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AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young got the song title from the 1962 animated cartoon series Beanie and Cecil
. The Show first aired on ABC Television and only ran for one season until the 26 episodes shown were cast as repeats for the next 5 years until it was recreated in 1968. The specific inspiration for the song name was the cartoon's main villain, "Dishonest John," who would carry around a business card that said, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Holidays, Sundays, and Special Rates." Author Susan Masino notes this in the 5th chapter of her 2006 biography of AC/DC entitled, The Story Of AC/DC: Let There Be Rock
." Also on the "AC/DC: Live At Donnington" DVD, Angus Young and Malcolm Young comment on the song title as well as the album in the discography feature of the DVD. (thanks, Nick - Cairns, Australia)
This song epitomizes AC/DC's dangerous and mean sound, with Angus Young's heavy guitar and Bon Scott's leering, vocals that would have scared the living daylights out of any unsuspecting teenage Pop fans when this song first hit the airwaves (they did it on a national TV show in Australia called Countdown, which was usually frequented by acts like ABBA and Bucks Fizz).
This was recorded at Alberts Studios in Sydney, Australia in 1976 soon after the sessions that produced the Australian version of their TNT album.
The ending is one of the most famous screams in Rock history. For those wondering, it's spelled: "Yaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggghhhhhh!" (thanks, Mark - Sydney, Australia, for all above)
This was used in the Norm MacDonald movie Dirty Work. It is played while Norm's character Mitch and his friend Sam are wrecking a building in an attempt to get it condemned. (thanks, DC - Kansas City, MO)
Lesley Gore, known for '60s hits like "It's My Party
," recorded this for the 2002 compilation album When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You'd Hear
. Her version was produced by Mauro DeSantis, who worked with Cevin Soling on the track. Soling, who was executive producer of the album, explains why he chose this song for Gore: "Her stuff was fairly empowering as far as female artists and things that she was doing. So it's not like it was the complete stretch, but you still think kind of the lighter girl-group kind of music from the '60s, and here's something that's pretty hard-core aggressive. But at the same time, I certainly concede that she was doing edgy stuff in her own way, at the time." (Check out our interview with Cevin Soling
On a 2008 episode of The Simpsons where they team up on a stakeout, we learn that Homer Simpson and the pious Ned Flanders have come common ground in their musical tastes. Homer likes AC/DC, and Ned likes their Christian tribute band: AD/BC, and their version of this song, "Kindly Deeds Done For Free."
Regarding the lyrics, "Just ring: 3-6-2-4-3-6," this was an actual phone number in Australia at the time, and it also could describe the measurements of a very shapely woman: 36-24-36. A year later, the Commodores used the same measurements to describe a woman in their song "Brick House
He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.
John Doe of X
With his X-wife Exene, John fronts the band X and writes their songs.
Brad Smith of Blind Melon
The Blind Melon bassist/songwriter tells the story of "No Rain," which he wrote before the band was formed.