Pre-AC/DC Marcus Hook Roll Band, "Natural Man," with Malcolm and Angus Young — Exclusive Song Premiere

by Damian Fanelli
Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:52am

Before AC/DC's Malcolm and Angus Young took us down the Highway to Hell, they joined their brother, George Young, and guitarist Harry Vanda to form the Marcus Hook Roll Band, a project that never left the studio.

They released only three singles and one album in the early Seventies. Now Parlophone is releasing the Marcus Hook Roll Band's only album, 1973’s Tales of Old Grand-Daddy, June 3 as CD/vinyl/digital download.

Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Natural Man," a bonus track from the album. Check it out below and tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook.

If the Marcus Hook Roll Band had ever left of the studio, travelled the world and promoted their records, AC/DC might not have gotten off the ground.

Dutchman Harry Vanda and Scottish George Young met as teenagers in an immigration hostel in Sydney, Australia. They formed the Easybeats, became a pop sensation, went to London and had a major hit with "Friday On My Mind."

When the Easybeats split up in 1969, Harry and George stayed in London, hoping to make a living as session musicians, songwriters and producers. In 1972, they sent a demo to Alan "Wally" Waller (aka Wally Allen), who was working as a producer for EMI. That June, he got them into Abbey Road studios to record "Natural Man."

The album wasn't made until the following year — on the other side of the globe. Vanda and Young had, in the meantime, accepted an offer from Ted Albert to return to Australia and re-launch Albert Productions. The plan was to build a new studio in his Sydney building, Boomerang House, and kick start the solo career of their old Easybeats band-mate Stevie Wright. But a call came from Waller announcing that EMI’s affiliate in the U.S., Capitol Records, was now interested in single "Natural Man," plus an album from the Marcus Hook Roll Band.

Harry and George had just resettled their young families in Sydney and had no intention of returning to London. So Waller made the trip to Australia, and was delighted to find engineer Richard Lush working at EMI’s Castlereagh Street studios. A fun time ensued in studio A over July/August 1973. A key ingredient was the duty free booze supplied by Waller—Jim Beam’s Old Grand-dad bourbon whiskey — hence the album name.

It was decided not to use any of the London tracks but to start again with a new batch of songs and a new lineup. In an interview for Bomp magazine in 1978, George Young explained to Glenn A. Baker the philosophy behind the Marcus Hook Roll Band:

“We thought it was hilarious, it had just been a joke to us… We had Harry, myself and my kid brothers, Malcolm and Angus. We all got rotten, except for Angus, who was too young, and we spent a month in there boozing it up every night. That was the first thing Malcolm and Angus did before AC/DC. We didn’t take it very seriously so we thought we’d include them to give them an idea of what recording was all about.”

Tales of Old Grand-Daddy Track Listing:

01. Can't Stand The Heat
02. Goodbye Jane
03. Quick Reaction
04. Silver Shoes & Strawberry Wine
05. Watch Her Do it Now
06. People and the Power
07. Red Revolution
08. Shot in the Head
09. Ape Man
10. Cry For Me
11. One Of These Days (Previously Unreleased)
12. Natural Man (1972 A-Side of Regal Zonophone RZ 3061)
13. Moonshine Blues (1974 B-Side of ‘Can't Stand The Heat’ BASF ‎– 06 19196-0)
14. Louisiana Lady (1973 A-Side of Regal Zonophone RZ 3072)
15. Ride Baby Ride (Previously Unreleased)


