mark evans

Former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans discusses his new tell-all book—Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside AC/DC— and gives us the lowdown on what it was like to take over 4-string duties from Malcolm Young and lay down the low end on some of the most raging rock tunes ever recorded.

In this recent photo, Evans cradles the Gibson Ripper bass that he’s shown playing on the cover of Let There Be Rock and in the videos for “It’s a Long Way to the Top” and “Jailbreak.” He bought it at a repair shop across from the Melbourne pub where he first saw AC/DC. Photo by Ginnie Evans

Mark Evans may not be a household name like his former AC/DC bandmates Angus and Malcolm Young, but nothing can take away his integral contributions to one of the biggest bands of all time. He took over bass chores from Malcolm in 1975, just after the band’s debut album, High Voltage, came out in their native Australia. Evans was 19 at the time, and with him in place Malcolm was freed to switch over to rhythm guitar, thus cementing one of rock’s most iconic and powerful guitar duos. From March of ’75 until the middle of ’77, he, Bon Scott, the Young brothers, and drummer Phil Rudd immortalized some of rock’s most timeless tunes—including “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock ’n’ Roll),” “T.N.T.,” and “Let There Be Rock”—on the classic albums T.N.T., Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, the 1976 international version of High Voltage, and Let There Be Rock.

Evans’ new book Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/ Outside AC/DC is the first insider account of the legendary Aussie band, and it chronicles the early years chock-full of wild times, triumphs, and tragedies. Recently released in North America, the book offers a glimpse at AC/DC’s studio approach and what it was like to ride the big black locomotive to superstardom in the 1970s. Premier Guitar recently spoke to Evans about the book, his gear, life on the road, and his relationships with the other members of AC/DC.

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Why Fender + Fender (or other brands) = more than the sum of their own signature sounds.

This column is not for the faint of back, but the rewards of such potentially heavy lifting are great. In my previous columns "Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate: Classic Guitar & Fender-Amp Pairings" (May 2020) and "Finding Perfect Tones in Imperfect Amps" (January 2021), I've discussed classic Fender amp and guitar pairings and how to EQ and tweak amps to get ideal tones. Let's take it a step further and discuss how to combine multiple amps to achieve even more complex, richer tones.

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Intermediate

Beginner

  • Develop a better sense of subdivisions.
  • Understand how to play "over the bar line."
  • Learn to target chord tones in a 12-bar blues.
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Playing in the pocket is the most important thing in music. Just think about how we talk about great music: It's "grooving" or "swinging" or "rocking." Nobody ever says, "I really enjoyed their use of inverted suspended triads," or "their application of large-interval pentatonic sequences was fascinating." So, whether you're playing live or recording, time is everyone's responsibility, and you must develop your ability to play in the pocket.
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