While AC/DC is ensconced in Vancouver making a new album, a curio from the band's past comes out today (June 3).
Guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young made their recording debut during July of 1973 with the Marcus Hook Roll Band, a group led by their old brother George and friend Harry Vanda -- former members of the Easybeats who went on to be AC/DC's first producers.
The two enlisted their brothers to be part of the Marcus Hook recordings, which are surfacing on the new "Tales of Old-Grandaddy," a 15-track collection that includes the group's lone 10-song album, three songs from previously released singles and a pair of previously unreleased tracks.
The album's title, meanwhile, reputedly comes from the whiskey libation of choice consumed during the sessions. Alan "Wally" Waller, who produced the Marcus Hook sessions in both London and Sydney, Australia, tells us that the younger Young brothers' talent was clear from the get-go:
"Nobody knew who they were, of course. When we got to Australia, at first Malcolm and Harry were playing (guitar) and George started playing the bass. After a couple days Malcolm was really coming on brilliantly; he sounded like he should be about 30 or 50 years old 'cause he had so much maturity in his playing. I said to George one night, 'Your kid brother is something. He's great.' And he said, 'Well, there's another one like him at home. You wouldn't believe it.' So the next day he showed up with Angus as well, and he was astonishing. He must've been 15 or 16 or something; he looked like a fresh-faced kid, but he played like a monster. So he would come along now and again, too. I think George wanted to let them know what it was like working in the studio. Malcolm was around the whole time, and Angus showed up occasionally. It was a great vibe to have around."
One of the tracks, "Natural Man," even reveals some parts that would later show up in the AC/DC track "High Wire." The Marcus Hook album and singles did not fare particularly well, partly because the group chose not to tour.
"Tales of Old-Grandaddy" is out on both CD and vinyl, though only the former contains the bonus tracks.