” Love that blog! 🙂 AC/DC are one of the best bands to work for too.
They definitely get my vote over X-factor!”
Bev Wills (@CoreCritical), Miami, USA and Leeds, UK, November 21, 2013.
If you’re reading this
in the States, let me explain. The song topping the charts on Christmas Day is
a big deal in the UK but, due to all this recent TV talent show nonsense, Britain’s
suffered some pretty dud number ones lately. As an antidote to this, a campaign
has been launched to make AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ number one for Xmas 2013,
rather than the usual contender. This, of course, is whoever wins the UK’s
X-Factor this year, their single traditionally due for release just before
Christmas. For UK readers wanting to help AC/DC prevail over X-Factor, here’s
were formed in November 1973 in Sydney, Australia, exactly 40 years ago
|AC/DC: Cliff left, Angus right.|
month. As coincidence will have it, November 1973 is when I, too, first arrived
in Australia. The following August I was in Melbourne and Lou Reed was in town.
Since I’d recently been involved in London, if only in a small way, in all the
hoopla spinning off David Bowie’s involvement with Mott the Hoople, Lou Reed
and Iggy Pop, I thought it only fitting I should go and see Lou. Mott the
Hoople and Mr. Pop had both been produced by Mr. Bowie on the record label I
worked for; and Lou’s ‘Walk On The Wild Side’, also produced by David Bowie, had
recently stormed the world’s charts.
Festival Hall, on a cold, wet winter night in the southern hemisphere. On came
Lou’s support act, featuring a crazed schoolboy in shorts, school cap with little satchel
on back, playing unbelievable electric rock & roll guitar. This, of course,
was a youthful Angus Young and the band were AC/DC; and back then, Angus really did look like
a demented little schoolboy on speed, rather than the demented old geezer clad
in school uniform who’s still the outfit’s focal point. AC/DC in 1973, were a lot
looser than they were to become, but rocked like crazy and had the joint
jumping. Unknown to the audience, AC/DC’s then lead singer, Dave Evans, was
about to get the sack, to be replaced by Bon Scott, so this was one of Evans’
last ever performances for AC/DC.
And, believe it or not, not so long after Bonn Scott joined AC/DC, I was standing next to four skinny little guys having beers at the bar in The Royal Standard pub in North Melbourne, one of whom was covered in tatts. This was Bon Scott, of course, whose memory is now honoured with a statue in Freemantle, West Australia, where he grew up. People are also currently raising money for a statue of the late lead singer to stand in the town square in Kirriemuir in Scotland, where Bon was born.
Little did I know then, that AC/DC’s bassist,
too, would be sacked in 1977 and replaced by Cliff Williams, someone I had
known well in London when I did everything possible to get press coverage for
his band, a country-oriented rock band called Home. In those days, Cliff was
well known for playing his bass with a cello bow, a far cry from his bass lines
with Acca Dacca, as the band’s known in Australia. I must have taken rock journalists to see Home over a hundred times.
blew Lou Reed totally off stage that night. Lou was in the middle of his “fuck
you” phase, uncommunicative with the audience, unenthusiastic and, to put it
bluntly, fucking boring. Even Walk On The Wild Side and Sweet Jane lacked
the expected panache.
40 years later. Lou Reed has just passed on aged 71 and so has Bon Scott. AC/DC are now one of the
greatest hard rock or blues rock bands the world has ever known, selling well
over 200 million albums.
few more to stop the manufactured X-Factor winner hogging the UK’s Christmas Number One yet
again. If you fancy helping, here’s that link again: