AC/DC – Jailbreak

Bon Scott was reading a story in the paper about Mark Brandon Reid…otherwise known as Chopper Reid. Chopper was sent to jail for 16 years for murdering a gang leader. After a while, he got fed up with jail life, so a criminal friend of his named Jimmy Loughnan planned an escape. It didn’t go well because of Chopper’s fear of tight places…and he and Jimmy were caught.

Bon Scott and Angus and Malcolm Young wrote Jailbreak. The song peaked at #10 in Australia in 1976. The song appeared on the Australian version of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. The song would not be released to the rest of the world until the 1984 international release of the ‘74 Jailbreak EP.

Mark Evans plays bass on this track and album. Evans would play on one more album, Let There Be Rock, and then he would be replaced by Cliff Williams on the Powerage album. Williams remains with ACDC to this day.

They made two videos for this song, one of them playing on a bunch of rocks as various explosions go on around them and the other which features the band simply playing on a stage.

In the bottom video Bon Scott and Phil Rudd (shirts with arrows) were dressed in blue prisoner uniforms while Malcolm Young and Mark Evans wore guard uniforms.


There was a friend of mine on murder
And the judge’s gavel fell
Jury found him guilty
Gave him sixteen years in hell
He said “I ain’t spending my life here
I ain’t livin’ alone
Ain’t breakin’ no rocks on the chain gang
I’m breakin’ out and heading home”
Gonna make a (jailbreak)
And I’m looking towards the sky
I’m gonna make a (jailbreak)
Oh, how I wish that I could fly

All in the name of liberty
All in the name of liberty
Got to be free

Let me outta here
Sixteen years
Had more than I can take


He said he’d seen his lady being fooled with
By another man
She was down and he was up
Had a gun in his hand
Bullets started flying everywhere
People start to scream
Big man lyin’ on the ground
With a hole in his body where his life had been

But it was all in the name of liberty
All in the name of liberty
I got to be free

I got to break out
Out of here

They were racing
He was chasin’
Rifles firing
But he made it out

With a bullet in his back



Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

28 thoughts on “AC/DC – Jailbreak”

  1. funny, I kept hearing Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” in my head even though I knew it was them and different from this. Interesting back story, I would have guessed it was just a work of fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely watch the Australian movie ‘Chopper’ about Mark Reid. It was the break-out movie of Eric Bana who played Chopper so convincingly.
    I have never been a big ACDC fan, although my kids like watching their songs live. I had friends at school who were ACDC fans and that gave me ample protection lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would like to see that movie. I’ve seen some interviews with the guy…he wasn’t a man to be messed with.
      ACDC was huge over here in the 80s…and I guess still are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so…I can’t think of another band that was that big…Air Supply? NOT… Yes I think they are the most successful musical export.


      2. Yea they took hard rock to a new level…they are melodic…I have to admit that.
        I do like the Go-Betweens.
        Queen is really popular in South America right?


      3. Yes, Queen, Michael Jackson, and Metallica amongst others. The range of popularity is due mainly to what was commercially released here in the 80’s and 90’s. Very few Western groups made commercial in roads here. Even worse solo artists. It’s a money game

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice kickass rock & roll – I’ve really come to dig AC/DC. Interestingly, it wasn’t love at first sight – frankly, not quite sure why from today’s perspective!

    When I saw the title, I also first thought of Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak,” which I also dig, BTW. As I started to listen to the AC/DC tune, I also thought of “It’s a Long Way to the Top” – stylistically, the two guitar riffs sound pretty similar. But that doesn’t bother me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t for me either…it was too hard for my tastes back then.
      They have made the same album over and over but change it enough to be interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was latecomer to AC/DC -as I was with several other bands that kicked around at the same time as first wave punk was bludgeoning its way through the ‘mainstream.’ Now have a few albums and love ’em!

    (Sorry – I can’t find any other way to contact you – would you be interested in swapping some blog posts / doing reciprocal ‘guest posts’ with our Once Upon a Time in The ’70s blog? Fire me an e-mail at: if you’re up for it and wee can sort it out. 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

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