Hmm, "Who is Angus Young?" you ask. Well my child, didn't you read the title??? This guy here is from the band AC/DC. Really this is the only band he's ever been in, besides tagging along as a guest guitar guy for Guns n Roses in recent years.
Born March 31st, 1955 in Glasgow Scotland, his stardom was caused by his brother, Malcolm. In his early life, him and part of his family moved to Australia. He was already getting heavily influenced musically by the male members of his family, who played instruments such as accordians and guitar.
Angus also started getting influenced by big musicians at the time, such as Chuck Berry and B.B King.
At the age of 15, Angus dropped out of high school and started working on music. He started off with a banjo, but moved on to guitar. As many other musicians have, he started off with a cheap thing, a second-hand acoustic from his mother. He would also steal Malcolm's guitars when his brother was away. He later on bought his first Gibson SG in 1970, second hand as well. He once said in an interview:
"I got out and got a Gibson SG that I played until it got wood rot because so much sweat and water got into it. The whole neck warped. I bought it second-hand; it was about a '67. It had a real thin neck, really slim, like a Custom neck. It was dark brown"
One of the things that people usually don't know about is the bands that Angus and his brother were in before AC/DC (yes its true!). Before AC/DC was even a mental concept, the Young brothers were in a band with another brother of theirs, George. They also recruited George's music mate Harry Vanda. They called the band Marcus Hook Roll Band. From what I know they only released one album, called " Tales of Old Grand Daddy".
Angus also went on to another band, Kantuckee. Though later on the lineup changed (he stayed) and the band was later named Tantrum.
Malcolm was in the band The Velvet Underground (Yes I know there are 2 bands that have existed with the same name), but later left, and decided to create AC/DC. He needed a guitarist, and asked 18 year old Angus if he wanted to join. Well, we already know how that went for sure XD
They originally brought on other guys, such as Dave Evans on vocals, Larry Van Kriedt on bass, and Colin Burgess on drums. Angus has been known to always be the lead guitar dude, but at the beginning he wasn't. He was too shy. Malcolm took on some lead parts for awhile (his few recorded leads are on tracks from the LP "'74 Jailbreak"). However there was once where something changed Angus into being the crazy maniac he's been known as...
There's a rumor that the guys once played a show, and Angus had a cord from his guitar wrap around his foot while playing. It made him trip and fall while playing. He knocked a few teeth out, but out of embarrassment he started rolling around on the floor and going insane, to make it look like it was all acted out.
He decided to continue with that in every show really. But he wanted to mix things up a bit. He decided to go on stage in costume. Before the schoolboy outfit, he tried many things. He tried out a spider man outfit, a super-man parody (he called himself "super-Ang"), a gorilla, and even Zorro. To be honest I have no idea how he could play a guitar in a gorilla suit. In later years he wore what he called "little convict pajamas" in the music video for "Jailbreak" and in a few concerts. A few pics of some costumes are below.
But in the early days of AC/DC he settled on the school uniform because of his sister, Margret. She was always sewing up the outfit, and she remembered how when he was still in school, as soon as he'd come home, he'd play his guitar without changing out of his uniform. She thought it was just too adorable, and suggested him to do that again. Luckily he still fit the original uniform, and he went on with it. And though the style of the uniform changed over time, he rocked it.
Over time, his confidence grew. AC/DC started getting their lineup changes as well, with Bon Scott joining in. Few other musicians got switched around as well. Malcolm took up the part of staying back in the shadows as rhythm guitarist, and let his little brother be the star of the show. His antics got crazier, and pretty controversial as well. He started including devil horns on his hat, and even started doing things like mooning crowds (with or without underwear) and doing strip teases.
He helped to write the lyrics and create the sound. AC/DC created 7 albums with Bon Scott (American version of High voltage is a combo of the original and T.N.T albums), until he passed away from alcohol poisoning in early 1980. One of the albums is a live one, the album "If You Want Blood You've Got It".
