A few oddities about Angus Young
He was “totally shocked” when Malcolm asked him to join the band.
“In the beginning, we never used to play together, even at home,” Angus told Guitar, in 1992. “Malcolm would be in one room with his tape recorder putting tunes together, and I would be in the other room pretending I was Jimi Hendrix. When I’d walk in to see what he was up to, he’d go, ‘Get out!’ I was amazed when he asked me to come down to a rehearsal and play.”
He still owns the very first Gibson SG he bought – 42 years ago.
Young purchased a late ’60s Gibson SG from a music shop located within walking distance of his family’s home in Sydney, Australia, when he was just 16 years old. To this day, it remains one of his main go-to guitars. “I think it was the little devil horns [that sold me],” he told the New Zealand Herald, in 2010. “I’ve still got it and it’s still my favorite guitar of them all.”
His older sister, Margaret, suggested something even more important than Angus’ trademark schoolboy uniform.
Most AC/DC fans know that it was the Young brothers’ sister, Margaret, who encouraged Angus to wear his schoolboy get-up on-stage. But fewer fans realize that it was also Margaret who christened her siblings’ band “AC/DC” after noticing the letters on a vacuum cleaner. According to biographer Susan Masino, Angus and Malcolm liked the fact that the letters denoted power and electricity.
He’s a closet fan of jazz great Louis Armstrong.
In a 1992 interview with Guitar magazine, Young hailed Louis Armstrong as “one of the greatest musicians of all time.” He went on to explain: “I went to see [Armstrong] perform when I was a kid, and that’s always stuck with me. It’s amazing to listen to his old records and hear the musicianship and emotion, especially when you consider that technology, in those days, was almost nonexistent. There was an aura about him.”
He’s always been a teetotaler.
Bon Scott was known for his prodigious consumption of alcohol. Through the years, Malcolm Young has imbibed his share of booze as well. Not so with Angus. “Angus was always drinking a big glass of chocolate milk or coffee,” Nantucket guitarist Tommy Redd once recalled, years after touring with AC/DC. “Malcolm, however, used to walk around with Jack Daniels in a bottle that was as big as he was.”
One of his closest friends during the making of the Back in Black album was ELP’s Keith Emerson.
In the wake of Bon Scott’s death, AC/DC traveled to the Bahamas to recover from the shock, and to record Back in Black. Especially therapeutic were the afternoons when Emerson, Lake and Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson, who lived in Nassau at the time, took Angus and the other band members out on his fishing boat. “I think it was great excitement for them, and kind of introduced them to my way of the Bahamian life,” Emerson later said. “I think they grew to like it and it [helped them] settle into recording.”
He expects he’ll still be wearing his schoolboy outfit on-stage well into his 60s.
When asked if he would still be donning his trademark “get-up” at age 64, Angus described his attire as distinguished and “classic.” “Have you seen what some of the younger [artists] are wearing nowadays?” he asked. “They look like they’ve stolen their mothers’ skirts! If that’s fashionable, then you could say I’ve maintained a distinctively classic look.”