Forvever Young: Five hour live retrospective from Kings Of Smut Rock
In December 1989, US forces attempting to smoke Panamanian dictator General Noriega out of hiding played [b]AC/DC[/b] at ear-splitting volume until he finally surrendered. A note for Special Forces then: Plug Me In will do the trick in half the time.
A five hour riff-kreig of AC/DC in concert (or seven, if you bag the Collectors edition) Plug Me In is not for the uninitiated. There are points – particularly in the latter stages of DVD 2, where the band are captured gurning through “The Jack” live in 2001 – that even the most fanatical fan will acknowledge that their salty, [b]Chuck Berry[/b] meets Benny Hill boogie loses some of it’s magic in the journey from enormodome to living room.
Yet as footage of the [b]Bon Scott[/b] years, the righteous mayhem of Back In Black and even the gonzoid stadium smut of “Stiff Upper Lip” show, Plug Me In offers a route into a riotously un-PC world of sweat, jugs and rock’n’roll where Hell is fun, hookers have a heart of gold and sexual diseases are something to brag about.
We begin, then, with a TV performance of “High Voltage” from 1975. With the band dressed up in garish Carnaby Street threads and Bon Scott terrorising the front row in a lace up catsuit, they could almost be an Antipodean answer to The Sweet, if Angus wasn’t jitter-like bugging across stage like a crazed Jeanette Kranky.
Following some grainy footage taken at their first ever gig in Sydney, we’re soon witnessing AC/DC in their pumped-up pomp. You can almost smell the liquor ‘n’ sawdust during cranked up renditions of “Dog Eat Dog” and “Let There Be Rock” filmed at a raucous Glasgow Apollo in 1978. But it’s a clip of “Highway To Hell” from Dutch TV in 1979 which marks their transition from feisty outsiders to genuine cock-rock contenders. Stripped to the waist and with the band superglue tight behind him, Scott is Rod, Ozzy and Alex Harvey rolled into one – a bar-room screamer who”ll steal your girl, start a fight and drink you under the table and still give you the best night of your life.
If DVD 2 – the [b]Brian Johnson[/b] years – see the band mutate from fun-loving riff-rats to stadium-levelling rock titans, their tongue remains firmly in cheek throughout. Seeing the Beavis & Butthead intro film for 1996’s Ballbreaker, where the sniggering pair are seen off by a cartoon of a bug-like Angus and a ten foot dominatrix, reminds you that as well as being a biting satire on male adolecent fantasises, AC/DC are above all, as they’d put it, bloody great entertainment.
It’s only when they enter the real world for a plain awful version of “Rock Me Baby” with [b]The Rolling Stones[/b] in 2003, where the Young brothers, for once, look lost, that the spell gets broken.
“How many dirty deeds have you done in the last year?” an interviewer asks Angus during a promo flick for Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.
A filthy grin, a quick touch of the grubby school cap.
“Err, about four hundred and fifty…”
Let there be rock.
EXTRA’S: Interviews, tour promo films and alternate live versions. DVD 3 features the never-before-seen 1983 show from the Houston Summit
Pic credit: Rex