FEATURE > MARK EVANS
Former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans discusses his new
tell-all book—Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside AC/DC—
and gives us the lowdown on what it was like to take over
4-string duties from Malcolm Young and lay down the low
end on some of the most raging rock tunes ever recorded.
By Rich OsweileR
Mark Evans may not be a household name like his former AC/DC bandmates Angus and Malcolm Young, but nothing can take away his integral contributions to one of the biggest
bands of all time. He took over bass chores from Malcolm in
1975, just after the band’s debut album, High Voltage, came out
in their native Australia. Evans was 19 at the time, and with him
in place Malcolm was freed to switch over to rhythm guitar, thus
cementing one of rock’s most iconic and powerful guitar duos.
From March of ’ 75 until the middle of ’ 77, he, Bon Scott, the
Young brothers, and drummer Phil Rudd immortalized some of
rock’s most timeless tunes—including “It’s a Long Way to the
Top (If You Want to Rock ’n’ Roll),” “T.N. T.,” and “Let There
Be Rock”—on the classic albums T.N. T., Dirty Deeds Done Dirt
Cheap, the 1976 international version of High Voltage, and Let
There Be Rock.
Evans’ new book Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/
Outside AC/DC is the first insider account of
the legendary Aussie band, and it chronicles the
early years chock-full of wild times, triumphs,
and tragedies. Recently released in North
America, the book offers a glimpse at AC/DC’s
studio approach and what it was like to ride the
big black locomotive to superstardom in the 1970s.
Premier Guitar recently spoke to Evans about the book, his
gear, life on the road, and his relationships with the other members of AC/DC.
What did you know about AC/DC before your initial meeting
with members of the band?
Very little. I often went to a club called the Hard Rock Café that
eventually became the power base of the band, and it was owned
by AC/DC’s [then] manager, Michael Browning. I just happened
across a poster on the wall that said they were coming to town.
I’d heard bits and pieces about the band, but not much more
than there was a member that dressed up in a school suit. My
first real introduction to the band wasn’t until I received a copy
of High Voltage from them at their house, and was asked to learn
it for a jam session the following day.
96 PREMIER GUITAR FEBRUARY 2012
What struck you most about that whole experience?
Probably that what they sounded like on that record was nothing
like what they sounded like live!
At what point did you know AC/DC was destined for big things?
That’s an easy question to answer: After learning High Voltage overnight, I went back the next morning, we got the gear set up in the hallway of the house, and the first song we tried together was called “Soul
Stripper.” The first thing Malcolm said was, “The first guy couldn’t
get this one together—that’s why you’re here.” He’s a very direct guy
[laughs]. We got started, and in the first 12 bars, when all the guitars
and drums started going off, this huge light bulb went off in my
In this recent photo, Evans cradles the Gibson Ripper bass that he’s shown playing on the cover of Let There Be Rock and in the videos for “It’s a Long Way to the Top” and “Jailbreak.” He bought it at a repair shop across from the Melbourne pub where he first saw AC/DC. Photo by Ginnie Evans