The Gig That Nearly Broke AC/DC: Disaster to Triumph
AC/DC, now a household name in rock, embarked on their legendary journey 50 years ago. From playing in small venues to filling massive stadiums, their rise is a story of relentless ambition and unexpected challenges.
The Early Days: A Policy of Playing Anywhere
In the infancy of their career, AC/DC’s mantra was simple: play any venue that would host them. This strategy was essential for gaining exposure, but it also led them into some unusual and challenging scenarios.
The Western Australia Booking: A Test of Endurance
One of the band’s earliest tests came with a gig in Western Australia. The young and financially strapped band undertook a daunting drive from Adelaide to Perth. This journey, though arduous, was a testament to their dedication to reach new audiences.
The Venue Surprise: A Misunderstanding with Big Consequences
Upon reaching Perth, AC/DC encountered a significant mix-up. The venue had been double-booked, and the band found themselves in a stand-off with another act. This error threatened to waste their long journey and risked leaving them without a performance opportunity.
John Watson’s Role: Turning a Setback into an Opportunity
This mishap caught the attention of John Watson, a key figure in the Australian music scene. He saw the band’s potential and determination, leading him to intervene. Watson managed to negotiate a solution, ensuring AC/DC still had their chance to perform. This incident marked the beginning of Watson’s relationship with the band, eventually becoming their first manager.
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.