THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND Featuring AC/DC's YOUNG Brothers: More 'Tales Of Old Grand-Daddy' Album Details

March 31, 2014

Just before Malcolm and Angus Young took us on a debaucherous decent down that Highway To Hell, they joined with their talented brother, George Young and guitarist Harry Vanda, to form the brief-yet-musically-significant group THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND. Back then, there was no such person as Marcus Hook, nor did the "band" originate from the borough of Marcus Hook in Pennsylvania. George and his fellow musicians only ever existed as a band in studio, releasing three singles and one album in the early '70s. When any of these tracks turn up on Internet auction sites today, collectors bankrupt their PayPal accounts to win them. Now, THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND is releasing their one and only album, 1973's "Tales Of Old Grand-Daddy", on June 3 through Parlophone as CD/vinyl/digital download.

The truth is, if THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND had ever come out of the studio, played live, travelled the world, promoted their records, and found the success they certainly deserved, then the AC/DC phenomenon that electrified the rock 'n' roll landscape for decades might never have gotten off the ground.

THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND is one obscure, but significant, persona of the legendary partnership of Harry Vanda and George Young. Their better known personas are the '60s beat phenomenon THE EASYBEATS, and later the mysterious entity FLASH AND THE PAN.

Dutchman Harry Vanda and Scotsman George Young first met as displaced teenagers in an immigration hostel in Sydney, Australia. Having heard the single "Natural Man", Capitol Records (USA) immediately expressed an interest in producing an album from THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND.

The main recording was during July/August 1973 in Sydney. A key ingredient was the "duty free" supplied by producer Alan "Wally" Waller — Jim Beam Old Grand-Dad bourbon whiskey — hence the album name.

George Young explained: "We had Harry, myself and my kid brothers, Malcolm and Angus. We all got rotten, except for Angus, who was too young, and we spent a month in there boozing it up every night. That was the first thing Malcolm and Angus did before AC/DC. We didn't take it very seriously so we thought we'd include them to give them an idea of what recording was all about."

Engineer Richard Lush explains: "The sessions were great fun, fuelled with plenty of Old Grand-Dad bourbon. Angus Young drank milk. Despite their youth, as we all now know, Angus and his brother Malcolm played guitars as well as Harry."

The production notes, recently unearthed at Abbey Road Studios, reveal that on many of the tracks Malcolm Young shared rhythm guitar and guitar solos. The Kentucky bourbon seems to have affected everybody's memory. For instance, there is some great slide guitar on the album but no-one can remember who supplied it. Harry thinks it might have been Kiwi-born Kevin Borich, but Kevin does not remember being there. Wally vaguely remembers Malcolm doing some slide guitar, but really can't be sure. So the challenge for the astute listener is to figure out which licks and solos belong to a seventeen-year-old Angus Young.

"Tales of Old Grand-Daddy" CD and digital download track listing:

01. Can't Stand The Heat
02. Goodbye Jane
03. Quick Reaction
04. Silver Shoes & Strawberry Wine
05. Watch Her Do it Now
06. People and the Power
07. Red Revolution
08. Shot in the Head
09. Ape Man
10. Cry For Me
11. One Of These Days (Previously Unreleased)
12. Natural Man (1972 A-Side of Regal Zonophone RZ 3061)
13. Moonshine Blues (1974 B-Side of 'Can't Stand The Heat' BASF ‎– 06 19196-0)
14. Louisiana Lady (1973 A-Side of Regal Zonophone RZ 3072)
15. Ride Baby Ride (Previously Unreleased)


Side 1

01. Can't Stand The Heat
02. Goodbye Jane
03. Quick Reaction
04. Silver Shoes
05. Watch Her Do it Now

Side 2

01. People And The Power
02. Red Revolution
03. Shot In The Head
04. Ape Man
05. Cry For Me

From left to right: Angus Young, Malcolm Young, George Young

Photo credit: Philip Morris


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