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Watch: That time AC/DC filmed TWO videos in a day and took over the streets of Melbourne

AC/DC
(Image credit: YouTube)

February 23, 1976, and Melbourne is witness to the birth of a legend. A little upcoming band from Sydney was in town to film a promo video for a TV show called Countdown. Countdown was the most popular music program in the history of Australian TV and the two clips they filmed were about to launch a legend.

It wasn't AC/DC's first time on the show. In 1975, they'd caused a stir when they played their version of Baby, Please Don't Go, with Bon Scott dressed as a schoolgirl. (opens in new tab) But now they had a new album, and a new original song that showcased the band's Scottish roots by featuring bagpipes. 

It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock'N'Roll) was to be their fourth single – could it beat the chart placing of their last single High Voltage, which had reached no.10 in the Australian singles chart a year earlier?

And how could Countdown top Bon-dressed-as-a-schoolgirl? Director Paul Drane had an idea. They'd take over Melbourne.

The band performed on the back of a flatbed truck driving down Melbourne's Swanston Street. Looking at the video now, it's amazing how little fuss it caused.

"The thing is you could do something like that back then," Paul Drane said (opens in new tab). "You could organise it with the city council and it could be done very quickly. We didn't have to shut the streets down or stop traffic. These days you'd have the street shut down for a day. It would be almost impossible."

The crew also filmed another set up with the band in Melbourne's City Square where they were mobbed by, ooh, maybe 50 people. Click below to watch on Facebook.

The song went to no.9 in the Aussie charts. International success was two years away. Like the song says, it's a long way to the top.

The band also recorded some goofy idents for Countdown to promote sixth single Jailbreak:

Tom Poak
Tom Poak

Tom Poak has written for the Hull Daily Mail, Esquire, The Big Issue, Total Guitar, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and more. In a writing career that has spanned decades, he has interviewed Brian May, Brian Cant, and cadged a light off Brian Molko. He has stood on a glacier with Thunder, in a forest by a fjord with Ozzy and Slash, and on the roof of the Houses of Parliament with Thin Lizzy's Scott Gorham (until some nice men with guns came and told them to get down). He has drank with Shane MacGowan, mortally offended Lightning Seed Ian Broudie and been asked if he was homeless by Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch.