My sister [Margaret] came up with the idea back in 1973, when I was fifteen … As a kid, I’d come right home from school and pick up my guitar without changing out of my school uniform. At dinner time I’d still be in the suit, playing away. She thought it was cute – it would give people something to look at.
(Angus Young quoted by Brad Tolinski in ‘AC/DC’, programme for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2003 Induction)
Most of the guys in Australian bands are getting on rather than getting it on … they’re out of touch with the kids that go to suburban dances.
(Malcolm Young interviewed by Mitch for ‘AC/DC sex and energy combined’, Go-Set, 15 June 1974)
We didn’t know what the name meant … George’s wife Sandra came up with it and we just liked the sound of it. It really refers to its power connotations, we didn’t know it was a well-known expression, and then people started calling us Pooftahs.
(Malcolm Young quoted by Ed Nimmervoll, ‘AC/DC’, Juke, 4 June 1975)
The boys of AC/DC are just what their music tells you they are, brash and tough, unashamed to be working at a musical style that many describe as the lowest common denominator of rock music, gut level rock, punk rock … That’s most likely why AC/DC’s music is as successfully raunchy as it is, they really mean it and love it and live it.
(Ed Nimmervoll, ‘AC/DC’, Juke, 4 June 1975)
The rhythms hit your heart like a trip-hammer and that’s basic and essential but the reasons we are all inspired are the maniac onward rush of inventive, fluent solos from Angus (goddam, amid all that is melody, endless goddam song, riding that beat like a bold buckaroo bronc-buster, heroic) and the fascinating stage presence of Bon, leathery debauchee, a strange companion for the school kid.
(Phil Sutcliffe, ‘The dirtiest story ever told’, Sounds, 28 August 1976)
I don’t like to play above or below people’s heads. Basically, I just like to get up in front of a crowd and rip it up.
(Angus Young quoted in New Musical Express, 16 October 1976)
In the middle of the great British punk rock explosion, a quintet of ruthless Ozzies has just swaggered like a cat among London’s surly, self consciously paranoid pigeons.
(Phil McNeill, New Musical Express, 16 October 1976)
‘Well that’s what we are’, says Angus. ‘We’re doing what we know best. I won’t say we’re anything special but we’re playing rock and roll the way it should be – lots of balls, lots of meat and lots of spontaneity. Sure anyone can play with the basics but we play with quality – we write good songs.’
(‘AC/DC Back in London & still killing ’em’, from a special London correspondent, Sounds, April 1977)
If you don’t like it … [Let There Be Rock] then there is something wrong with you.
(Malcolm Young interviewed by Jack Mooney for People, July 1977)
Dunno what I’d do without this band, y’know. I live for it. We’re a real down ’n’ dirty lot. The songs reflect just what we are – booze, wimmen, sex, rock ’n’ roll. That’s what life’s all about.
(Bon Scott interviewed by Harry Doherty for Classic Rock, April 1977)
In the meantime this heavy Australian rock and roll band continues to storm around the USA. ‘The more we work, the more we move on, the more ideas we get. It’s getting better and better. I can’t see an end to it; it’s just like infinity rock and roll.’
(Bon Scott interviewed by Rennie Ellis in Atlanta, Georgia, August 1978)
They thunder across the stage like a raging tornado about to engulf everything in its path. They are a whirlwind of sound, a time bomb ready to explode.
(Hard Rock, April 1978)
AC/DC are real – not manufactured, they’re raunchy, they’re vile …
(Raw Power, March 1978)
Angus Young’s frenzied schoolboy lunacy as he traverses the stage, making Chuck Berry’s duck walk look like a paraplegic’s hobble and oozing sweat, snot and slime like some grotesque human sponge being savagely squeezed by the intensity of his own guitar playing.
(David Lewis, ‘AC/DC salvo levels Sin City’, Sounds, October 1978)
We just want to make the walls cave in and the ceiling collapse … we all have always shared a common belief that music is meant to be played as loud as possible, really raw and raunchy and I’ll punch out anyone who doesn’t like it the way I do.
(Bon Scott quoted by David Fricke, Circus, 16 January 1979)
That was his greatness … To me that’s where he had an art form going. He called it toilet poetry but it definitely was an art form and he took pride in that.
(Angus Young interviewed by Murray Engleheart for ‘AC/DC’, Herald Sun, Melbourne, November 1997)
The album [Back in Black] that would become a true rock classic yielded at least a half-dozen songs that quickly entered the hard rock canon, including ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, ‘Have a Drink On Me’, ‘Hells Bells’ and the thunderous title track.
(Brad Tolinski, AC/DC, programme for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2003 Induction)
In 1980 they sold more concert tickets in America than any other band … finally the sheer power of AC/DC’s attack had proved too much … They are now, after eight years, in the unique position all over the world that they can do just what they want – which is to play the best rock ’n’ roll around.
(Kent Goddard, RAM, 3 April 1981)
We’ve got that type of following of full on fans … They’ll starve to death for a week just to see a show, and we’re proud of that, our hard core fans … we share their bond.
(Malcolm Young interviewed for special features on Live at Donington)