She’s got balls

Pub date November 25, 2008
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

> a&

IN THE BEGINNING Where I went to high school in the Midwest, you were either a boozer or a stoner. Boozers listened to AC/DC; stoners to Zeppelin. I was neither a boozer nor a stoner, but I knew which side of the coin I was on the minute my Dad turned the volume down on AC/DC’s epic "Big Balls." Instantly I was captivated by Bon Scott’s tongue-in-check lyrical genius, and asked my father to please, for the love of balls, turn it up again.

If there was a pinnacle moment where my heart subscribed to AC/DC for all eternity, it was there, in the back of our blue Volvo station wagon, while Bon Scott’s balls bounced from left to right, and I so wished to hold them every night.

Our bass player Riff Williams had a similar start. The first time she heard AC/DC was sitting in the back seat of a parked car watching her babysitter make out with her hot David Cassidy-esque boyfriend. The heavy petting lasted during most of High Voltage (Atlantic, 1976) and set the tone for Riff’s unruly adolescence.

Drummer Philomena Rudd’s introduction to AC/DC came with Highway to Hell (Atlantic, 1979), a birthday gift. She would stare at the back cover endlessly, both enchanted and horrified by the five rocker dudes. She was scared of all of them — except Bon who had a friendly smile — and had crushes on all of them — except Bon who was too old! This was long before she played drums, but she had the burning desire and would play along with AC/DC, pounding their songs out with drumsticks on her pillows.

As for vocalist Bonny Scott, she can’t remember a time not hearing AC/DC. "Thunderstruck" was the anthem in junior high. But what cemented the deal was Let There Be Rock (1980), which a friend copied for her on VHS. She watched it so many times, it wore out in one month. That was a turning point: years later Bonny and Riff created AC/DShe.

LET THERE BE SOUND No other band gets your blood pumping the way AC/DC does. That’s because they are a no-nonsense, hard-working rock band. You aren’t going to get frilly melodies — you get what you came for: hard, pounding riffs, sexed-up lyrics, and a solid kick in the ass. Not everyone can handle that, but everyone must admit that somewhere deep down inside, AC/DC has touched them — maybe even a touch too much.

Perhaps that’s why AC/DC has one of the largest fan bases in the world, and why people dedicate themselves to the group much like a religion, where Bon Scott is god and high voltage rock ‘n’ roll is forever synonymous with a good time. Two of the most dedicated AC/DC fans we know are these amazing brothers from Sacramento, dubbed the "Sac Bros." They came to one of our shows at a bar called the Roadhouse, and we were immediately drawn to them. Their ultimate adoration for AC/DC was apparent, and their love for ladies playing AC/DC inspired us to become the best tribute to AC/DC we could be.

Terry "Sac Bro" showed up at our next gig adorned in a new AC/DC and AC/DShe tattoo on the small of his back, securing our fate to "Ride on in the name of Bon" until the end of time. A recent tally disclosed that the Sac Bros have been to more than 85 AC/DShe shows.

LET THERE BE ROCK AC/DShe has definitely had the opportunity to see the world through Rosie-tinted glasses. We have had the joy of spreading the gospel of Bon around the Bay Area and in small doses around the world, celebrating the music of our favorite band with people who can’t see AC/DC on a regular basis.

When we recruited our drummer Philomena to play with us, she told us she never wanted to be in a tribute band and was working on original music. Riff pushed the envelope by asking her to at least play one show before making up her mind. She knew that was all it would take.

The crowd pulls the music out of you: there is nothing like watching a mob of rabid AC/DC fans rocking out and singing the lyrics over the sound of the drums. She was hooked by the bouncing, pulsing crowd; the head-banging front row; the beers flying; the couples making out in dark corners; the walls sweating; the Sac Bros screaming. This is what it’s like to play AC/DC’s music.