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The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC Hardcover – August 5, 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (August 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250053838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250053831
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The best book I've ever read about AC/DC."
Mark Evans (AC/DC, 1975-'77)

"A savvy new book... Fink, quite properly, can't stand the kind of music critic who feels pleasing a crowd is a suspect achievement, somehow antithetical to the spirit of rock. In the end, [he] seems to be in two minds about AC/DC. That seems the right number of minds for an adult to be in about them, especially an adult who encountered their best albums during the sweet spot of his youth."
 The Australian 

"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-star review)

"I loved it." - Jerry Greenberg (president of Atlantic Records, 1974-'80)

"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.

More About the Author

Jesse Fink was born in London, England, in 1973 and raised and educated in Sydney, Australia, by his Australian parents. He is the author of a number of books, the latest being The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC. He lives in Sydney with his daughter.

Customer Reviews

I'm a massive AC/DC fan.
T. Donald
Great insight to some of the inner workings surrounding the band and the industry.
Ken cohan
A very very well written book.
Clifford Hoad@KingsOfTheSun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Donald on August 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Phil Doherty on August 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By brandon a dickerson on October 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to reading The Youngs by Jesse Fink. But I have to say, it was a terrible disappointment. A quote in the book sums it all up for me: "Another fan perspective, and another outsider view of 'what really went down' is just not interesting" Especially since Fink has no idea what really happened.

Fink's ceaseless self promotion is also extremely off putting. There is absolutely nothing new in this book. Save your money, this book is a total waste of time.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shelleyrae TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
From TNT to It’s a Long Way To The Top (if you want to rock-n-roll) to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Highway To Hell, the music of AC/DC has spoken to generations of Australian ‘bogan’ youths wearing torn denim jeans, flannel shirts and ugh boots. This year, AC/DC celebrates 40 years since its formation in 1973 having spawned 26 albums, From High Voltage released in 1975 to Live at RiverPlate in 2012, and more than 200 million in album sales.

At the core of the Australian band’s international success are guitarists, and brothers, Malcolm and Angus Young. Emigrating from Scotland to Perth, Australia with their family in the early 1960′s, the boys were encouraged by the success of their older brother George in the industry, who earned fame as a songwriter/producer for bands such as The Seekers and The Easybeats.

The Youngs are notoriously insular, granting few access to their inner circle and zealously guarding the control of their music and its vast business interests, consistently refused to contribute to any biographical work, though there have been several published over the years. Similarly Fink was unable to gain the cooperation of the Youngs or those close to them, so the biographical details of this book have been pieced together from known facts and the recollections of ‘a whole host of forgotten and unheralded people’ who have been a part of AC/DC’s journey, though in the end, Fink discovered, “There was no truth, no definitive AC/DC story, there were many different versions.”

But that wasn’t really an issue for Fink as for him The Youngs is, ‘Less a biography, more a critical appreciation’, “ultimately, about the power of their music and how they built the colossus of AC/DC.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By O. Fowler on 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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