ACDC Bassist Autobiography
Mark Evans’ Memoir shows the heartfelt rendering of one who turned his dreams into reality—by overcoming both poverty and rejection
Evans, Mark. Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside of AC/DC. Brooklyn: Bazillion Points, 2011.
Review by Lucas McPherson
I was curious more than anything after being sent a copy of this book for review. I mean, I, like many teens growing up in the ‘80s, grew up watching AC/DC on MTV. I had no idea at the time that there was a bass player, who’d been part of the group in the ‘70s, who had also been sacked relatively early on (from the line-up of AC/DC musicians) yet was still a big enough person to wish them well later on—and even go to see them play without him. However, after reading this true account of Mark Evans’ life inside and outside of AC/DC, now I want to check out all I missed before!
Like it says on the back cover about Evans, he “…appeared on the groundbreaking and platinum-selling AC/DC releases High Voltage, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Let There Be Rock, and the ’74 Jailbreak EP.” Yet, that’s not what really captured my attention (or my heart) about this memoir. Rather, to me it’s the heartfelt rendering of one who turned his dreams into reality—by overcoming both poverty and rejection. There’s a paragraph that shows his indomitable spirit so clearly that I won’t even attempt to take away from it by trying to paraphrase it as he talks about one of the places he lived early on (ironically called the Hilton):
“…I know I have mountains of reasons to hate the place, constantly being pushed around, threatened and beaten up. And the place was a shithouse, with a lot of deadbeats, deviants and weirdos hanging around all the time, plus the regular bashings and associated mayhem that went on. I lost my father while I was living there, too, so I really shouldn’t have any affection for the joint. Yet I’ve always been of the opinion that memories are selective, if you have a positive outlook. It would have been easy for me to cry ‘victim’ and give up, or figure that the world owed me something because I’d had a rough start. But I’ve got no time for professional victims—some people endure unspeakable tragedy and still find a way to move on. Maybe my early training in shitty situations at the Hilton helped me later on in life, when I’d get seriously tested” (pgs. 24-25).
Even through great adversity, like when he got ousted from AC/DC later on (with basically no heads up), Mark Evans bounced back time and time again by finding different things to focus on—like a loving family, and by later forming a musical alliance with a good friend and former Buffalo singer, Dave Tice. Together they now make up the acoustic blues/roots combination fittingly named Dave Tice and Mark Evans.
This book turned out to be a wonderfully pleasant surprise as I was expecting it to be just another hard rock memoir about lots of excessive drinking and sex (which it was too if you’re into that kind of thing); however, it was also so much more. It was Mark Evans’ story of success, despite the odds, in many arenas: as father, as husband, as child and as a high octane guitar player! Highly recommended!