By Ian Liberman
FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK…WE SALUTE YOU!
On November 18th, guitarist Malcolm Young (co-founder of AC/DC), died after battling dementia. He had retired from the band in 2014 due to this devastating illness.
I remember in 1976, lying on a beach in Florida (where I was mentally floundering), and listening to a Miami rock station. Suddenly, my ears were attacked by the shrill vocals of the thundering Bon Scott, and the machine gun guitar riffs of brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. One listen to “She Got Balls” and “Little Lover,” and I was hooked! I immediately ran to the nearest record store to buy High Voltage on vinyl. AC/DC has been in my life ever since.
Tragedy struck the band in 1980, when Scott died after a night of drinking. The driving force behind the band (Malcolm and Angus), carried on with Brian Johnson without missing a beat. The band went on to record their most successful album, Back in Black, which was written by the Young brothers.
I saw AC/ DC at least four or five times in Toronto, Canada, and I was never disappointed. Their sound was always impeccable, no matter the venue. On another personal note, I was induced into metal meditation with the songs “Shoot To Thrill” and “Highway To Hell.”
In October 2012, AC/DC was into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their performance at the induction blew everyone away.
I want to leave you with the reaction of Angus Young who posted his feelings on Facebook after Malcolm’s passing…
“Today, it is with deep, heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young. With enormous dedication and commitment, he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter, and visionary, he was a perfectionist and a unique man.
He always stuck to his guns, and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored.
His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.
As his brother, it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”
RIP DAVID CASSIDY
You are probably wondering why I would ever include the death of teen and pop idol, David Cassidy (of the Partridge Family) in a hard rock column. Read on…
Cassidy died of dementia at the age 67 with his family and friends surrounding him last week. One of his best friends was Micky Dolenz of the Monkees. Both artists were frustrated by the limits of their bands (and hits) because they were both a product of business arrangements that had locked them into a routine playing the simplified musical hits for teen audiences.
In reality, both enjoyed playing hard rock and blues guitar off stage, but were aware that their respective pop audiences (of mostly preteen girls) would never become accustomed to hearing their more complex music.
Dolenz told Billboard…
“David was a really consummate performer. He was really a good entertainer, and a great guitar player, which I didn’t even know. I didn’t know he could play a rock ‘n’ roll, bluesy guitar. He was very dedicated and passionate about his music and his rock ‘n’ roll and his blues.”
I am not going to spend too much time reviewing Bat Out of Hell, the musical. If you only care about the musical soundtrack of Jim Steinman and the colorful, background staging by director Jay Scheib, then you will be satisfied with the play. However, if you are waiting for a Dystopian, nuanced plot with a witty and creative script that dazzles the cognitive mind leaving a visceral punch, then I recommend finding another way to spend an evening. The plot is a combination of Romeo and Juliet, with a sprinkle of Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle’s fairy dust. Andrew Polec is outstanding as the lead character, Strat.
The actors, the electronic staging, and the music are enough to keep you fascinated, but the rest is disappointing and discouraging. Do not give up on the dystopian rock opera concept though, because Avatar is on tour with a dramatic performance of the music of their latest album, Feathers and Flesh.
INFERNO OF ROCK TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
NOVEMBER 2017 TRIVIA QUESTION ANSWERS
 Easy Beat’s guitarist died last month at the age of 70. Who was he, and what super group did he produce? George Young, AC/DC
 What article of clothing did Dave Grohl give a fan on crutches at a Foo Fighter concert this year? Sneakers
DECEMBER 2017 TRIVIA QUESTION
What Disturbed song did NASA borrow for a new space video?