Driving with Bon

acdc car
(Thanks to this fella for the above image)

Since the best stereo available to me is in a borrowed Toyota Yaris, that’s where I’ve been doing a lot of my listening. I can turn up the volume real loud and in that little bubble, really feel the music. It’s not the same coming out the tinny computer speakers or the crappy kitchen boombox. But sometimes it involves travelling with others, who, for some reason or another, are not entirely convinced of the genius of AC/DC. My girlfriend Lizzie, for instance. While I experience the “OI!-OI!-OI!s” on the song TNT as mischievous, subtly subversive and quite hilarious, (and although these OI!s are very Australian, I don’t find them at all “patriotic”) she cringes at ’em.

And while the poker/card game conceit on “She’s Got The Jack” (eg: “But how was I to know that she’d be shuffled before?“) are admittedly cheesy, for some reason I laugh at them every time. They come across, to me, as a parody of sorts (although, a parody of what exactly?) Lizzie begs to differ.

For my third and final example, take a few lines from the song “Rock and Roll Singer“:

Well you can stick your nine to five livin’
And your collar and your tie
You can stick your moral standards
‘Cause it’s all a dirty lie
You can stick your golden handshake
And you can stick your silly rules
And all the other shit
That you teach to kids in school
(‘Cause I ain’t no fool)

…at the line “You can stick your moral standards” she even has the nerve to scoff, audibly! (which is quite a feat when the music is turned up loud). The basic problem, as I see it, is that Lizzie hates unsubstantiated activist propaganda. To her, “stick your moral standards” is just an impossible paradox (how could you do that, even if you wanted to?)…and therefore scoff-worthy. And yet! – knowing a smidgeon about Bon’s own history, this song comes across as a kind of autobiography. This is not just an abstract song which could be sung by anyone. It’s Bon’s own tale. And it seems that Bon did live this reality (although, of course, he would be dead from it a few years later, but that’s another story).

Whatever your taste, driving around is certainly a good way to experience the music in a full bodied way. As opposed to drily writing about it in a blog, for instance. So I’ve decided to do some audio recordings with fans while we drive. Here’s the idea. You make up your perfect Acca Dacca mix-tape for me, and we’ll drive around with it turned up loud, recording our conversation as we listen. Maybe we’ll go somewhere significant, maybe we’ll just drive aimlessly. Then I’ll edit it a bit and upload it here as a podcast.

2 thoughts on “Driving with Bon”

  1. The funny thing is, i found myself singing “She’s Got the Jack” compulsively for a week after that car journey, and couldn’t wait to get back in the car and hear it again… The next time we went on an ACDC drive I laughed complicity as Bon slipped in the line “I hear it pays well” in “Rock and Roll Singer”.

    I’m not sure what has caused my creeping appreciation of Bon… Is it because I sneakily, and greedily read a chapter of Highway to Hell when Lucas left it by the bed? Or because I had to sit through 20 minutes of Back in Black on another road trip (which left me longing for Bon’s more mellow tones)? Or because I know I’m going to have to listen to it a lot in the next 3 months, and I might as well learn to enjoy it? One way or another I feel, suddenly, like I’m in on the joke. I hear the wisecracks in Bon’s lyrics, and, in spite of myself, I’m charmed.

  2. Awesome The power of Bon’s tongue in cheek larakin charm lives on.

    Stick Your Moral Standards – Bon is true Hero of Rebellion.
    He once was drinking champagne out of a roast chicken carcass to impress people at a music industry event.
    Daryl Braithwait of Sherbet also wanted to be cool and have a drink from the bird and did so after Bon offered it to him.
    Little did he know that Bon had snuck away and taken a piss in the chicken before offering him a drink and he was now drinking a piss champagne cocktail.
    Who does practical jokes of this calibre these days Bloody No One!!!

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