This Day In Hard Rock. AC/DC
Happy Birthday Cliff Williams, 67 today.
Cliff Williams was born on December 14, 1949 in Romford (Essex), England. He moved with his familly to Liverpool when he was nine, where he spent the first two working years of his life as an engineer before joining his first band.
Linking up with singer Mick Stubbs, guitarist Laurie Wisefield, keyboard player Clive John and drummer Mick Cook, Cliff found himself playing bass for a band called Home. By 1970 the group's progressive brand of both hard and soft rock had earned them a deal with Epic Records and a debut LP was released the following year under the title 'Pause For A Hoarse Horse'. In November 1971 Home supported Led Zeppelin at the Wembley Empire Pool on the second of Led Zep's 'Electric Magic' concerts which featured circus acts as well as rock bands.
During 1972 Jim Anderson replaced Clive John on keyboards and Home released a self-titled album, going on to have their one and only hit with 'Dreamer' in November 1972, which peaked at No. 41 in the UK album charts.
'The Alchemist' followed in 1973 but by then the band seemed to have run their course, and when controversial folk troubadour Al Steward suggested they back him on his first American tour in March 1974, Mick Stubbs went his own way and the others bacame The Al Steward Band. This didn't last long, and Cliff Williams was next to jump ship, forming Bandit in 1974.
Bandit quickly got a deal with Arista and released a self-titled album in 1977. Joining Cliff in this line-up were such future luminaries as vocalist Jim Diamond (who went on to success as a solo artist) and drummer Graham Broad (who was later to join Buck's Fizz). But Bandit did little business and Cliff had no hesitation when he received the call from AC/DC.
The band, including Williams, was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Williams's playing style is noted for basic bass lines which follow the rhythm guitar. Williams' side projects, while a member of AC/DC, include benefit concerts and playing with Emir & Frozen Camels on their album San (2002) and a European tour. In 2016, Williams announced his retirement from the music industry after AC/DC's ‘Rock or Bust World Tour.