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

AC/DC's Malcolm Young has Dementia, Family Confirms (10/2/2014)
Although rumors have been circulating for several weeks, it has been confirmed that founding AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young has dementia. The family of the 61-year-old guitarist confirmed the sad news in an official statement, according to...
AC/DC's Malcolm Young Reportedly in Care for Dementia in Australia (9/26/2014)
Australia's Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that former AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has dementia and is being treated in a nursing home in Sydney. The facility is believed to be Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay. "If you were in the room wit...
AC/DC Preview New Song, "Play Ball" — Listen (9/25/2014)
As we reported yesterday, AC/DC — a band that no longer features Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar — will premiere a new song, "Play Ball," September 27 as part of Turner Sports' 2014 Major League Baseball Postseason campaign. It seems, however, th...
AC/DC Release Details About New Album, 'Rock Or Bust'; New Song, 'Play Ball,' to Debut This Weekend (9/24/2014)
A few more facts about AC/DC's next album — their first in six years — have been released by the band. The disc will be called Rock Or Bust. It will feature 11 songs and will be released November 28 in Australia and December 2 in North America. ...
Malcolm Young Will Not Return to AC/DC, Says Band Biographer (8/11/2014)
Jesse Fink, the author of the new book The Youngs: The Brothers Who Build AC/DC, stated in an interview with WZLX that Malcolm Young will not be returning to the legendary hard-rock outfit. Malcolm's nephew, Stevie Young, has taken Malcolm's pl...
Chris Slade on AC/DC, Tom Jones, Jimmy Page, Gary Numan, and more (7/22/2014)
Read more about Chris Slade on AC/DC, Tom Jones, Jimmy Page, Gary Numan, and more at MusicRadar.com While Chris Slade may be known predominantly for his five-year stint with AC/DC, that is just the tip of a monstrously huge iceberg.Since startin...
AC/DC's Brian Johnson Offers Malcolm Young Health Update: "He's in Hospital, But He's a Fighter" (7/11/2014)
AC/DC's Brian Johnson has provided a health update on guitarist Malcolm Young. As has been widely reported, the band announced in April that Young would step down from the band due to ill health. The news came via a post on the band's Facebook p...
AC/DC Finish Recording New Album, Considering 'Man Down' As Possible Title (7/9/2014)
AC/DC have completed work on their new studio album, which is expected to be released later this year. Talking to TeamRock Radio, lead singer Brian Johnson said he and the band have considered calling the album Man Down in reference to guitaris...
AC/DC Frontman Brian Johnson Says Band Is "Very Likely" to Tour This Year (6/20/2014)
According to AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, AC/DC are "very likely" to tour before the end of the year. Johnson posted the news on his auto-racing website. While thanking fans for their support for his U.K. TV series, Cars That Rock, he added: "[...
13 reasons why AC/DC rock for guitarists (5/14/2014)
Read more about 13 reasons why AC/DC rock for guitarists at MusicRadar.com GUITARS AND AMPS EXPO 2014: Back In Black. Highway To Hell. Whole Lotta Rosie. When it comes to iconic AC/DC riffs, those are just the tip of the iceberg. Across five dec...
Scott Ian's top 5 AC/DC riffs (5/13/2014)
Read more about Scott Ian's top 5 AC/DC riffs at MusicRadar.com GUITARS AND AMPS EXPO 2014: Scott Ian has to be one of the biggest AC/DC fans in the music fraternity. Driven by their bar-room brawling, old school rock 'n' roll vibe, Ian could ta...
Update: Malcolm Young "Taking a Break" from AC/DC (4/16/2014)
It seems there's some sad truth behind the speculation surrounding AC/DC's imminent breakup due to Malcolm Young's health issues. The classic hard rock band may not be breaking up, but their rhythm guitarist is, for the moment, stepping down to ...
Report: AC/DC to Call It Quits Due to Malcolm Young's Illness? (4/15/2014)
According to several media reports posted earlier today (mostly out of Australia), AC/DC might be calling it quits very soon — due to the serious illness of guitarist Malcolm Young. Perth, Australia, radio station 6PR reported that Young, 61, an...
AC/DC Planning New Album and 40th-Anniversary Tour (2/17/2014)
If it feels like you haven't been hearing a lot about AC/DC of late, that's about to change in a big way this year. This past Friday, in an interview with a Florida radio station 98.7 "the Gater," AC/DC's Brian Johnson said the band is about to ...
Greatest Rock Singers of All Time Readers Poll, Round 1: Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) Vs. Bon Scott (AC/DC) (9/26/2013)
Why should guitarists have all the fun? GuitarWorld.com recently launched a new readers poll in partnership with Samson: the Greatest Rock Singers of All Time Readers Poll. We're certain that, even though our core readership is mainly made up of...