Rockers and Rollers: An Automotive Autobiography, by Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson, frontman of perennial rock’n'roll favourites AC/DC is, as anyone who has seen his appearance on the BBC’s Top Gear not so long ago knows, also a car fiend, a racer through and through, so the emphasis in this autobiography is firmly on the automotive side of his existence. AC/DC get plenty of mentions, but mostly in the context of cars and tour buses (anyone hoping for revelations about guitarist Angus Young, for instance, will be disappointed – he doesn’t even have a driving license, so barely figures!).
Johnson is an enjoyable teller of tales – you can imagine him telling these same stories in pubs and bars around the world, from the first car his dad ever bought (a Wolsey) to the sports cars, racers and luxury motors that the lead singer of one of the world’s most successful bands can easily afford. Be prepared for plenty of blue language and bluer stories as Johnson tells of his life on the road – but there are also touching insights in to the lives of Johnson’s parents (his mum came back from Italy to be with his dad at the end of the Second World War) and his mates.
Structurally, the book is split in to numerous, mostly very short (a page or three) chapters – and these are placed in no particular chronological or thematic order. This could be a problem if you want to sit down and read the book from cover to cover, as it might feel rather disjointed – however (and I think Brian Johnson would approve of this) it does make it the ideal book to keep by the toilet, to be dipped in and out of as the opportunity arises.
While it’s not exactly jam-packed with revelations, Rockers and Rollers is a slab of simple fun, and if you’re not lucky enough to be at the track with Brian Johnson, or in the pub talking about being at the track, then this is probably about as good as it gets for rockers and greasers.