If you are an AC/DC fan, you must read Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside Outside of AC/DC (Bazillion Points Books). Mark Evans, the bass player for the Bon Scott-led AC/DC has written a book about his time in this legendary band. He was in the band during some of their biggest albums including TNT, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and Let There Be Rock. I had a recent opportunity to interview Mark about his life, his time in one of the biggest rock bands ever, and the writing of his book.
Mark told me that some of his first memories are of music. His older siblings were his earliest influences, as they introduced him to Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and Little Richard. Later on, The Rolling Stones and The Who were musical influences, and he even mentioned Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, which he learned about from his mother.
Around the age of 14 he started playing music, although he wasn’t serious about it. It wasn’t until he discovered bands such as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath that he could see himself working as a musician for the rest of his life. He said, “I really enjoyed the social side. Playing was a learning curve for me, and it was good fun. “ Mark switched from guitar to bass in 1974.
In 1975 he heard that the band was looking for a guitar player, so he went to audition. He was the youngest in the band at 19, and AC/DC was his first professional band. Malcolm Young was playing bass in the four piece band, but he switched to guitar and Mark made it a five piece band.
I asked Mark what his best memory of Bon Scott was, and he told me that he has many. He told me about a time when the band played at a skating rink in Melbourne, Australia after a hockey game. Bon rented ice skates afterwards and was an excellent ice skater. “He had talent to do things he never told you about”, Mark laughed. There was also a time when Bon jumped off the third floor of a hotel in the winter. He said, “Bon jumped off the balcony, straight into the pool fully clothed. He did a swan dive. No one knew that he used to be a diver.” Mark speaks very highly of Bon, and had only wonderful things to say.
Mark has had many memorable moments in his career to date. He told me, “I have been in music for 40 years. Since my career has always been music based, it never feels like I’m working. It’s a great way to spend my time. It’s all good.”
When asked about his favorite AC/DC song, he wanted to name albums instead. The first one he mentioned is Highway to Hell. This was the last one Bon Scott was on, but he was not. He said, “I can look at it and appreciate it from a fan’s perspective.” His next favorite AC/DC album is Back in Black.
Mark lives in Sydney, Australia and performs with singer Dave Tice in an acoustic Blues/Roots duo. They have a new CD coming out at the end of this month. He told me that he would love to tour in the states, and hopefully they can work something out for next year.
This book is excellent, and I highly recommend it. It will make you laugh and cry. Without giving too much away, Mark reveals a life with many turns including a hard upbringing, lucky breaks, soaring highs and terrible loss and tragedy. For all that he has been through; it has undoubtedly made him into a stronger person today.
Mark has lived an extraordinary life and has had some incredible experiences. He told me that there is an underlying message to his book, “When good times come your way, enjoy them. When bad things come your way, take those situations and learn and use that to keep moving forward. Cherish life to its fullest.”
The book will be available in the U.S. November 2011. For more information or to pre-order the book: www.dirtydeedsbook.com
For more information about Mark: http://markevansblues.com/