AC/DC and yet….not. I felt that the new stuff was good but was missing a bit of their street tough element. To me this was Brian Johnson era AC/DC’s swansong.

And that was that, the following records really did nothing for me and I felt that my beloved AC/DC had crossed into the realm of hard-pop music and even though I have consistently purchased every release the love affair  was long over.

That is how to me AC/DC made back to back swansong records. They jumped the shark twice, and to me that’s ok.

AC/DC soldiers on to this day and yes I still support them and always will, but that special connection, that spark, that nod from one street tough to another is long gone…

Thanks for the history guys, I still have the denim vest, and can still smell cigarette smoke and feel the whiskey flask in my pocket, and probably always will.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s AC/DC!!!

the Hellion

Bon Scott and Brian Johnson and AC/DC

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I was 13 years old and had that one older friend that my parents warned me about. He was also that friend who turned me on to some great music. He had long hair, wore a denim vest, engineer boots, drank beer, and smoked cigarettes. He also loved this band from Australia called AC/DC.

I grew to love this band as well and their “dangerous image”. They were raw, abrasive, and didn’t give a shot about niceties. They songs reached into your dirty side and made you feel cooler by just having listened to them. There was no pop, bubblegum, with these guys, just nasty Rock N’ Roll.

Bon Scott had a voice like no other, period. There was no smooth golden notes to slide easily into your ears. Bon himself exuded so much coolness, and it worked.

Then in 1980 on the heels of their greatest album to date, Highway To Hell, the world lost Bon. I was devastated to say the least. Myself and my Rock N’ Roll cronies paid our respect by trying to wear out our AC/DC records. And yes, I shed a few tears for Bon.

I don’t remember when it was but I soon read rumors that AC/DC was going to soldier on with a new vocalist. My circle was abuzz with speculation. And on July 25th 1980 we were waiting at the record store for the new release, Back In Black.

We listened to the record trying to be accepting of what we were hearing. It was a great record from start to finish. While the new singer, Brian Johnson, was no Bon Scott, he did the band justice. We had hope for AC/DC with Brian.

It is now 2015 and I now find myself reflecting back through the years of AC/DC music. Now, I am gonna piss a lot of you off. Back In Black was the last great album AC/DC made.

I had high hopes for the band but in my opinion they strayed into the pop world with all of the albums after Back In Black. While not becoming a shitty band, they just lost that dangerous raw edge that drew me in in the first place.

I do happen to own every AC/DC release from the beginning to Rock Or Bust, and will continue to support them, I just happen to not get the same rush from their newer music.

Bon, I miss you and wonder how far you could have taken the band,  and Brian great effort in carrying on but sorry, it wasn’t the same.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s AC/DC

-the Hellion

Bleach Bangs Radio discusses Motley Crue, AC/DC, and Van Halen and should they hang it up?

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Well, like that irritating rash, WE’RE BACK!!! We at Bleach Bangs Radio are exploring out options to infiltrate your ear holes and burrow into your brains. This time we decided to discuss some bands and their lifespans. Should they pull the plug? Should the defibrillators be hooked up to them? Check out the show right here:

     Afterwards let us know your thoughts. Pay attention as well because you just might have your chance to participate in an upcoming Bleach Bangs show yourself!!!

     -Bleach Bangs crew

AC/DC: Rock Or Bust?

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The last great AC/DC record was Back In Black. There I’ve said it, and I’ll stand by it. I was worried about the future of the band with the loss of Bon Scott and was impressed with their release of Back In Black and then, it all fell apart for me. There were the occasional singles that were decent but overall I lost interest in AC/DC. All of the While I continued to purchase each release with the hopes of finding something inspiring within.

2014 brought us the news of Malcolm having health issues and leaving the band and Phil Rudd living up to the bad boy rocker image, and the news of a new record. Could these issues give the album a new fire? I hoped.

I received my copy and with fingers crossed, shut out the world, and listened.

What was there was an average AC/DC record. There were no tracks that jumped out and grabbed me like the songs of old. Don’t get me wrong, the tracks are not terrible, just not great. Their playing is still excellent and powerful, but the songs themselves are not. I feel that they have found a comfort zone and are playing safely within it. They’ve still got “Big Balls” though.

Rock Or Bust? Sorry AC/DC, it’s a bust for me….

it’a loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL

-the Hellion

Revolving Vocalists- How does changing a front man affect a band?

In the world of Rock N’ Roll sometimes band members come and go. It’s in the nature of the business. Drugs, money, egos, and sometimes death can alter a band. We all know bands that have changed members so let’s look at a few and see the results.

