Susie Masino’s new AC/DC FAQ book promises to reveal “All That’s Left to Know about the World’s True Rock ‘n’ Roll Band”. We gave it to Prog Magazine editor Jerry Ewing (author of two books about the band) to test the theory. Here’s what he discovered…
1 - AC/DC’s fist ever headline show was at the Melbourne Festival Hall on 4 November, 1975. They were supported by Stevie Young (who would later be in the frame as a replacement for Bon Scott) and John Paul Young of Love Is In The Air fame. A promo video was shot for High Voltage on four cameras. Applause from George Harrison’s Concert For Bangladesh was dubbed onto the video.
2 - Bon would stick his fringe down with scotch tape after he’d showered to prevent it curling up too much
3 - Brian Johnson wrote the lyrics to You Shook Me All Night Long whilst sat on the bog.
4 - Bon Scott was a big fan of show tunes, a passion he picked up as a boy.
5 - Cheap Trick are the only band that AC/DC have ever invited to encore with them. The band first played together at Greensboro in North Carolina on December 18, 1977. The band would enjoy a friendly relationship, continuing to jam together over the years. The only other person invited to jam with AC/DC was Atlantic Records exec Phil Carson, with the band in Brussels on January 25, 1981, on a cover of Little Richard’s Lucille.
6 - Back in the very early days when Dave Evans fronted the band, they performed set of Chuck Berry and Rolling Stones at a close friend’s wedding. One guest asked them to play Zorba The Greek, but the band did not know it. “Malcolm said ‘Give me a minute’, he went away and practiced for a while, all from ear. Then Malcolm said ‘Tell him yeah, we’ll do it’.”
7 - Bon’s early morning ritual was to gargle with red wine and honey, to help retain the raspy edge to his voice
8 - When Iran was struck by computer hackers some time between 2009 and 2010, the attacking virus, Stuxnet caused thousands of computers in Iran’s nuclear facilities to break down, all blasting out Thunderstruck at full volume!
9 - Angus’ wife Ellen allegedly told a fan who was travelling on the same train as her and Angus between gigs that when the band were recording The Razors Edge, they once came into the studio to discover backing vocals where none had been recorded. The vocals purportedly sounded just like Bon Scott.
10 - When Bon Scott posted out his Christmas cards in 1979, something he did every year, he didn’t pay enough postage, meaning many of the cards were delayed and arrived late, after he had died on February 19, 1980.
11 - Kirriemuir, where Bon Scott was born, is in the county of Angus. Bon’s mother Isa’s maiden name was Mitchell, which is Malcolm Young’s middle name.
12 - The original singer in Aussie band the Velvet Underground, with whom Malcolm Young played before he formed AC/DC, was called Brian Johnson.
13 - The very first time Bon Scott sang live with AC/DC was on October 5, 1975, Brian Johnson’s birthday.
14 - The original album cover for Highway To Hell is purported to have been the devil driving a car, peering in his rear view mirror, with the band all seated in the back seat. A photoshoot was even conducted in Statten Island, NY, which featured the band hitchhiking. In the end the record company baulked at the idea, instead using a shot from the Powerage shoot, super-imposing horns and a satanic tail on Angus. One of the new shots was used on the back cover.
15 - Bon favoured a prominent crease in his jeans, and could often be found ironing his stage clothes on the bar before a gig.
16 - Angus Young is well known for playing his now trademark Gibson SG guitar. The reason is that the SG guitar neck is the only one he can get comfortably his hands around.
17 - At Brian Johnson’s first audition he sang Whole Lotta Rosie, Highway To Hell and Ike and Tina Tuner’s Nutbush City Limits. At his second audition at London’s Ezee Hire Studios, he was asked to come up with the lyrics to Given The Dog A Bone.
18 - Bon Scott’s motorbike riding skills were legendary, earning him the nickname Ronnie Roadtest.
19 - Bon took the tube to the band’s first ever gig at Hammersmith Odeon in November 1976, arriving late. The manager Michael Browning had sent a roadie out to take a picture of the band’s name in lights. When the photos were processed they showed Bon Scott walking up the stairs with his bag slung over his shoulder.
20 - Marvel Comics were planning to release a unique comic book to tie in with the release of Ballbreaker, the artwork for which used various images from the work. The storyline apparently featured Bon in hell. Bon wins a card game, allowing AC/DC to visit him so he can sing with them one more time. Given Ballbreaker was Brian’s 7th album with the band, it’s seems spurious to believe the band would allow such a storyline. Soon after, Marvel downsized and the supposed comic book never materialised.