AC/DC, with manager Michael Browning at the WEA offices, 1976.

AC/DC’s Road to Riches: The Cost of Building a Rock Empire

AC/DC, now a titan in the rock world, wasn’t always a box office sensation. Their monumental success, evident in the $300 million gross from their 2015 “Rock or Bust” tour, is a far cry from their humble beginnings. Their journey from playing small gigs to selling over 200 million albums globally is a tale of perseverance and hard work.

The Early Days: Struggling to Pay the Bills

In the early days of their career, AC/DC faced significant financial challenges. The band, which formed in 1973, had to contend with the harsh realities of the music industry, where initial payouts were often meager.

Michael Browning’s Role: Steering AC/DC to Success

Michael Browning, who became AC/DC’s manager in late 1974, played a crucial role in the band’s early development. His strategy was to focus on rigorous touring and recording, which initially did not offer substantial financial rewards. Browning’s belief in the band’s potential was unwavering, despite the financial constraints.

AC/DC, with manager Michael Browning at the WEA offices, 1976.
AC/DC, with manager Michael Browning at the WEA offices, 1976.

A Pact for Future Stardom: Dedication Over Immediate Gain

The agreement between Browning and AC/DC required the band to prioritize long-term success over immediate financial gain. This period was marked by intense touring schedules, including gigs across Australia and later international tours, which were crucial in building their fan base and reputation.

Revealing AC/DC’s Early Sacrifices: Listen Below

For an in-depth exploration of AC/DC’s financial sacrifices and their path to stardom, “Behind the Hits” is indispensable. Hear detailed insights into the band’s early financial struggles, including specific figures related to their earnings and anecdotes from those days.

Behind the Hits: A Must-Listen AC/DC Special

This December marks the 50th anniversary of AC/DC’s first gig, and “Behind the Hits” celebrates this milestone with a 3-part series delving deep into the different eras of AC/DC’s remarkable career.

Episode 1 – AC/DC: The Bon Scott Era: This episode offers an exclusive look into the rockstar life of Bon Scott, one of Australia’s greatest frontmen. It features insights from AC/DC band members including Bon Scott himself, Angus and Malcolm Young, and Mark Evans.

Episode 2 – AC/DC: The Brian Johnson Era: Transitioning from the Bon Scott era, this episode explores the band’s evolution with Brian Johnson as the lead vocalist, marking a new chapter in their storied history.

Episode 3 – AC/DC: Beyond a Band of Brothers: The final episode delves into the band’s deep connections, exploring the dynamics that made them more than just a group of musicians.

Hear firsthand accounts from the band members and key industry figures like Iva Davies, Molley Meldrum, Dave Gleeson, Michael Chugg, Michael Browning, Mark Opitz and Fifa Riccobono. This series offers an unparalleled glimpse into the behind-the-scenes moments and pivotal events in the band’s journey.

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