author of Dirty Deeds,
former member of AC/DC and living legend
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I was born in Melbourne, Victoria March 2, 1956. From the age of ten I lived at government housing project in South Yarra, an inner city Melbourne suburb. I attended Prahran High School but not very often.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
At 12. I wanted to play football for my team, Carlton.
At 30. I wanted to be happy and healthy.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
At eighteen I was absolutely certain that they was no afterlife, now the notion that there just maybe something there is interesting to me and a comfort.
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
Losing my father to cancer when I was 12 years old.
Discovering books at 14.
Joining AC/DC as their bassplayer when I was 19.
5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?
I’m avid book reader, I love the feel of opening a new book (not an e-book) with the expectation of a great read, learning something and I cherish my wall full of favourite books. I may sound like a dinosaur but I have the feeling we are a long way from being extinct just yet. I would happily use an e-book when travelling, as I use an iPod but to me there is no greater feeling than a real book, especially receiving one as a gift… receiving an e-book download voucher as a gift… yuk.
6. Please tell us about your latest book…
Dirty Deeds is my memoir, pure and simple, it is the story of my life… a very Spartan childhood and adolescence to joining AC/DC, recording and touring the world and my personal life and career afterwards… all the massive highs and lows and how I have dealt with success, disappointment and tragedy.
(BBGuru: publisher’s synopsis – A few days after his 19th birthday, rock and roll lover and bass player Mark Evans wandered into his local to check out the band – and his life would never be the same again. Two days later he was playing his first show as bass player with AC/DC; within a week he was on Countdown, rocking out next to wildman Bon Scott, who was dressed as a pigtailed, cigarette-smoking schoolgirl – and waving a mallet – and Angus who was – of course – decked out as a schoolboy. And all for the princely wage of $60 a week!
Then came nearly being burnt alive on the video shoot for ‘Jailbreak’, and working with legends Vanda and Young on the massive album TNT, on which Mark’s take-no-prisoners basslines anchored such immortal hits as ‘TNT’ and ‘It’s a Long Way To the Top’. Within a year, the band had relocated to London and were on the road to rock ‘n’ roll stardom, living the life of rock gods and making the most of all that had to offer. Until the tragic death of his good friend Bon Scott changed everything.
Dirty Deeds is the first book about AC/DC written from the inside, by an insider – which is gold for any AC/DC fan. It is an honest, gripping, sometimes laugh-out-loud account of a band that lived fast, played hard and broke every one of the rules – before they broke all the records. It is also a revealing and frank memoir of a man who’s had to contend with everything life has thrown at him – a rough-as-guts upbringing, lucky breaks and soaring highs, as well as terrible personal tragedy and loss. The hard lessons Mark has learned along the way will inspire any reader.)
I hope it would help someone realize adversity is a part of life, not a personal failure. You can find out much about yourself through adversity and become a better person.
8. Whom do you most admire and why?
Nelson Mandela. For his dignity and perseverance, not wavering in the face of what must have seemed insurmountable odds.
9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
I’m 55… so the simple things appeal, to live life well.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Enjoy the process of writing, stay in the moment and let the words flow.
Mark, thank you for playing.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.