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The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC [Kindle Edition]

Jesse Fink
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Hardcover $19.68  
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Book Description

#1 MUSIC BOOK OF 2014 - (USA)
#9 BEST BOOKS OF 2014 - PRI Public Radio International (USA)
"I loved The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC. From the moment I opened it, I could not put it down. I read it straight through - well there was the occasional beer here and there, but it held me hostage. Just an amazing read. I respected the honesty. I also liked the fact that Fink did not take sides and left the recollection and/or interpretation of events open to discussion. Seriously well done."
- Georg Dolivo (lead singer/guitarist of Rhino Bucket)
"A great narrative... it has one very simple, very powerful message for those who would like to dismiss AC/DC as childish hacks: 'Stop being so bloody pretentious!' Thank you, Jesse Fink, for talking some sense into me. 'No matter how hard you try not to react to their music, it's impossible. You cannot listen to an album like Back in Black and not move,' Fink tells me. 'That's what I wanted to celebrate with this book -- the idea that it's okay to rock.' Damn straight, it's about time somebody said it."
- Clark Boyd, PRI's The World 
"A rare, raw look at a band who strove, in many ways very successfully, to keep its business dealings behind closed doors. That is until now."
- BJ Lisko, The Canton Repository, Ohio
"A fantastic new AC/DC book... Fink did a great job. Essential for an AC/DC fan to read."
- Carter Alan, 100.7 WZLX, Massachusetts
"The latest, greatest 'rock read'... an awesome book."
- Buck McWilliams, Gater 98.7 FM, Florida
"An astounding - astounding - book."
- Bill Meyer, KMED, Oregon
"An excellent read."
- Ryan Gatenby, WBIG, Illinois
"The best book on AC/DC ever written."
- Dan Rivers, WKBN, Ohio
"I loved this book."
- Arroe Collins, WRFX, North Carolina
- Mark Mayfield, KSLX, Arizona
With sales of over 200 million albums, AC/DC is not just the biggest rock band in the world. It’'s a family business built by three brothers: George, Malcolm and Angus Young. And, as with any business, some people prospered while others got hurt along the way. The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC is unlike any AC/DC book you've read before. Less a biography, more a critical appreciation, it tells the story of the trio through 11 classic songs and reveals some of the secrets that went into their making. Important figures from AC/DC's long way to the top open up for the very first time, while unsung heroes behind the band’s success are given the credit they are due. Accepted accounts of events are challenged while sensational details emerge to cast a whole new light on the band’s history, especially their early years with Atlantic Records. Former AC/DC members and musicians from bands such as Guns N'’ Roses, Dropkick Murphys, Airbourne and Rose Tattoo also give their take on the Youngs’' brand of magic. Their music has never pulled its punches. Neither does The Youngs. After 40 years, AC/DC might just have got the serious book it deserves.

Editorial Reviews


"The best book I've ever read about AC/DC."
- Mark Evans (AC/DC bass player, 1975-'77)
"Fink's look at the band addresses the question that he believes most mainstream rock critics have never been able to answer about AC/DC: 'Why have they endured and resonated with hundreds of millions of people and inculcated such fierce loyalty and outright fanaticism?' The answer is the unrelenting tenacity of the Young brothers... fascinating."
- Publishers Weekly (USA)
"Recent books [about AC/DC]... didn't offer much to change our perception of the band. Jesse Fink's study of the Young brothers takes a different approach... giving us a different version of many stories, especially when it comes to the wheeling and dealing behind the rock. Fink is clearly in love with AC/DC, but he knows the old bird has some warts under her make-up, and doesn't shy away from revelations that cast the Youngs in a less than flattering light."
Rolling Stone  (four stars)
"A largely untold, more controversial story... anything but a hagiography. A fresh, incisive take on the band. Though Fink's deffo off the Christmas card list, he writes passionately about a band he adores."
- MOJO ★ ★ ★ ★ (four stars)
"A great job."
 Back In Black and Highway To Hell engineer Tony Platt 

