I think I emerged from reading the article relatively unscathed, but what surprised me most of all was that, of a list of 40 greatest songs by one of the biggest bands on the planet, I remember hearing only 3 of them. And that doesn’t even include “Sin City” – which is on the list – the B-side of the “Rock n Roll Damnation” single, which I bought in 1978 and still own. The last time I played it I still rather liked it.
The greatest revelation of all has to be that the 3 songs I recognise on the list I don’t actively dislike.
Hayseed Dixie have played a couple of times at a small festival I go to whenever life is normal enough for it to go ahead. They’re a great fun band, and 3 of them have come to the sci-fi area where I work and stopped for a chat on both occasions. I bumped into their bassist while Atomic Rooster were playing and joined him for long enough to ascertain that, almost 50 years on from their heyday, they were surprisingly awesome, and in that moment all was right with the world. So I’ve heard quite a few AC/DC songs secondhand, and been clocked with a big smile on my face while doing so.
And yet… something stops me from jumping off the diving board into the pool containing the source material. A voice which, in silent moments can be heard counseling that this is the line which cannot be crossed, for that way madness lies. Starting out on Burgundy but soon hitting the harder stuff, the gateway to Saxon, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer, Slipknot, Def Leppard into a land whose borders I’ve never travelled, with only siren calls from the odd song or two straying through the radio in unguarded moments.
Having, finally in my mid-20s, allowing Zep through the barricades, aided and abetted, admittedly, by Dread Zeppelin, my subconscious pulled down the shutters to protect me from further incursions by the great metal army.
Here I find myself, wondering if I’m at the ledge of understanding that AC/DC are the ones I fear coming for me next. I sense then banging on the door, insisting they’re harmless and that just one hearing of “Hell’s Bells” without the filter of a charming bluegrass parody band won’t hurt.
Should I let them in, cannon, misogynist tropes and all, or should I stiffen my resolve and stand firm? I’m already humming “Black Dog” to myself; at this rate it’ll be “Iron Man,” and who knows where that might lead?
I implore all here to share the line you will not cross, and the steps you’ve taken to defend yourselves in the face of temptation.