The Young Brothers and Bon Scott were all born in Scotland. They formed the group after moving to Australia.
Bon Scott died on February 19, 1980 after a drinking binge the previous night. A friend named Alistair Kinnear took him home, but Scott passed out in the car. Kinnear couldn't move him, so he drove home, reclined the passenger seat, and covered Scott with a blanket. The next day, Kinnear found Scott motionless and drove to the hospital, where he was declared dead. The coroner's report stated the cause as, "Acute Alcohol Poisoning and Death By Misadventure."
Three teenagers were crushed to death at their concert in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 18, 1991, when the crowd rushed to the front to get the best seats. The band did not know of the deaths, and played on to avoid further problems. They were devastated when they found out some fans were killed.
Bon Scott's real first name is Ronald. When he moved from Scotland to Australia, they made fun of him by calling him Bonnie Scotland, which shortened to Bon Scott.
AC/DC is an English term for bisexual. The band did not know this, and has spent a lot of time trying to demonstrate that they like only women. They chose the name after Angus and Malcolm's sister saw "AC/DC" on a sewing machine - an abbreviation for "Alternating Current/Direct Current." (thanks, Jim - FT Thomas, KY)
George Young, Angus and Malcolm's older brother, was in the popular Australian group The Easybeats. He produced most of AC/DC's albums.
They sometimes had trouble getting into their own shows because they looked just as scruffy as their fans.
In 1989, the US military blared AC/DC music at General Manuel Noriega's compound in Panama for two days straight. The dictator surrendered.
Angus performs in a schoolboy uniform. This tradition started soon after the band formed when Angus would go directly from school to band rehearsals.
A staple of their live shows in the late '80s was a bit where Angus would get on the shoulders of a roadie who would wander into the crowd while he played. Returning to the stage, Angus would then mount Bon Scott, shredding from his frontman's shoulders. The downside to this bit came if Angus didn't get a good saddle - he was known to yell "Me balls! Put me down" if he got pinched.
Brian Johnson races cars as a hobby. He used to be a paratrooper. (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
There is an AC/DC tribute band called Hayseed Dixie that plays their songs in a Bluegrass style. There is also an all-female tribute band in Seattle called Hell's Belles.
Before donning his trademark schoolboy uniform, Angus Young performed in gorilla, Zorro, and Superman outfits.
Malcolm Young claims he gave up the lead guitar position in favor of drinking.
Before joining AC/DC, Scott was in bands called The Spectors, the Valentines, and Fraternity. Brian Johnson was member of hard rock group Geordie. (thanks, George - Sofia, Bulgaria)
A 1976 review of AC/DC's first release in Rolling Stone declared, "Hard Rock has unquestionably hit its all-time low." They didn't appear on the cover of the magazine until the October 30, 2008 issue, but in 2003 Shania Twain wore an AC/DC T-shirt (and not much else) when she made the cover.
Malcolm Young was originally in a band called The Velvet Underground (no relation to Lou Reed's band). (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
AC/DC is a scientific name for converting electricity. For electrical equipment to work AC must be changed to DC, a rectifier is needed to do this. So you can relate this to some of their songs and album names. (thanks, Andrew - From under the Lemon tree in the forest of Love.)
You will not hear any effects on any guitar during a performance, which is rare for bands today. Angus and Mal use Marshall stacks; typically 100W super leads live, and JTM45s in studio. (thanks, Dave - Latham , NY)
AC/DC's lyrics usually deal with some combination of drinking, sex and rock. They never play ballads and steer clear of any political songs.
On May 26, 1988, the Australian postal service released "Australian Rock 'N Roll" stamps featuring 12 artists, including Angus Young. On his schoolboy backpack you can read, "It's a long way to the top." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)
Dave Evans recorded the band's first two singles, "Can I Sit Next To You Girl" and "Baby Please Don't Go," before leaving to join Newcastle glam rockers Rabbit. Unlike AC/DC's grungy image, Evans dressed more glittery, which was a source of conflict. Evans' last gig with the band was in September 1974. Bon Scott was his replacement. (thanks, Jo - Newcastle, Australia)
After being put off for several years by their signed band, AC/DC, one day the producers of Atlantic records visited the studio where the band was making their fourth full album Powerage. The producers put their foot down on the band and told them they must come up with a ballad for the album. All the current bands at the time were climbing the charts with rock ballads and Atlantic wanted to cash in.
The band told the record company that they honestly did not know how to make ballads. They said they wouldn't know even how to begin crafting such a song. The producers brought in an expert to sit down with the band and the expert said all they needed to do was think of the last time a girlfriend they had did them wrong and then just write about it.
The expert also said that the guitar players should not play over the vocals during the verses-to let the vocals be the center point of the song. This, they said, would constitute a proper rock ballad. AC/DC said they would give it a shot, and after a few weeks the producers visited the studio to listen to the band's first ballad. After the song ended the Atlantic producers just looked at each other and shook their heads. They told the band to go on with it and walked out. (thanks, Dave - Los Angeles, CA)
Both Malcolm and Angus dropped out of school at age 14 years and 9 months, which was the earliest they were legally allowed to do so.
Their two biggest albums were released in consecutive years with different lead singers: Bon Scott on Highway To Hell in 1979 and Brian Johnson on Back In Black in 1980.
They have a street named after them in Melbourne. In 2004, what was Corporation Lane was renamed ACDC Lane. (thanks, Joseph - Melbourne, Australia)
Though AC/DC was considered pioneers of heavy metal, they didn't consider themselves such, but preferred to be called rock and rollers. (thanks, Nighthawk - Marble Falls, AR)
In the rider for their 2008 US tour, the band asked to have three oxygen tanks and three masks at the venue. We're not sure which three members needed the O2.
Brian Johnson customarily wears a newsboy cap on stage and frequently off. He explained why to PopEater
: "The first band I was in was called Geordie in the early '70s. We had about three or four hits and people just assumed you were an instant millionaire and it wasn't the case at all. We didn't make much money at all and when it all finished I was worse off then when I went in so I had to get a job quick so I took the first thing I could find as a windshield fitter on the freeway. I thought that's a good idea because nobody will see me but just in case I pinched me brother's sports car driving hat and I pulled it tight over me eyes so nobody would recognize me and say, 'Weren't you the lad that was on television?'"
AC/DC are one of the shortest bands. Malcolm Young is 5' 3", Angus 5' 2" and Brian Johnson towers over them at 5' 5".