Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

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Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap


On the cusp of international stardom in the early ‘70s, it was at The Espy in St. Kilda that Dave Evans performed his last show with AC/DC. “We had done a national tour, with our hit record, Can I Sit Next To You, Girl which was in the Top Five,” Dave explains. “During the tour things sort of soured…I quit the band in Adelaide. But the next morning, when we’d cleared our heads, we decided I’d stay until the end of the tour…coming back to Melbourne.”

Despite the years that have passed since that eventful night, Dave vividly recalls the memorable show. “Someone threw a glass of beer over Malcolm Young. [It went] over his Gretsch guitar, his Marshall amp, and him,” he begins. “We finished the song. He jumped off the stage, chased the guy out the door of The Espy and down the street…[at this stage] we’re all running after him. The guy turned around and Malcolm, *BANG*, kicked him one…[he] knocked him down and started getting stuck into him. We pulled Malcolm off him and went back to The Esplanade where we finished the set and after we went and had our meeting. So, yeah, we were already primed up for it…After the show, which was memorable for that incident, we went to the hotel for the meeting…[it] was over very quickly and I was out of the band. I flew back to Sydney the next morning.”

Dave continued to build a successful and separate musical career after AC/DC which has spanned over the past 31 years, during which time he has been labelled the ‘King of all Badasses’ (“Asssssssss, not Arse” he astutely points out). He also explains how stylistically, he influenced AC/DC, and this resonated even after he left. “When [Bon Scott] used to watch us play he used to see me with my shirt off and with Angus on my shoulders. That’s my thing and I still do it.”

His show at The Espy with tribute band Dirty Deeds, however, is the first time he will be performing entirely Acca Dacca material again, at the very same venue he last sang with the band. “It’s a nostalgic show for me,” he admits.

Melbourne band, Dirty Deeds, is the longest running AC/DC tribute band in the world, having begun jamming back in ’86, but formally establishing themselves in 1990. It’s difficult enough to find success as a band when performing your own music, let alone someone else’s. Yet Dirty Deeds are still in high demand 21 years later. Lead singer, Alfie, attributes this to treating the cover band as a “glorified hobby and passion”. “I think it’s because I’ve never burnt it out,” he says. “I got into it for freedom. And I’m still in it ‘cos I love it.”

When AC/DC toured Victorian high schools, Alfie was just 11 years old, witnessing a band perform in front of him for the very first time. “They were me favourite band,” he says. “Then when I was older, we started jamming and the best songs I could sing were the AC/DC ones. They suited my pitch and my tone.” Through mutual friends, Dave and Alfie eventually met, and not long after began discussing the possibility of performing a special gig together. Dave explains, “I’ll be just doing AC/DC stuff this time. I’ll be doing my stuff, plus Baby Please Don’t Go and a couple of Bon Scott songs, seeing as how he used to do some of my songs once he joined the band.”

Combining the personality differences between Dave and the Young brothers, together with the ever-changing band members and managers, Dave attributed these as the cause of tensions within the band. “I didn’t have any mates in the band at that time,” he reminisces. “I had no friends at all that I was close to. And once I got stuck into the manager, we weren’t talking at all either. So the writing was on the wall. This was at The Espy, so now I’m back there singing Can I Sit Next To You, Girl and Rockin’ In The Parlour for the first time since I split from AC/DC.”

Both Alfie and Dave are excited about the show and want to rock the place. “This is a tribute to Dave Evans, Bon Scott and Brian Johnson,” Alfie explains. Dave adds jokingly, “The unique thing about this is that the person doing the tribute is actually Dave Evans!” When asked what they want their audience to feel, Dave succinctly says, “Long Live Rock!”

Many, like Dave and Alfie, cannot explain why AC/DC became so massive, but they know only too well that the effect they had on music was epic. “I don’t know, it was just a perfect formula. It’s Aussie rock and Aussie rock rules,” says Dave.