Butt-head Science

graphical representations of pop songs

By now, “graphical representations of pop songs” like the one above have probably already weaseled their way past your spam filter and into your inbox, together with viagra and fake rolex watches and whatnot. I was sent a half a dozen or so of them from my friend Chris-O, who is obviously spending a few too many hours procrastinating from his thesis about the withdrawal symptoms of methamphetamine.

Someone has kindly uploaded ’em all over here. And if rap is more your thing, you might find these mildly amusing. But whoa, google around a little more and you find hundreds of the little critters. Phew. I think I was happier when I thought there were only six.
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Driving without Bon

Last week I proposed that driving around is one of the better ways to listen to Acca Dacca: you can turn it up loud without disturbing the neighbours… the stereo in the car is pretty good, and somehow the rhythms of the highway meld with the driving force of the rock rhythms.

So to try it out, I picked Diego up from his house, and we went for a spin around Redfern. Earlier, Diego had told me about his first encounter with an AC/DC cassette tape – in Italy in the late 1980s. Telling the story, he couldn’t help himself, and air guitarred the key riff from Back in Black. So Back in Black, naturally, was his album of choice for our drive. I went and bought it from the record store (thereby doing my little bit to help cement it as AC/DC’s highest selling LP of all time).

Bon Scott, of course, doesn’t actually sing on Back in Black: by the time of its recording, 1980, he was freshly dead. Malcolm and Angus Young quickly auditioned for a new singer, who turned out to be Brian Johnson. Now I don’t want to get bogged down in a fruitless never-ending debate, but if you Google “Who is better: Brian Johnson or Bon Scott?” you come up with over seventy thousand hits. So you can see that this controversy, far from being laid to rest, is one of the defining and enduring features of the band.

I’ll reserve my opinion on this for later. In the meantime, you can listen to Diego musing “live” over the top of the album… some of the songs trigger memories of his first home-made tattoo, the time he did a strip-tease to Back in Black and his Eighties enthusiasm for Reggae…

We head down Regent Street, past Green Square to Gardeners Road, and then proceed to loop back up past Redfern Station. As a result of skipping a few tracks we get bored with, the odd nip n tuck in the editing, and muddied by road noises and conversation (apologies to the purists), Back in Black is thus compressed to just 18 minutes.

Click here to listen now, or right click and choose “save target as” to download the file [mp3, 10mb, 18 mins].

Or for the time-poor, here is a shorter version, with just the first six minutes…[mp3, 3mb, 6 mins].

Meeting Clinton Walker

Clinton Walker at his desk
(Clinton Walker looking over the Bon Scott timeline he constructed while writing his book…)

It just so happens that one of Bon Scott’s biggest fans lives in Dulwich Hill, only fifteen minutes walk from my house. Last Thursday Katie and I popped around for a cup of tea with him. He took us out to his “den” – a revamped chookshed in the backyard, stuffed with books and records, and spilled the contents of his filing cabinets all over the coffee table.

It’s impossible to recount everything Clinton told us. I won’t even try. In the process of writing Bon Scott’s biography, he accumulated an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject. I was a little overwhelmed by facts and anecdotes. I could have made an audio recording of everything he said, and then uploaded it for you… but then again, you could just go read the book
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