Whenever I hear the ridiculous proposition of “Beatles or Stones?” my instinctual response is, “That’s easy. It’s AC/DC, you lethargic bag of excrement.” And when I think of AC/DC, I think of “Highway to Hell.” And then I hear it in my head. And then I excuse myself from whatever arbitrary social engagement that I’ve just realized pales in comparison with the visceral thrill of engaging this record-even if several super models are fighting over my cock with their toothless mouths(which totally never happens)and get home and throw that motherfucker on the turntable and play it. LOUD. The snarling siren of Bon Scott boils my heathen blood, pumping it into my skull with each perfectly timed snare shot from Phil Rudd. The sweet, trading licks of incestuous riffage from the brothers Young, pummeling and abusing while I beg for more like a battered spouse. The thunderous bass from Cliff Williams kicking my balls up into my abdomen. I wanna shove beer bottles into my eye sockets and drive a stolen car off a cliff, blood pouring from my eardrums and laughing hysterically the whole time knowing this ain’t gonna end well. Just like everything else in this world.
The first time I saw just the cover of this seminal record as a young heathen, or “tweathen,” I was mesmerized by the intimidating lot snearing at me, flaunting the fact that they were up to no good and goddamned if I didn’t want to join them. The sound they created could put hair on a 3rd graders chest, filling his balls with jizz and mind with dangerous ideas. And that is what is sorely missing from the present day landscape of rock and/or roll: the element of danger. I want a band to scare me out of my whitebread, comfortable existence to follow through with some devil intuition that’s gnawing away on my stomach like a starved ulcer. I wanna feel it in my gut, baby. Oh sure, the image of some contemporary rock star in tight, skinny jeans, ironic facial hair and distressed “vintage” jacket is awfully scary, but for all the wrong reasons. Bon Scott would beat their perfect, bleached teeth into powder with his hard cock and set their coiffed, bed head hair on fire with one glance from his maniacal eyes, lighting a cigarette off their unoriginal ideas land-fill of a head, without the courtesy of pissing the blaze out.
Now here is where I’m gonna lose some of you, especially if you’re daft enough to think “Back in Black” is their first record. To my ears, Brian Johnson’s voice sounds like the last fart beaten from a dying horse in comparison to Bon’s. Now I realize the position Brian Johnson was put in and I’m not envious of the mammoth set of moose knuckles he was hopeless to fill, but he was also the flagship that sunk their good name into irony and self-parody. The cannons going off on “For Those About to Rock”? The album “Ballbeaker”? The song “Cover You in Oil”? Sure, it’s all done in knuckle draggin’, dick swingin’ fun, but Bon was more tongue and cheek, a dirtbag street poet. When he snarled about the holy trinity of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, he’d make you nervous cuz the motherfucker meant it. Now, I’m in no way condemning them for continuing on after his death. I get it. “Back in Black” is a great tribute to the man. I just don’t wanna listen to it. I will, however, listen the shit out of “Highway to Hell.” And now I can hear it in my head. And now I’m gonna throw that motherfucker on the turntable and play it. LOUD.
See you in hell.