music morsels fiorenza April 2007

BOOK REVIEW - The Story of AC/DC - Let There Be Rock by Susan Masino
Omnibus Press
by Mark E. Waterbury

The Story of AC/DC

In her previous book "Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy," Madison, Wisconsin music journalist Susan Masino offered readers a taste of her interactions with one of hard rock's most endearing and enduring bands, AC/DC. Perhaps because she has known the band since their first U.S. tour in 1977, it was preordained that she author the first complete and in-depth bio of the band which she does wonderfully with "The Story of AC/DC - Let Their Be Rock." Her long time friendship with the band adds what is actually a welcome touch of human interest and fanzine accessibility, balancing nicely with journalistic detailing and storytelling prose. She avoids gushing over the band and it is obvious from the first chapters detailing the formative years and throughout the book that Masino did not rely solely on her personal knowledge and interactions with the band. She obviously painstakingly researched AC/DC as well as further interviewing the band members, music business team members and musical peers, while also culling from interviews from publications. Her style and talent in weaving it all together will keep you intrigued and entertained from cover to cover. Those cynics who may be expecting to find a lot of "dirt" about the band may be somewhat disappointed, but that is not because Masino avoided controversial subject matter. On the contrary, you find out that AC/DC actually has far less dirty laundry to be washed, which is actually a welcome aside to the story considering what most bands were like in that era. Every step of the bands life has been chronicled in detailed and interesting fashion. There are several "I never knew that" nuggets, from the fame of Angus and Malcolm Young's older siblings band The Easybeats, to how doomed original vocalist Bon Scott got the idea of hoisting Angus on his shoulders and carrying him through the crowd, from a show with the band Geordie featuring future AC/DC front man Brian Johnson. Along with Masino's own personal recollections of her friendship with the band, adding an extra touch of human interest to the book are verbatim letters of correspondence from Bon Scott era roadie Barry Taylor to Masino.   

Masino writes of how she does not know what unknown force compelled her to stop by her music paper's office in 1977 to see if there were any assignments for her. Fans of AC/DC can thank whatever that force was, for they now have a highly entertaining and very comprehensive story to enjoy. Nowhere near cold and too presskit like as some music biographies tend to be, the fact that Masino knows the band and has had many personal interactions with them is icing on the cake. The main recipe calls for journalistic and writing capabilities, and happily Masino possesses those qualities and uses them in full effect to make "The Story of AC/DC - Let Their Be Rock" a very complete and compelling tribute to a hard working, hard rocking band that deserves to have their story told.

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