AC/DC: BON SCOTT to BRIAN JOHNSON

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BON SCOTT 1974-1980

BRIAN JOHNSON 1980-

AC/DC was on the rise of US success with the August 3rd, 1979 release of HIGHWAY TO HELL when tragedy struck. Bon Scott and AC/DC were in the process of developing the album which would become BACK IN BLACK when the unthinkable happened. On 19 February 1980, Scott, 33 at the time, passed out after a night of heavy drinking in a London club called the Music Machine (currently known as the KOKO). He was left to sleep in a Renault 5 owned by an acquaintance named Alistair Kinnear, at 67 Overhill Road in East Dulwich, South London. The following afternoon, Kinnear found Scott lifeless, and alerted the authorities. Scott was rushed to King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Pulmonary aspiration of vomit was the cause of Scott’s death, and the official cause was listed as “acute alcohol poisoning” and “death by misadventure”. The band thought about hanging it up for a while but, after a visit with the parents of Bon Scott, decided to carry in his honor. Angus Young later recalled, “I remember the first time I had ever heard Brian’s (Johnson) name was from Bon. Bon had mentioned that he had been in England once touring with a band and he had mentioned that Brian had been in a band called Geordie and Bon had said ‘Brian Johnson, he was a great rock and roll singer in the style of Little Richard.’ And that was Bon’s big idol, Little Richard. I think when he saw Brian at that time, to Bon it was ‘Well he’s a guy that knows what rock and roll is all about.’ He mentioned that to us in Australia. I suppose when we decided to continue, Brian was the first name that Malcolm and myself came up with, so we said we should see if we can find him.” The rest, as the world knows, is history as AC/DC has carried on to become icons on the world of Rock. In my own opinion they are two different bands (I take this opinion of several other bands as well). I like them both but I feel they were a harder, darker, and more dangerous band with Bon. With Brian they are more of a friends band at a keg party type of band, just my opinion. AC/DC continues to this day.  Let’s compare Bon and Brian:

“Highway to Hell” – Bon Scott: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_5kv8QeBBc&feature=fvst

“Highway to Hell” – Brian Johnson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7svqfVu468&feature=related

VAN HALEN: DAVID LEE ROTH/ SAMMY HAGAR/ GARY CHERONE

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DAVID LEE ROTH  1972-1985

Van Halen came on the scene like gangbusters and were moving up and up riding the wave of success and then Dave was gone. Egos, drug use, and too much too fast were the apparent reasons for David and Van Halen splitting up. David went on to record several successful solo records and Van Halen moved on.

SAMMY HAGAR 1985-1996

Eddie invited Patty Smyth of Scandal to replace Roth but she refused. Eddie was then introduced by way of a mutual auto mechanic to Sammy Hagar, formerly of 1970s band Montrose. This was the shot in the arm Van Halen was looking for. Van Halen went on  to stellar success with Sammy writing some fantastic music along the way. But all was not perfect with this line up either. Fired or quit, Sammy was out of the band in 1996.

GARY CHERONE 1996-1999

Gary Cherone known for being the singer of the band Extreme was tapped to be the next VH vocalist. Van Halen III was recorded and sad to say didn’t take off. Let’s give a listen to the three vocalist of Van Halen:

“Unchained” – David Lee Roth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Qatc4K85A

“Unchained” – Sammy Hagar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=185roOKaUuQ

“Unchained: – Gary Cherone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oygJouHFnsk

Van Halen continues on today welcoming back David Lee Roth back to the fold. Sadly original bassist Michael Anthony has been replaced. New record, new bassist (Wolfgang Van Halen) new world tour, let’s see where it takes them. My opinion is with each vocalist we got a new band, same name, but new band.

BLACK SABBATH: OZZY OSBOURNE TO DIO

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I know there were other members of Sabbath but we are just going to look at the Ozzy/Dio versions.

OZZY OSBOURNE 1969 TO 1979

Ozzy and company rose to stardom with their dark and doom laden music. Like so many others before them success also got to them. The reckless lifestyle Ozzy  was living led to his dismissal in 1979.

RONNIE JAMES DIO 1979 TO 1982

Ironically Sharon Arden (later Sharon Osbourne), daughter of Black Sabbath manager Don Arden, suggested former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio to replace Ozzy Osbourne in 1979. Dio officially joined in June, and the band began writing their next album. With a notably different vocal style from Osbourne’s, Dio’s addition to the band marked a change in Black Sabbath’s sound.

Let’s look at some differences:

“War Pigs” – Ozzy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3K0PvO2Dr4

“War Pigs” – Dio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG1lEiOUclc

I am going to stop at three bands. I know there are several more to discuss, maybe a part 2 blog. I also plan to discuss replacing musicians within a band as well. Some of the singers discussed here have left us may they Rest In Peace:

Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott (9 July 1946 – 19 February 1980)

Ronald James “DIO” Padavona (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010)

While others, OZZY, David Lee Roth, have rejoined to band mates. What is your take on replacing singers? I feel like they become a “different” band. Let me know!

Thanks to my best friend, my love, and my partner in crime, my wife Dani for this idea!

the Hellion