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Book Review – The Youngs. The Brothers Who Built AC/DC. By Jesse Fink

| 6 November 2013 | 2 Replies

Book review – The Youngs. The Brothers Who Built AC/DC. By Jesse Fink
Published by Random House, 1 November 2013
Rrp $34.95
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8.5/10

The Youngs - by Jesse Fink, book

The deeper Jesse Fink goes down the rabbit hole to unearth the truth behind the Young Brothers George, Malcolm and Angus, the more it becomes clear that many ‘truths’ exist and since the principals aren’t saying a word to anyone, what develops is a Rashomon-like tale.

That Kurosawa movie saw the same event described in four wildly different ways, and so too the story of Australia’s greatest rock export is described by a huge supporting cast in wildly disparate ways.

Fink acknowledges this throughout the tale, and goes to great lengths to insist that The Youngs is not a biography of the band or the dynasty, but rather a critical analysis of them through eleven pivotal tracks, nine from AC/DC, one from The Easybeats and one Stevie Wright track.

It’s an approach that pays dividends, with a lot of background stories emerging as Fink delves deep into Good Times, Evie, It’s A Long Way To The Top, Jailbreak, Let There Be Rock, Riff Raff, Highway To Hell, Back In Black, You Shook Me All Night Long, Hells Bells and Thunderstruck.

The other real selling point to The Youngs is that Fink has not merely taken as read the myriad of books already written on the subject, but instead done his own research from the ground up. Along the way he’s talked to many people who have been effectively written out of the band’s history – Tony Currenti, who played drums on High Voltage. John ‘Swanee’ Swan, who was a friend of the band and a contender to replace Bon Scott after his untimely death. A whole roster of Atlantic Records staffers who helped break the band in The States, primarily Jerry Greenburg, who was president of the record company from 1974 to 1980.

Fink is also not afraid to debunk other published versions of events, and is openly critical – sometimes a little too smugly – of Mick Wall, Susan Marino, Scott Walker and a host of other biographer’s research and conclusions.

At the end of the day The Youngs may have actually opened up more questions than it resolves, but with the undisputable number of people who have been stepped over and left nursing their wounds in the brother’s wake, it is unlikely that their official side of the story – in the unlikely event it is ever published – will be anything more than another biased side to a very complex tale of some uniquely talented musicians who were ruthless enough to do use just about any means – and anyone – to get what they wanted.

Author Jesse Fink is interviewed on 100% ROCK MAGAZINE HERE

Category: Book Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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