January 14th, 2020 – Rock On

Back in the early 80’s if you were a rock music fan, you owned at least one of this band’s albums. Maybe you went to their concerts. If you did, you came out with one of their t-shirts and wore it until the washing machine faded it into oblivion.

I bought AC/DC‘s eighth album and played this song over and over. To me it was a validation for all of the fan loyalty and attention I was paying to my favorite bands. A true rock anthem. This was my thank you.

AC/DC – “For Those About to Rock”

AC/DC had long established themselves as a hard rock act and “For Those About to Rock” from the album of the same name released in 1981 solidified their place on the charts. While the single made it to fifteen on the Billboard charts, the album reached number one riding the coattails of the band’s last album the highly successful Back in Black.

Guitarist Angus Young told a music trade the song’s theme is loosely based on an old Roman salute by those condemned to die in the Colosseum. The soldiers would utter “Hail Caesar, we who are about to die, salute you.” Interestingly the cannons blasting in the song came from when the band was rehearsing the song before recording when from the TV in the other room, cannons were going off during the Royal wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. The band heard this and it was decided that it would be a perfect compliment to the song to add them in.

I have to admit that I can’t actually listen to a full album of AC/DC. I have an aversion to gravelly, voiced singers. I can only take them in small doses. Perhaps it stems from the time I was in a band. I associated that rough voice to a painfully, damaged throat or vocal cords. The thought of singing through that kind of pain always made me cringe. I salute those that can do it.

~Lew Hastings

Yeah, yeah, oh
Oh oh oh
We roll tonight 
To the guitar bite
Yeah, yeah, oh

Stand up and be counted 
For what you are about to receive
We are the dealers 
We’ll give you everything you need
Hail hail to the good times 
‘Cause rock has got the right of way
We ain’t no legend, ain’t no ’cause
We’re just livin’ for today

For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you

We rock at dawn on the front line
Like a bolt right out of the blue
The sky’s a-light with the guitar bite
Heads will roll and rock tonight

For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you, yes we do
For those about to rock, we salute you

Oh, salute
Oh, oh yeah

We’re just a battery for hire with a guitar fire
Ready and aimed at you
Pick up your balls and load up your cannon
For a twenty-one gun salute

For those about to rock, fire
We salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock 
Fire (we salute you)
Fire we salute you
We salute you
Come on, whoa

For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you 
For those about to rock, we salute you
Shoot, shoot 
Shoot, shoot

For those of you, for those who rock (ain’t gonna get tired, won’t take a break, we salute you, yeah)
We salute you 
We salute you
We salute you
Fire

Writer/s: BRIAN JOHNSON, ANGUS MCKINNON YOUNG, MALCOLM MITCHELL YOUNG 
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC