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Cactus Music Has Black Ice

"Rock N Roll Train," the first single from Black Ice - and No. 2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart this week

For those about to rock, don’t head over to Walmart just yet. AC/DC of course is the latest classic-rock band to sign an exclusive-release deal with the Arkansas-based retail behemoth, but its new album Black Ice, out today, is also available at Cactus Music. How did this happen?

“I’ll just say AC/DC records are available all over the world,” hedges Cactus owner Quinn Bishop before breaking down. “We just bought imports.”

Needling the Aussies’ desire to cut independent retailers out of their sales plan, Cactus has also printed up special T-shirts (above) playing off the Black Ice cover art.

“That’s even funnier,” Bishop says. “It makes it look like an official thing. But we deconstructed the image so we don’t have any kind of copyright infringement.”

Unsurprisingly, Bishop isn’t happy about this new trend, previously done – with great success – by Journey and the Eagles. He’s hardly ready to concede, though.

“If people try to cut us out of the plan, we’re going to do whatever we can to compete,” he says. “We figure whatever CDs we don’t sell we’ll make up in ridiculous T-shirt sales. Indie retail’s gotta be prepared – other big bands are probably gonna do the same thing.”

So far today, Bishop estimates Cactus has sold between 10 and 20 copies of Black Ice and five or six T-shirts.

“Indie retail’s gotta be prepared,” he says. “Other big bands are probably gonna do the same thing.” – Chris Gray

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray