Rockers and Rollers: A Full-Throttle Memoir Hardcover – May 24 2011
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“It’s surprisingly refreshing that Johnson’s lively memoir basically has little to do with writing about life with AC/DC--it’s really all about cars.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
By night, Brian Johnson sings in the biggest rock ’n’ roll band on the planet. But by day, AC/DC’s frontman drives balls to the wall. Cars and rock ’n’ roll—they were made for each other.
When he was a young boy growing up in a working-class English town, Brian developed what would become a lifelong passion for cars, trolling junkyards and even pretending to drive the family car. From there, he steamed up the windows of his old Mini Cooper as a teenager, spent untold time in hygienically challenged tour buses with helpful signs such as No Shitting Allowed. Shagging Expected, was chauffeured in leather-trimmed limos, and raced cars to a checkered flag. Featuring guest stars Cliff Williams, Malcolm and Angus Young, and many, many others, even Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rockers and Rollers is a tribute to Brian’s obsession with four wheels. By turns surprising, poignant, funny, and maybe a little bit bawdy, these are the stories of a man who drives as hard as he rocks.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Not for kids or fans of Russian cars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Unlike other books in this genre, Johnson writes sincerely, without a mean spirited ax to grind and without enemies (except for British car markers, whom he justifiably loathes!) The major butt of his humor and crude language is himself, first, and his lovable, though chronically irresponsible band mates second. However, despite more than a few stories of the road, the book is largely a celebration of Johnson's affinity with cars and racing. While not a surprise to most AC/DC fans, the depth of influence of cars on Johnson's life is still remarkable. His earliest peak experiences, to borrow a psychological term, involved motor vehicles, in the same way others of us tie our peak memories to music, sports, or relationships.
Regardless, it is enjoyable to read a rock memoir of a person who does not take himself too seriously. Johnson comes off as a guy you'd like as a neighbor, or a drinking-buddy, if you are oriented in that direction. The book, which apparently is not ghost written, does not follow strict chronology. This adds to its informality and authentic feel. It's 90 or so chapters read like discussion over a couple of Newcastle Browns in an English pub. It's a quick read. But unlike a discussion over Brown ale, you'll remember what was said.
If you like rock and roll, cars, or for that matter, like to laugh at impossibly strange situations, buy this book or download TODAY.
The style of the book is really off the wall and works so well because of that. There is no timeline or plot. Just a bunch of chapters describing various cars and how they've affected Brian's life. In many cases he uses cars as a vehicle (groan!!) to describe his feelings for various family members, friends and acquaitances. Although his style appears to be haphazard it works really well. The main thing I took away from the book was that Brian is a really cool guy who certainly hasn't lost sight of where he came from (unlike a certain ex-teacher from Wallsend that I could mention). He appreciates the breaks that he's had (joining AC/DC) and has made a great life for himself. He cerainly doesn't come off as the big shot rock star who gets to drive fast cars.
His recollections of North East England in the 60s and 70s are spot on and while he may stretch some of the tales to get a punch line, his stories ring true and many of the characters in them are for-real.
If Brian ever does an audio version of this book I'd buy it in a heartbeat, but it would have to be the full unexpurgated Geordie version - not the English translation!
As a lot of people will be aware, Brian Johnson is the front man for AC/DC. My initial instinct was, what does a rock front man know about cars? This is just going to be a few short stories about the porsches and Ferraris and other exotics that only people of Brians stature can afford. How wrong could I be?
This book is a hilarious memoir about the cars Brian has owned from his very first to his most recent (as at the time of publishing). A lot of these cars people here in the states have probably never heard of, however since I grew up and lived in the UK for years I knew a lot of the cars mentioned. Brian is a definate gearhead and his passion for cars shines through, especially for older (60's and 70's) cars. As well as giving a history of the cars owned, there is usually a short accompanying story with each one and almost every story is a complete hoot. This is genuinely a raucous belly laugh out loud book (which does get you some weird looks whilst you are sitting at an airport terminal waiting to board a plane).
The book is a very easy read with each chapter usually only lasting a page or two, so is easy to just to pick up and read when you have a spare 5 minutes. As well as Brians car history, you also get a history of Brian himself as well, so it's really a memoir in a way as well.
Brian's writing style is excellent. It's as if he's sitting next to you in a pub talking to you and as such there is liberal use of language in this book (so be warned).
Given his passion, knowledge and writing style, I would love to see Brian write a regular column for a publication (Top Gear Magazine maybe?) as I would certainly read it. Brian is the rock n roll version of Jeremy Clarkson.
This book appeals three audiences, those that like cars, those that like AC/DC and those that like a good heartfelt laugh. You don't even need to like cars or AC/DC to enjoy this book.
Very highly recommended.
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