From the Author

I'm always looking for something new and interesting to write about. My first book was called 15 Days In June and was about the FIFA World Cup and Australia's engagement with Asia through soccer. The second was a memoir of sex, relationships and online dating called Laid Bare. Who wouldn't want to have a crack at AC/DC as a subject? They're the biggest band in the world. Why are they so big? How did they get there? That was the starting point for me from a thematic standpoint.
Furthermore, surprisingly little had been written about AC/DC's songs and the three Young brothers (George, Angus, Malcolm), who are very private people, almost recluses. I chose 11 songs by the Youngs spanning the years 1968 to 1990; it's a critical appreciation rather than a standard, linear, join-the-dots biography. Through writing about the songs, and interviewing people who were involved in their creation or inspired by hearing them, so many untold stories about the band and the brothers fell into my lap. By the same token, I also had to dig very deep. It was above all else an investigative exercise. I had started out not wanting to write a biography but there are biographical elements to the book.
Lastly, there was a need for it. What I think The Youngs proves is there's so much to the AC/DC story that hasn't been told yet. My motivation was not to write just another AC/DC book that retells the same anecdotes or rehashes the information we've all heard before. There were existing stories about AC/DC that required tackling and debunking, which I think I've done.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1578 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250053838
  • Publisher: Random House Australia (October 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,343 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for every AC/DC fan! August 27, 2014
Being a musician in Sydney during the era that AC/DC was born, and also being an Easybeats “tragic”, I was immediately attracted to this book, and was interested to see what sort of job that the author would do, considering the tight security that all of the Youngs threw over their privacy.
I was fortunate enough to do some session work at Alberts studio around 1974/75 with a band named Jackie Christian and Flight, which included my good friend and drummer Tony Currenti. Tony and I were both huge fans of the Easybeats and for us to work with Harry Vanda and George Young was a huge honour.
We weren’t disappointed. George Young was a musical genius, very down to earth, but with a brain that was always three or four steps ahead of everyone else. He knew what he wanted and if he didn’t get it, you were out and the next person was in.
I also knew that he was working with his younger brothers Malcolm and Angus, who I had met briefly through a school friend of mine named Ed Golab.
During this period, AC/DC were working on their first album, and after Flight’s sessions were finished, George would come and grab Tony Currenti and get him to play on the AC/DC tracks. Tony was exactly what George was looking for in a drummer, and with George playing bass and Tony on drums, the powerful rhythm section for the first AC/DC album was laid down. When mixed with the guitar sounds of Malcolm and Angus, something new and lethal was born. It was pure powerage rock n roll and if it didn’t hit you right between the eyes and invade your senses, then my friend, you belonged in the morgue.
Much to my delight, Jesse Fink had really done his homework and his inclusion of people like Tony Currenti.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a true "must read" for real AC/DC fans August 6, 2014
I'm a massive AC/DC fan. I even have their logo tattooed on me.
But I'm not a knee-jerk fan-boy. Not everything that comes out about them (or even any album they've done in the last 20 years) automatically gets the thumbs-up from me.
But this book is an exception. It's a ****ing stunner. Why? Because the Young brothers wouldn't cooperate with or even talk to the author, which forced him to dig behind the scenes, find people who would talk, and unearth never-before-heard stories.
If you're a true fan - and there are millions of us out there - it truly is a must read. You'll never look at the Youngs in the same way again, or love them more than you already do. A book for the ages..
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Jesse Fink is both a die-hard fan and a responsible journalist. He manages to painstakingly and thoroughly research the band, humanize everyone involved in their rise to immortality, but never loses sight of the band's brilliance. This is not a re-worked chronology of the band. It's not a fawning hagiography. It's a real world account of how three brothers brilliantly built (arguably) the most enduring and memorable body of work in rock history. It's about the unlikely rise of a timeless band from the viewpoints of people who were actually involved from a business and musical standpoint.

Fink also manages to convey the impact that the band has had on its rabid, lifelong fans, and the reasons why men in their forties and fifties are still as passionate about the music as they were in their teens.

A minor subplot covered in this book is the parallel story of Rose Tattoo, another monster Australian band that never quite made it. This may be the closest that the Tats will ever get to having their story told, but it it exposes the band to another generation of listeners, all the better.

The Youngs is an essential read for anyone who loves AC/DC, and a worthwhile yarn for anyone wanting to learn what album rock was, and why it mattered so much to a generation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book that all AC/DC fans must own. August 23, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Firstly, ignore the 1 star review - the reviewer almost certainly hasn't read the book and appears to have a malicious agenda. This is a place to review the book itself, not defame the author.

Where to start? Firstly this is a book which rocks along at a great pace. For any of fan of AC/DC this book will probably be devoured in one or two sittings. It's stuffed full of great, expert insight into the deeply complex brothers who gave the world the most direct band ever to have turned on guitar amps. At no point during the book does it feel as though the subjects are not deserving of the care and attention Jesse Fink has put into getting to the root of their genius. Malcolm and Angus are arguably two of the most beloved musicians on earth - this great book affords them the deference they deserve yet does not flinch from the truth. This only serves to make it an even more fascinating read, a read that is all about integrity, information and humanity - and the core of the biggest rock band of all time. It's a read which will get most of the readers as close to Malcolm and Angus as is possible, this makes it even more poignant and powerful given Malcolm's fragile health.

The real star of this book though, is Tony Currenti. I'm not going to give the story away, you'll have to buy the book for that. Tony's story is part tragedy, part inspiration - especially if you follow his progress after the book was first published. It frames Jesse Fink's attitude to writing perfectly: that special talent of being able to delve deeper to find the story to find raw humanity in a subject - and it's always a subject he cares deeply about. He does that wonderfully well with Tony's heartbreaking yet uplifting story.

If you are fan of AC/DC then buy this book right now. It's as simple as that: you must read it. It's one of the best, if not the best, AC/DC book ever written. Enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells the AC/DC story from a fresh and unique viewpoint.
Excellent account of AC/DC's formative years!
Published 11 days ago by E. falk
5.0 out of 5 stars good read#!
Awesome read, great details
Published 20 days ago by sharon e geiger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book about 3 talented brothers that have stood rock and roll on it's ear for many years!!
Published 25 days ago by Randy Phelps
5.0 out of 5 stars Great bio of best rock band in history
Interesting in-depth look at AC/DC, including its origins. (Wish the publisher would lower the price a little. The ebook revolution has begun. Price accordingly.)
Published 1 month ago by Texas Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
first book I read in years
Published 1 month ago by RAYMOND SALLE
5.0 out of 5 stars The books knocks your socks off!
Jesse is a great writer who doesn't shy away from the hard truths about his, and our, favourite band. Read more
Published 1 month ago by gustav
5.0 out of 5 stars GREATEST GIFT EVER
This book was a gift for my grandson and he loves it.
Published 1 month ago by HEYJUDE
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME !! Hard to put the book down
AWESOME, enjoyed the book thoroughly ! Didn't want to put it down once I started reading it !! Highly reccomend
Published 1 month ago by Butch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good deal, thanks!
Published 1 month ago by Michael Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Immigrants Long Way To The Top
I have been an AC/DC fan since I was about 12 years old. For me as an Italian American Australian girl, I can understand the Australian working class mentality that Mr. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Legal Princess
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