I love AC/DC. There’s no way around it. And there is no reason to defend it. There’s no need to sit here and pontificate on the many reasons why they are one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
So, I won’t.
What I will do is tell you about a new book, written by former bassist for AC/DC Mark Evans, called Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside of AC/DC. It was awesome talking to this man. I can’t emphasize enough how great his book is, too. If you’re looking for a dirty tell-all on AC/DC, this ain’t it. If you’re looking for a fun, rock n’ roll read, pick up your copy today. Don’t wait.
We’re going to split the interview up into two parts. Expect Part 2 sometime early next week.
Let there be rock.
Mark, it’s an honor to speak with you! I appreciate your time today.
It’s no worry, pal! What I’m doing right now is, I’m at the back of the house in the bar. It’s about 10:30 at night here, so I’ve had a beer to warm up. Just hang on two clicks.
No problem. Take your time.
Beer bottle opens. I’ve just knocked the top off another one to keep it rollin’, you know?
Congratulations on the book, Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside AC/DC. It’s been in North America now for more than a few months. How’s everything going with the book?
It’s going great, man. It’s just going fantastic. It came out here in Australia a little bit before North America, and the reaction here has been phenomenal. I wasn’t quite sure how the book would travel to America, because it’s written with a lot of sort of Australian-isms, you know? I’ve just been blown away at how people have adopted the book and reacted to it. I guess, in essence, I’ve got a lot in common with Americans. We’ve got similar brains and we find the same sort of things funny. And hey, who doesn’t love a story about rock n’ roll and girls and drinking?!
Well that’s the thing, man. AC/DC transcends borders and countries. It’s a worldwide band.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Here in Australia, we definitely view them as an Australian band. But it’s one of those bands that not only transcends boundaries but it transcends generations. My tenure with the band was somewhat brief, but you know, I was there with them at the start. It was definitely an interesting learning period, let me tell ya!
What made you decide to write this book? You were with AC/DC in the 70s, thirty years later, why now?
I’ve been approached on a number of occasions to write a book. Obviously, at the outset, publishers wanted me to write basically a tell-all about AC/DC. But it’s not a band that you would be in and do that, you know? The timing of the book is interesting. After publishers told me “You should write about this,” I just kept saying I don’t think so. I came to a point, though, in my life where there were a couple of things that spun me around on a family level. It just seemed like the right time to sit down and draw a breath, not necessarily to write a book about AC/DC, but write a book, as you know, that is a memoir. It’s an autobiography. If I write just about my time in AC/DC, it wouldn’t make too much sense because a lot of the things I’ve done since AC/DC were actually influenced by when I was a kid.
That makes sense. I mean, the title of the book is inside and outside of the band. It covers everything.
The majority of the story is with AC/DC. But I was very aware to write about my whole life so far. The timing was right. The time became right for me on a personal level to put my thoughts down on paper. The process was very interesting. When I was writing, man, I was cracking up laughing at some of the stories. We definitely got down to some interesting stuff. There are some great memories, man. I really cherish my memories from my time with the band. We really were a great band. We worked hard, we played hard. There was nothing to stop us. I would’ve loved to continue on with the band, but that’s just the way life is.
You say you laughed and there are obviously some great stories in the book. There are also some tough stories, though. What was the hardest part about writing the book?
It surprised me, really. In the book there are a couple of family losses. The one that surprised me was writing about losing my father. I was prepared to write about the other stuff that happened later in life because I’ve grown to live with that stuff on a daily basis. But, writing about losing my father…you know, it’s a memory you’ll always have. You’ll take that with you. I was 12 years old when I lost my father. But recounting, in detail, what happened say in the last four or five hours, I went right back into pretty sort of graphic detail. I got back into living that. It knocked me around. To go back and relive it, I could even smell things. Part of what caught me on it, though, was at that time my youngest daughter Virginia was 12 years old. Looking at that from my father’s eyes, I thought about the effect it would have on Virginia. I found that very, very difficult to contend with. And to be quite honest, speaking about it now is not particularly easy. I can feel things welling up. You’re writing with an adult sensibility and looking back at that 12 year old kid and thinking, “Oh my God, what a terrible thing to happen.” It was a terrible thing to happen, it’s a terrible thing to happen to anyone. The end wasn’t pretty, either, you know? In essence, that was the most difficult thing to write about.
If your readers could take away one thing from the book, what would you want that to be?
Enjoy life and take the good and enjoy the good things that come along your way! But when the bad things come along, just keep turning the pages. Sometimes, when you get into it, and you get knocked around, sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it will come. Be true to yourself. You can learn a lot more from a mistake or a failure than what you learn from success. Success is easy to handle. Sometimes it’s worth it to strike out every once in awhile.
Part two coming soon!