Written by T. Michael Testi
With the release of their first album in eight years, there was bound to be a resurgence of interest in AC/DC and their 30-plus year history. In The Story Of AC/DC: Let There Be Rock , author Susan Masino updates her biography and documents the band's history which began in Sydney, Australia in the early 1970s all the way through the new Black Ice album, released October 2008.
While The Story Of AC/DC was first published in 2006, it has been updated to include what the band has been doing in the last three years. Masino first met the band during their first American tour in 1977. Over the years she has remained in contact with them and interviewed them many times.
The book begins with the story of the Young's, who were actually born in Scotland, and their move to Australia under the Assisted Passage Scheme of 1947 which, because of job scarcity, allowed them to move for a nominal fee. The book follows their rise first in Australia - and then the world.
First, what I liked about the book is that it is very well researched, and the author is very knowledgeable about the band. As with any good book on a topic like this, there much insight that is to be gained from its reading.
One of the things that I had previously known included the fact that Malcolm and Angus Young's older brother George first broke on to the music charts with "Friday on my Mind," which hit number 16 in the U.S. charts and number 6 in the U.K. What I didn't know was the impact it was to have on AC/DC.
Another is that Angus Young, the one in the school boy knickers' gyrating around the stage, is a teetotaler. He has never touched anything stronger than a cigarette. The book also includes background on how the whole schoolboy thing came about and some of the other colorful costumes that were tried before he settled on this one.
There are a lot of good tidbits about the band, the history, and other insights into one of the most popular hard rock bands of all time. There are also a lot of pictures of the band throughout this time and this version also comes with a CD that includes interviews with each member. This even includes the late Bon Scott, with the interview was done in 1977.
The main thing that I had a problem with in The Story Of AC/DC is that throughout there are what I call cut-outs. This is where the author inserts comments by using italics. This seems to break the flow of thought. I wish that she would have incorporated these pieces of information as part of the dialog of the general book. It sometimes seems that she is first fan, then biographer.
Outside of that, I found it to be a good read. The book covers pretty much every aspect of the band's history. I do think that you will get a good appreciation for the band and the fact that they had to work hard to get where they got to and even then, life dealt them blows that could have done in lesser bands. If you want to learn more about the life and times of AC/DC then The Story Of AC/DC: Let There Be Rock 2nd Edition is a good place to start.