So, when asked about the late, great, Malcolm Young this week, our (current) Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was unable to name a single AC/DC song. I, like a lot of the Australian part of the internet, got very angry and mocking about this. Given a few days to think about it, I’ve calmed down somewhat, but felt like writing something to properly enunciate my feelings on the matter.
It could be said to be some vestige of my working class eat the rich nature showing through, but it felt… insulting. It’s probably just a PM more into Mahler than Motorhead, or him simply being badly briefed by an advisor, but it feels more, like something resembling disrespect. You claim to represent Australia, but yet can’t name a song from one of our biggest exports? A near institution in this country, a story of working class migrant kids made good (Potentially not popular in the current climate). They’ve been around for more than 40 years, and while you could say they’ve been making the same album every few years, it’s a good one. 🙂
I’m Marxist and proud – Groucho that is!
For all his man of the people, leather jacket on Q&A, ‘Look I ride trains like regular mortals’ image, I can’t imagine Turnbull breaking out the air guitar to the opening of Riff Raff, or getting romantic to the Barry White eat your heart out groove of Let Me Put My Love Into You and that’s possibly a good thing. I think far too much gets put into the ‘I want a PM I can have a beer with’ school of thought and that’s not what I want in a PM. I’m happy with that in a local minister (I’d be happy with anyone with a less punchable face than my current state representative – JUST LOOK AT HIM), but I want a PM who’s studied, calm in a crisis and is busy trying to get Australia to a better place rather than getting shit-faced with Stevo down at the local. Also, a less terrible immigration policy would be fucking lovely. Can you hear me Peter Dutton you heartless cunt?
Ahem. Back to Acca Dacca. First hearing that band was a watershed moment in my life – I was listening to music by that stage and had developed a taste for guitars (I maintain a great love of the opening riff of Dire Straits Money for Nothing, something for which I feel exactly zero shame), but this was something else. I can still remember the feeling of excitement at hearing them play that first song- Who Made Who to be exact, at that riff and the wonders it evoked. I had no conception that music like this even existed. It stirred something in my tiny and barely formed mind, much like my first sight of Robin Wright in The Princess Bride around the same time, that said “This thing, you like this. You’re too young to fully understand why, and that’s OK, but you won’t forget this.” And I haven’t.
You see, rock and roll means something to me. As in, it’s one of the things that get’s me up in the morning, something that courses through my veins like wildfire and reminds me that I’m alive. If not for it, I may well not be here. I know I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am if not for it. Asking am I into rock and roll is like asking is the Pope Catholic? The answer to both is ‘Yes’, but it doesn’t quite get across the seriousness of the devotion. Some find inner peace in the smile of a child, the beauty of a mountain landscape, or a wonderful piece of wordplay. Me? I find what comes closest to inner peace when Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers are plugged into a wall of Marshall stacks.
Musics power to inspire, shatter and move continues to amaze me – if you can listen to the Sunnyboys Alone With You and not have your heart break every time, well you’re stronger than I am. If I only give one thing to any children of mine, I’d want it to be a love of music. I like to think I could deal with a sporty child, one who looked upon my love of Doctor Who with scorn and who didn’t know when to reverse the polarity*, but if they didn’t appreciate the beauty of a well timed power chord at air raid siren volume, well, you know the old joke about spending your kids inheritances…
Malcolm Young – 1953 – 2017. Rock in Peace.
* WHENEVER YOU DAMN WELL CAN.