20 Day Music Challenge – Day 3

20 Day Music Challenge – Day 3

I’ve been asked by Wavey Dave Howarth to participate in a 20 day music challenge about LPs that influenced my musical tastes enduringly.

One album per day for 20 days – Andrew Lowry – if you can be bothered, go for it.

Day 3 – AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Ironically the last of the Bon Scott albums I got on vinyl – I had this taped from a friend’s copy and almost wore the cassette out, I loved it so much. Oddly, it’s also the album the record label refused to release in The States because it was too raw, or naughty lyrically, or whatever. They released it smartish once Highway To Hell & Back In Black sold a mint, of course.

It’s the cheekyness of the lyrics and Bon’s delivery that I love the most. Songs like the title track, Ain’t No Fun Waitin’ Round To Be A Millionaire (“Hey Howard Hughes – neighbour – get your fucken jumbo jet outta my airport!”), Problem Child (I was always the problem at home, no matter what I did), Squealer (I had no idea why a lady would squeal, but Bon Scott’s delivery made sure I knew that I wasnted to find out), the hilariously juvenile Big Balls (“I believe that my big balls should be held every night”), and of course Jailbreak. We got the Countdown version of the Jailbreak video clip, with the band dressed as convicts or guards at a prison, bullets ripping through them as they escaped (“and he made it out… with a bullet in his back”)

But the standout track for me is Ride On. It’s so different to the rest of their songs – a slow, brooding blues that reached deep inside me, and Bon’s vocal – simultaneously sad and fatalistic, and optimistic. He sounds like he’s already world weary, that he knows the end is closer than he’d like, and he’s doing his best to remain positive no matter what. I was still as pure as driven snow when I heard this (I was ten when the album was released) but it moved me even then, and I have loved it more with each and every listen – and there’s been a few!

“It’s another lonely evening, In another lonely town
But I ain’t too young to worry, And I ain’t too old to cry
When a woman gets me down

“Got another empty bottle, and another empty bed
Ain’t too young to admit it, And I’m not too old to lie
I’m just another empty head

“And that’s why I’m lonely, I’m so lonely
But I know what I’m going to do, I’m gonna ride on”

Those lyrics have grown to mean a lot more to me over the past 45+ years since I first heard them, and they have made me cry, made me drink, made me steel my heart against the inevitable sadness of life, many times, especially when I travelled, moving on regularly, and when relationships were far more fleeting.



Shane Pinnegar
Shane Pinnegar is an author, chef and music/pop culture writer who lives in Western Australia. He has a lovely wife, two rambunctious dogs with no respect for personal space, especially on the sofa or bed, twenty-something koi, a flock of itinerate galahs who visit regularly, and a never-comprehensive-enough rock n' roll record collection.

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