Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Anthem from Exile: AC/DC - It's a Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)

On its very best days, exile is a dark and dreary place. Yet, the werewolf marches on. Oddly, a sound track for exile is beginning to take shape. Given his classic rock roots, the werewolf looks to AC/DC when in doubt. This song, which was one of the first put AC/DC on the map back in mid-1970's, has a shamelessly simple headbanging beat, coupled with the cliched, yet timeless message of perseverance. In essence, AC/DC released it well before the shine of their stardom was at its brightest. It's cool in that cheesy and "who gives a crap" kinda way. (Cut the werewolf some slack, inspiration is a rare commodity these days.)

Taking a step back, it's the only classic rock song that comes to mind which seamlessly harmonizes bagpipes into its rock 'n' roll rhythm (Please correct me, if I am mistaken). Given that bagpipes usually are not the most pleasant of sounding instruments, it's an impressive feat.

Lastly, it hearkens back to the Bon Scott era of AC/DC. Bon Scott, AC/DC's first lead singer, was one of the models for the archetype of the uber-hedonistic and hyper-partying hard rockers. The guy could allegedly rival both Keith Richards and Rick James for the crazy excesses associated with sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. His irreverent fun loving rockster is in full form when he sticks his tongue out at the camera early in the video. He is the inspiration for the absent band member from the mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap, who "choked to death on his own vomit." While hilarious in the context of the film, sadly, that is actually how Bon Scott departed this fair world after a wild night in London before the werewolf was even born. Despite this song being one of their first chart toppers, AC/DC hardly ever plays it anymore. Probably out of respect to Bon Scott and his legacy. Bon Scott has come up more than once during weeknight trivia games at several waterholes the werewolf used to frequent. Remember that.

Anyhow, the werewolf will persevere. He knows "It's a long way to the top, if you want want to rock 'n' roll!" He may be ascending via the detour, but he's got his proverbial six string in hand and he's ready to rock. Here's to what tomorrow may bring!

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