Two talented star has join ac/dc

It will have been Sydney; I don’t know the year. You’d think, with the amount of times he told the story, that the year might have come up, but it never did. The facts always stayed the same: he saw them with a friend he knew from rugby, cried when they came on stage and slept on the beach that night. He loved AC/DC so much that they would play constantly in his house, and when they did, this story followed close behind. It became a thing of parody. Eyes would widen as the first few words were spoken, and we would interrupt with, “You’ve seen AC/DC?”, “You went to Australia?” He would tut, call us wankers and keep listening to whatever track he was lost in.

On February 1st, 2022, my dad died of a brain haemorrhage. That’s a sentence that remains difficult no matter how many times my therapist encourages me to write it down. He was too young, mid-50s, and it was before I ever started working full-time in music journalism, a job that I almost certainly should credit to him whenever I get the chance. Days at his house were spent watching the music videos of Guns N’ Roses, Kiss and his favourite band, AC/DC, moments taken for granted at the time but that were steadily setting the foundation I would build the rest of my life on.

The first time I properly think about him on July 3rd, 2024, is in the tackiest of places. The band have set up a dive bar in Camden, day drinkers drink, and the bumbling thoughts of the quarter pissed are dropped like litter. AC/DC branding climbs the walls, ‘Show Business’ plays through speakers much too big for the room, and old videos of the band are projected onto any surface that will hold their image. I’m in love with the ridiculousness of it and know that he would be, too, telling me facts about the albums being sold, trying to convince me Bon Scott was better than Brian Johnson, and complaining about the price of a pint in Camden. His rugby shirt sits in my bag, which I hold tighter as I look around.

We seem to go in one direction or another when our parents show us the music they are into; we either embrace it wholeheartedly or reject it completely. Both approaches form a big part of who we eventually become, and it all boils down to what we believe is cool. When my dad first showed me footage of AC/DC playing ‘Thunderstruck’, Angus Young with one hand in the air, duck walking up and down the stage, nothing appealed to me more. I was a lover of rock music from that day on.

One of my first rock gigs was in Manchester when me and my dad went to see Kiss. I had my face painted as Paul Stanley, and he did his as Gene Simmons. We also saw Slash a few times, as these days are before the Guns N’ Roses reunion when he was touring his first solo album. We never saw AC/DC, though. So, on that day, walking down Wembley Way, excitement in my veins and liquor on my lips, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the overriding sadness in the fact he wasn’t there with me.

There is no doubt in my mind that regardless of whether you accept or reject the music your parents loved when they were younger, it will bring you comfort at some point in your life. This doesn’t have to be when they die. The truth is we attach memories to music every day, which is natural, given we are constantly surrounded by sound and, therefore, continuously associate it with what is happening around us. However, how we view memories differs depending on how spectacular or un-spectacular what happened is.

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