Released: 2015, Backbeat books
The FAQ series by Backbeat is one of the more interesting rock series of titles in a while. AC/DC FAQ has been preceeded by books about Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Kiss and Rush. There are also a few non-Hard Rock, Non-Metal titles in the series but those don’t concern us.
Always the book looks great. It follows the same look and design and style as the rest in the series. There is a selected, but very detailed bibliography, and a nice introduction by Chad Smith of Chickenfoot. The 365 page is an easy read and fun book to dip into with many short chapters with several black and white photos, most of which have been seen before.
This time Susan Masino, author of LET THERE BE ROCK-THE STORY OF AC/DC got the call to write the book and maybe that was a bit of a mistake. She repeats the same mistake that she made in her previous work; she is not objective or analytical enough. Often she comes across as a huge fan girl to the detriment of the text. She makes several little mistakes and many comments that betray her love for the band. There is nothing wrong with being the (self-proclaimed) ‘world’s biggest AC/DC fan’, but that should be kept in check. For example she makes ludicrous claims such as, ‘It’s a Long Way to The Top (if You Wanna Rock ‘n’ roll) is the only rock song to feature bagpipes…(that is until Korn did it almost 30 years later). ” (p. 41) is blatantly untrue. A simple internet search reveals many bands to do it before AND after AC/DC. Another claim on p. 41 is that Bon Scott invented the phrase ‘You’re The Man’ because he sings the line ‘…the man is back in town…” (TNT). This is just silly. Sadly the whole book is loaded with hyperbole and exaggeration, born from her love of the band. It really diminishes from the focus of the book to have a bit of an academic slant.
Now that I have got the negative out of the way, let’s focus on the positive aspects and there are several. Let’s suggest for a moment the reader has never read a book on AC/DC. Now, I have read many, many books about AC/DC, so for me much of the information is not new or interesting. However, setting that aside the book is loaded with great info and trivia about he band. Each chapter has a theme and is explored and developed in loving detail. There is info about AC/DC personal lives, merchandise, their line of alcohol products, tour stories, pranks, stage sets and more.
I feel that this is the weakest link the series of FAQ books so far but it is still a very entertaining read and mandatory for the library of any AC/DC fan.