Relive the moment Angus Young grabbed a fan by the nose after being drenched in beer

Angus Young sitting on the edge of the stage beckoning a fan over
(Image credit: Flint1955/YouTube)

In the movie Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, there's a scene in which a reporter attending a military press conference points out that a lack of evidence for extra-terrestrial activity doesn't mean that such activity doesn't exist. 

"I've been in the news business for a long time," he says. "Our cameras have never taken a picture of a plane crash as it actually happened or an automobile accident and get it on the six o'clock news."

That was in 1976. Decades later, you can watch plane crashes and car accidents on the internet all day long. Everything is filmed, and everyone's in the news business. 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and if you're a public figure you're more public than ever.

Such exposure is now part and parcel of the average musician's day-to-day. Every onstage announcement can be poured over by thousands of fans. Every mistake amplified. Every misstep an opportunity for someone to score points. Whether it's Puddle Of Mudd singer Wes Scantlin having a meltdown or Vince Neil falling off stage, everything lives on, everywhere, forever.

Which is why, in 2022, we can think about that time AC/DC's Angus Young was involved in a confrontation with a fan after being covered in beer. And then we can relive the moment, because the fracas was captured and it's all on YouTube.

It's September 13, 2000, and AC/DC are playing the 28th show of a 143-date worldwide trek. They're at the America West Arena in Phoenix, AZ. And during the 10th song of the set, Bad Boy Boogie, as Angus solos on the walkway that extends into the audience, someone tosses a beer at him.  

Angus is not best pleased. He walks in the direction from which the missile was thrown, identifies the culprit, and beckons him over. Instead, another beer arrives, drenching the guitarist. For a moment he looks furious, but then he calmly passes his guitar to a nearby roadie and calls the offender over, grabs him by the nose, and delivers what we must assume is the sternest of admonishments. Suitably chastised, the fan is led away by security, Angus is reunited with his guitar, the crowd roars, and the show picks up where it left off.

Throughout it all, Malcolm Young carries on playing. We like to think he watched the drama unfold with interest, proudly watching his younger brother calmly handle a situation that would have had many lesser musicians departing for the dressing room. 

But we're also thinking: what kind of thick-witted muppet would throw beer at Angus Young? Seriously. We despair. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.