But the Bon Scott years remain those that most adherents of the group remember most fondly and it is with this in mind that one of his earliest shows with AC/DC is presented here.
In November 1974, Michael Browning, manager of the Hard Rock Cafe (Melbourne), became AC/DC's full time manager. Together they all moved into a house in Melbourne where there was apparent nightly debauchery. Nevertheless, though the band clearly knew how to party, especially with Bon now on board, they could also work hard and fast. Within ten days the group had recorded their first album, which they named High Voltage. This was undoubtedly influenced by the AC/DC name itself and was perhaps a discreet assertion that the name represented power and energy as opposed to sexual preferences. It also covered the base of the music, which was somewhat lo-fi, straight to the point good time rock n' roll with an added kick; the verve of youth and the unmistakable howl of Bon Scott.
Thanks to heavy attention from the police, by the time AC/DC set up base in Melbourne the roaming hordes of Sharps had largely, though not entirely, died down; but a toughness of spirit and attitude in the city's audiences remained. Melbourne's character was what AC/DC were all about: Michael Browning was dead right.
|Bon Scott showing his Scottish Heritage|
Malcolm: 'Angus jumped out into the crowd and he ran up to this guy, grabbed his beer and poured it on his head. This guy had really fuzzy hair and it formed a puddle on top first and then slowly fucking rolled over his face. I thought, this guy's going to kill Angus! He didn't. He just sat there and took it. He felt so embarrassed. I thought at that time Angus had overdone it, but the place loved it. This guy that had the beer poured over his head became a bit of a cult hero!'
Browning's next move was to sign the band to a deal with agent Bill Joseph, who handled a number of major venues in Melbourne. A six-month contract with Joseph's Premier Artists agency provided each member with a wage of $60 a week, and covered the cost of their sound system and repairs to their tour bus, a huge beast of a thing formerly owned by Ansett Airlines.[extract from Ac/DC - Maximum Rock & Roll, by Murray Engleheart & Arnard Durieux, Harper Collins Publishers, 2006. p98]
Festival Hall Melbourne 1974-12-31 FM Broadcast (Radio 2SM)
The date seems to be correct according to here.
Set list: 1. She's Got Balls 2. Soul Stripper 3. Show Business 4. Can I Sit Next to You Girl? 5. Baby Please Don't Go
Event line up for the evening: AC/DC Kush Hush Debbie Byrne
AC/DC's Line up : Singer: Bon Scott Lead Guitar: Angus Young Rhythm Guitar: Malcolm Young Bass Guitar: Rob Bailey Drums: Peter Clack
It is so weird hearing the "Dave Evans" arrangement of Can I Sit Next To You Girl with Bon's voice.
Notice that Malcolm alternates solos with his Brother during Soul Stripper and Show Business. It also happened in their Launceston boot, but in this one (Melbourne) we can hear it more clearly. In the BBC boot (1976), we realize that Malcolm has already left his guitar solo roll.
Pretty weird drumming on the songs, but interesting to hear Mal and Angus trading solos on Soul Stripper, otherwise no great shakes.
This post consists of FLACs taken from a tape recording of the soundboard recording made by Radio 2SM and includes full album artwork made by DCE Bootleg Productions. Also released under the title of 'Down Under 74' (see left) and 'Soul Strippers' (see below). Sound quality is excellent!
1. She's Got Balls
2. Soul Stripper
3. Show Business
4. Can I Sit Next to You Girl?
5. Baby Please Don't Go
Vocals: Bon Scott
Lead Guitar: Angus Young
Rhythm Guitar: Malcolm Young
Bass Guitar: Rob Bailey
Drums: Peter Clack
AC/DC Live At Festival Hall FLACs (150Mb)