This is the first in a long, long series of articles explaining the true meaning behind awesome rock anthems' lyrics, inspirations and otherwise. Now, I've been known to start plenty of parts of stories and ween out of them (Buttsex to the Future, for example), but unless y'all say it sucks in every comment, I'm going to go on and on, until I have exhausted every song in the rock and roll milieu (that's French for cock).
So, to start out, I figured why not do one of the most known songs in the annals of Rock n Roll?
But, before we begin, I should let you know a few things about the band…because you're probably too fucking stupid…
AC/DC was started by a guy named Bon Scott, whose vocals were akin to a banshee's squall. Scott was the reason (debatably) that AC/DC became the Rock ‘n' Roll gods we know today. He built the band, gave the sound that we're all so familiar with. Unfortunately, he died as a martyr to the cause of Rock ‘n' Roll…. he drank too much rock juice and choked on his vomit in the backseat of a buddy‘s car. Later that year, the band picked up Brian Johnson, who immediately came out with the rifting, rocking Back in Black LP. It was an amazing achievement…to not only mimic the vocal screeches of his predecessor, but to also come out with such a kickass album.
And that, my friends, is why this is first.
AC/DC, "Back in Black"
Most understand the AC/DC anthem, "Back in Black" as a tribute to the dark, Satanic ensemble that the group was known to don at various concerts, on various albums and in various cocaine orgies. After all, most conservative Christian mothers of the Seventies believed that the letters of this band's name were actually an acronym for "After Christ, Devil Comes" –jargon not of, say, Uncle Sal the electrician. The jump between the band's dark clothing and their presumable Satanic beliefs was a small one indeed (how we see Punks, Goths, Visigoths, Vandals today). However, as Mother Theresa was incorrect in her assumption that AC/DC was an immoral code of the Antichrist, pressed upon the youth of the age (much like P.O.D. is today), most are erroneous in their assumption that the anthem "Back in Black" has anything to do with black clothing.
That's right: both are incorrect. The name AC/DC is a result of the combination of a band member's sister's sewing machine's electrical needs and a popular slang term for bisexual. Though the band fervently denied any allegations of the latter, the term was used so often in the Seventies (an era that immortalized bisexuals such as Freddy Mercury, Prince and Jimmy Carter), that when the members of AC/DC said that they knew nothing of the jargon, they were akin to saying my mother doesn't know what the term "jungle bunny" means (she does…she once scolded my sister for listening to Destiny‘s Child‘s "Independent Women" with it).
If that little factoid rocks your world…well then, that's exactly what the old boys of AC/DC were going for. In fact, a few years ago, drummer Phil Rudd was accused of beating his wife. That's crazy rockin, if you ask me.
It should come to no surprise that "Back in Black" has nothing to do with dark clothing, then. Though, one may still find the dark, cheesy trailer-park T-shirts that don the lightning bolt and the band of misfits, this understanding of the song's true meaning is both terrible and wrong.
First, one must understand that lead singer Brian Johnson had a strange attraction for basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. As legend has it, Johnson visited Kareem a few times, but unfortunately was blown off as a result of the fledging singer's inability to produce a hit song. However, one night, Johnson was able to get Kareem high on PCP and then proceeded to anally enter the basketball star in the back of a hearse.
"Back in Black" then, is not difficult to understand, is it? Of course, the term "African-American" wasn't quite as popular as "Black" in the Seventies and instead of adding the less euphonic word "anus" to the end of the song's chorus (and thereby upsetting a lot of mothers), producers decided to keep with the hidden, bisexual message.
If we take a look at the other lyrics of the song, we are able to see a perhaps…more disturbing implication. For instance, "Get loose from the noose that's kept me hanging around" is actually slang for Johnson's propensity to remove a condom during anal inclusion. The noose, for one, is obviously a reference to a condom…as it "chokes" the "neck" of the penis and thereby reduces a significant amount of pleasure. By "getting loose" of the "noose" Johnson is advising teenagers to remove their condoms and have raw-dog sex with black men.
To no surprise, the hearse that's mentioned in the song is actually the same automobile that Brian Johnson had sex in. It was said that the singer had a small, albeit sickening case of necrophilia, and that is why it was chosen as the place of copulation. The line that follows the car's mentioning–"'cause I never die"–is thought to be a reference to the French's naming of the orgasm as "The Little Death." That is, Brian Johnson was essentially complaining about his prowess in the sack; he was saying that he must experience sexual intercourse in the hearse because he is wholly unable to orgasm without it.
Finally, the rhythm of the guitar is actually said to be the actual pace and tempo of Johnson‘s reeming of Abdul-Jabbar. Go ahead, try it on for size next time you're loving your woman. Of course, try to remove the thoughts of Brian Johnson and the mammoth basketball player. Try to picture Phil Rudd fucking his wife.
Now that's a violent sexual image we can all air-guitar to.