#40: Long Way to to the Top: AC/DC:1975
A lot can happen in 10 years. The last blog was about The Easybeats 1965 hit Friday on my Mind. In that blog I mentioned that Harry Vanda and George Young from The Easybeats became the driving force behind AC/DC. So it is time to talk about the Australian rock band, AC/DC, which formed in Sydney in 1973.
AC/DC was heavily influenced by a very musical family of Scottish immigrants. Older brother George Young, along with Harry Vanda were the songwriters; George became the manager and his younger brothers, Malcolm, on rhythm guitar and Angus on lead guitar formed the nucleus of this hard hitting rock band. In addition to the Young brothers, the original members of the band were Dave Evans, vocals, bassist Larry Van Kriedt and drummer Colin Burgess. Bon Scott, another Scotsman, joined the band in 1974 and took over the role of lead singer from Dave Evans. By all accounts Bon Scott was lively, well liked and had a great lead voice; so with Scott as front man the band entered its rise to world recognition; an Aussie band which was making it all the way to the top.
The band’s line up kept changing due to many reasons but Malcolm and Angus Young remained constant. Angus Young, who to me seemed to have far too much energy, became famous for his short trousers and school boy look, while Malcolm, although unassuming and remaining in the background has left a legacy of being the musical and rhythmic backbone of AC/DC. Bon Scott’s unfortunate passing in February of 1980, which is believed to have been caused by alcohol poisoning, led to Brian Johnson becoming lead singer.
The early to mid 1980s were AC/DCs heyday. During this time they were selling literally millions of copies of their albums and an Aussie band had made it big on the world wide stage 12 Australian Bands That Changed The World (theculturetrip.com). This article places AC/DC as the top Aussie band to impact the global world of music.
In 2003 AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2010 won a Grammy Award for “the best hard rock performance.” AC/DC is a band with a long story, a lot of changes and a lot of heartache. But they got one thing right; It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll and by all accounts the cost of getting there seems quite high.
This is my absolute favourite AC/DC Long Way to the Top video clip featuring Bon Scott and those bagpipes, all on the back of a truck going down Swanson Street in Melbourne. I hope you will enjoy it. The link to the article below is a great read also.