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I’m With Stupid – August 19, 2011

NEXT FOR AUSTRALIA’S METAL GODS: A WHOLE LOTTA ROSE
by Todd Hartley

Hey, all you head bangers! Are you guys ready to rock? I said are you guys ready to rock? Ready for some dirty deeds done dirt cheap? Ready to get thunder struck and shaken all night long? Are you ready to get down to the loudest sound around, the sound you need that makes your eardrums bleed, the thunder from Down Under? Then for those about to rock, we salute you. Let’s hear you make some noise for AC/DC!

That’s what I’m talking about, America. Get loud! Now that you’re rocking, you’re going to want to par-tay like a rock star, you know what I mean? You want to crank this mother up to 11 and throw it down heavy-metal style. And nothing says metal like a nicely chilled glass of sauvignon blanc. Oh yeah, America! Get a whiff of that heady bouquet. Taste those crisp hints of citrus and grass. Get crazy with your bad selves.

Anyway, as some of you may have gleaned from the paragraphs above, AC/DC recently joined the growing list of celebrities with their own wine labels. The sauvignon blanc I mentioned is called “Hell’s Bells.” There’s also an AC/DC cabernet sauvignon called “Highway to Hell,” which, though it honors one of the band’s biggest hits, is a stupid name for an alcoholic beverage.

“Highway to Hell” doesn’t exactly make you think of something that will pair well with beef or encourage stimulating conversation amongst refined company, does it? I don’t know about you, but “Highway to Hell” makes me think more of someone puking in the bathroom of a 7-11 at 4 in the morning. It’s the sort of name that should be reserved for use only by Mad Dog 20/20 or some other fortified wine.

Whatever. I’m sure the wines are fine, and I’ll probably buy the sauvignon blanc some day, because I select my wines based on how cool I thought the label owner was when I was a kid. Trust me, you should have seen how much I overreacted when I found out Davy Crockett made wine. I went a little nuts. I still have cases of Fess Parker pinot noir gathering dust in my wine cellar, figuratively speaking. (I don’t have any wine or a cellar, but I would if I was rich.)

The celebrity wine thing has gotten a little ridiculous, though. Antonio Banderas owns a vineyard in Spain. Mike Ditka has a wine label. Even somebody named Lil Jon has a wine label. I don’t know who Lil Jon is, but I think odds are that he’s not a viticulturist. Oh, he’s a rap star? Thanks. Regardless, I’m still not sure what part of Antonio Banderas, football and rap is supposed to make me want to sip wine, but they don’t.

Likewise, rock ’n’ roll doesn’t really inspire me to uncork a nice bottle of vino either. Sure, I may have paired James Taylor with white zinfandel once or twice to get some unsuspecting college girl drunk, but that’s barely rock ’n’ roll or wine. That doesn’t really count. All I’m saying is I’ve never had the urge for a glass of chardonnay when I was banging my head, regardless of the metal bands who’ve suggested such a pairing in the past.

KISS has a wine label. Vince Neil, the lead singer of Mötley Crüe, has a wine label. Even Iron Maiden has a wine label, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with Iron Maiden’s work, imagine trying to drink a glass of merlot while someone hits you in the side of the head with one of those big, spiky, mediaeval, sledgehammer things. I believe they’re called maces.

The celebrity wine thing is really bad Down Under, where, in addition to AC/DC, every famous Australian you can think of has a wine label. Olivia Newton John has a winery. Greg Norman has wineries in two countries. (The only other famous Australian you can think of, Crocodile Dundee, owes millions of dollars in back taxes, but if he didn’t, you can rest assured he’d own a winery too.)

Having reached the dregs of this column, it occurs to me that I didn’t really have a point, except maybe to say that wine isn’t the sort of thing one typically associates with AC/DC. Well, unless the cabernet sauvignon really does leave you vomiting at a convenience store in the wee hours. Then it would be acceptable, because that’s what rock ’n’ roll is all about, baby.

Todd Hartley has “Big Balls” on an old cassette tape of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” 

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