The sound of the guitar was so untamed, and it lit a fire inside me to approach the guitar like a weapon. The lore behind Let There Be Rock is that Angus and Malcolm Young would face a Marshall against the wall and crank the sucker all the way up. You can tell the amp was turned up unbelievably loud: you can practically feel Angus' fingerprints rubbing against the strings.
My sister gave me Fireball for my eighth birthday, June 30, 1971, and that day my life forever change. I knew immediately that I was going to be a guitarist for life and there would be no turning back. It's like one minute I was a kid playing with cap guns, and then someone handed me a fuckin' nuclear bomb! My life was never the same, to say the least.
If you look at the elements of that record, it contains many of the things I enjoy doing today. It has history, melody, and the lyrics are wonderful. Along with its enchanting and exquisite melodies, West Side Story has attitude and a tremendous amount of frenetic energy. It's emotional, theatrical and technical. It's everything.
Basically, it made me want to be a metal guitar player. Before I heard the record, I was a 13-year-old skater listening to a lot of punk: Black Flag, Bad Religion, JFA, Sucidal Tendencies, G.B.H. and Sex Pistols. It was in that context that I got a guitar and started making noise, punk rock style.
I was 15 years old and a friend of mine brought it over to my house insisting I had to hear it. I was still living at my parents' house at the time, and they had a very loud stereo system. My friends would come over and we would blast it up to what we thought was concert level. Boy, was I naive!
I'd been into records by Black Sabbath, Zeppelin and Deep Purple, but Rocks sounded like the Rolling Stones, who had been my favorite band from age 3 to 13. It had the blues-based rock and roll thing, but turned up to 15. Aerosmith delivered the songs with such urgency, and the music had an almost punk attitude.