After Bon's death, they recruited Geordie singer Brian Johnson. For many years, from 1980 to 2014, they made many albums. Some of the albums that were higher ranking on charts and album sales were "Back In Black" and "For Those About To Rock". Angus and his brother also produced the album "Fly on the Wall", which made some people think that they are sucky ass producers. Even I will agree on that, though I do love the album.
After Malcolm was diagnosed with dementia around 2014, he let Angus be the main guy for the band in general. After 2014, Brian Johnson had hearing troubles, and for the rest of the Rock or Bust tour, Angus recruited Axl Rose. Afterwards, for a long time he never said if AC/DC has split or not. However, on February 5th, 2018, there has been a statement released by Angus saying that the band will be working on another album, but have Axl doing the singing, even though Brian has already been back in the music scene for awhile. People have already been having mixed reactions about it all. But we'll see how things go after its made...
Many people have thought that Angus has collected a bunch of SG guitars over the years. But guess what? He's only used 4. And supposedly he has always used one specific SG out of the group for every AC/DC album made, from High Voltage to Rock or Bust. And on to his new thing. Even when looking closely, his guitars are pretty bashed up. But what do you expect from over 40 years of rolling around and going into tantrums? He preferred SGs because of how little he is. Many other guitars out there were too big and heavy. However he's used other guitars before.
Clearly Angus has been a guy who definitely kept AC/DC controversial. Making parents and highly religious folks pretty afraid. Over many years there have been weird rumors that AC/DC are devil worshippers, and that even the band name stands for Anti-Christ/Devil's Child. Hello people, its Alternating Current/Direct Current, they got the name from the back of Margret's sewing machine! And the band surely aren't devil worshippers. In the early days Angus was supposedly involved with a catholic church, and these days doesn't even participate in any religious thing.
I had already written in a take dedicated to Malcolm Young after his passing about how influential AC/DC has been for me. I know you guys and girls hear me say all the time "oh that dude played a big part for me! Oh this one influenced me to do this, oh he made me wanna learn this--" etc. Really SOOOO many do play a big part. As for AC/DC's school kid, it was his and Malcolm's fault for me not giving up on playing guitar. Shockingly I almost did give up once. It was so difficult. But then I learned "Back in Black" (which is expert level, and I was barely amateur at the time!) and a bunch more AC/DC after. His ways of playing were pretty easy on me in many cases, since it includes mainly a small amount of chords. "T.N.T" is probably the easiest ever, that even a person just picking up the guitar for the first time could do it. Usually people see me as more of a thrash chick. So they tend to be surprised that I consider Angus Young as one of my favorite guitarists. But it is refreshing when people do know that I don't just have a heart set on thrash (though its become one of my main favorites of metal), but a heart that's open to other kinds of metal, and rock n roll too. Think about it, Scott Ian of Anthrax loves the Young brothers so much, their faces are tattooed on him! Ian was once on the show "L.A. Ink" to get the Angus tattoo. If you look at both of his arms in the pic below, you'll see the tattoos.
When I worked with AC/DC songs, I fully studied every little thing Angus would do on guitar. I watched many live shows, old and new, and though it was hard to keep track of where his fingers were on the frets I still caught on. I think one of the other reasons I started looking up to him along with other musicians is because, well, I relate to being so little! He is literally the same size as me, and I know the struggle of trying to lift up a heavy guitar. I have a Schecter Damien-6, and its smaller size but still very heavy for me. I know for sure that one thing me and Angus Young himself both know too is how difficult it is to play certain chords with smaller hands too. It sucks XD
Aside from guitar playing, Angus also spends his time painting. He tends to especially love painting nature scenes. But for sure his guitar playing has influenced many, young and old. Rock, metal, blues, etc. He helped shape the music scene for many after him, and it will continue, and live on forever.
Stay metal my brothers and sisters XD \m/
Here are some other AC/DC takes I made last year: