Skip to main content

EXCLUSIVE: the Marcus Hook Roll Band, an early slice of AC/DC

Back in 1973, the Marcus Hook Roll Band released their first and only album, 'Tales of Old Grand-Daddy'. They weren't novices, though: band leaders George Young and Harry Vanda had had some success in the 60s with The Easybeats, whose 'Friday On My Mind' had been an international hit and was later covered by David Bowie on his 'Pin-Ups' album.

The album was recorded in Sydney and finished at Abbey Road in London, but EMI in the UK never released the recording, and it wasn’t a roaring success back home, clambering to number 89 in the Australian charts.

The band weren’t happy with the cover, either. “They had an old man sitting on a rocking chair, which was complete bullshit”, recalls George Young. “It should have been a bottle of Old Grand-Dad bourbon, because that’s what the album was about”. However, Tales of Old Grand-Daddy became a collectors item once George’s younger brothers Angus and Malcolm had become international stars as members of AC/DC, and mint copies of the original album now sell for hundreds of pounds.

Young remembers, “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.”

Now it’s being reissued (without the rocking chair cover, thankfully), and while it’s not clear which tracks Angus and Malcolm played on, Quick Reaction certainly has a familiar feel. The stream, below, is a Classic Rock exclusive, and we’ll have early access to a couple more tracks before the album is re-released next month.[](https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/147063969?secret_token=s-1jyiZ (opens in new tab))

The album is out on June 2. You can pre-order the CD or vinyl from Amazon now.

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.