Even though Craig Wilson has already written the post I wish I’d written about AC/DC, I thought there was still room to add my 2c worth to the discussion.
It all began in 1990 at the age of 10 when I first discovered AC/DC while watching music videos on a Saturday morning. The video was ‘Thunderstruck‘ and that was exactly the effect their music had on me. AC/DC’s raw energy and straight-up rock’n'roll sound was unlike anything I’d heard before. From that point on, I was hooked.
The only problem was that there was a clear stigma attached to their music where anyone who listened to it was instantly branded a bogan or similar. Particularly in the schoolyard where Nirvana and Pearl Jam (for example) were considered cool, AC/DC was most definitely not.
This extended to mainstream media, where despite achieving more international success than any other Australian entertainer, the local press routinely ignored them with music critics dismissive of each new album.
In the past 2 years, however, there has been a real shift in how AC/DC are perceived. Especially in the last few weeks with the band on the Australian leg of the Black Ice Tour, it seems fans are coming out of the woodwork and every major media outlet can’t get enough of them.
What you see is what you get
It is almost a reaction to the collapse of the world economy and the excessive consumerism of the early 2000′s that consumers now are looking for authenticity and a sense of ‘realness’. In this regard, there is no better example (in musical terms) than AC/DC.
For 37 years they have recorded and performed different variations of the same few songs. But the fact that they come exactly as advertised and without pretense means that for their fans, they are a constant in otherwise turbulent times as we seek to inject our lives with something more meaningful than today’s homogenised, mass produced, faceless ‘music’ that is more style than substance.
Unlike other similarly massive bands who are constantly reinventing themselves and striving to remain relevant by preaching one cause after another (I’m looking at you, U2), AC/DC have never wavered from what they do best: playing blistering, wildly entertaining hard rock.
(Read what Brian Johnson has to say about Bono and Bob Geldof)
They have built a level of trust with their fans that few other bands have done and are now more successful than ever before. All by focusing on the things they do well and getting rid of the rest.
So next time, before start thinking about changing your logo/website/etc. ask yourself (a) why you’re really doing it, and (b) if your customers will even notice or care.
I finally got to see AC/DC live for the first time at Adelaide Oval on March 2nd. For a bunch of guys my dads age, they put on a hell of a performance that more than lived up to my expectations. Unlike some bands who I’ve seen live who could be sleepwalking through their set, you just know that these guys care about giving their fans a show and are leaving nothing on the table!