In The Beginning...

Glasgow, Scotland, in the early 1960s was a rough, crowded industrial town whose depressed economy offered few options for working-class families. At the same time that much of Britain was experiencing economic hard times, a postwar boom was still in force in Australia. That under populated continent, bursting with natural resources but lacking sufficient population to fully exploit them, was particularly eager to encourage struggling Brits to immigrate to its shores. In addition, the Australian government had instituted a massive immigration program, which allowed immigrants to sail southward for a mere ten pounds a head.

So, in 1963, William and Margaret Young immigrated to Australia with eight of their nine children. They settled in Sydney, New South Wales. When the Young family moved to Sydney, George formed The Easybeats with Johannes Jacob Hendrickus Vandenberg, better known as Harry Vanda. The quintet quickly made their mark on the Sydney scene and was to become Australia's biggest pop act during the mid-'60s. In 1966, the band headed to the UK and quickly established them selves in Britain. However, in 1970, The Easybeats disbanded; Vanda and Young returned to Sydney to work for Ted Albert in his newly formed Albert Productions organization. But the success of The Easybeats was to have an enormous impact on George Young's brothers Malcolm and Angus.

Malcolm picked up the guitar first, graduating quickly from acoustic to electric. With ad hoc advice along the way from George he made rapid progress. Angus messed around with his older brother's guitars before his mother finally bought him his own. Malcolm left school at 15 and found gainful employment as a machine maintenance engineer for a bra company, Berlei Bras. In 1971, he joined up with a band called Velvet Underground (no relation to the Lou Reed band). Ironically, the original singer in the band was called Brian Johnson.

In 1972, George invited Malcolm and Angus to join with his new band, the Marcus Hook Roll Band, for the recording sessions of his album 'Tales Of Old Granddaddy'. In fact, George and Harry didn't take the project very seriously so they thought it would be a good idea to include George's brothers to give them an idea of what recording was all about. That was the first thing Malcolm and Angus did before AC/DC.

At fourteen and nine months (the legal age kids could leave school), Angus left and went to work for a soft porn magazine called Ribald as a printer. Meanwhile, Angus had already formed his own band, Tantrum, and had become proficient as a musician through playing along to any records he could find.

When the Velvet Underground fell apart in 1973, Malcolm determined to put together a new one-guitar band with a keyboard player. But Malcolm changed his mind and decided he needed a second guitar player to fill out the sound and turned to Angus for help.

Malcolm's vision for his new band was a hard-edged boogie sound married to the in-vogue image of long hair and stack-heeled boots. For experience, Malcolm called on the services of drummer Colin Burgess, who had played in several bands, bassist Larry Van Knedt and singer Dave Evans. Their name, AC/DC, came from Malcolmís sisterís sewing machine. "AC/DC, it has something to do with electricity", Malcolm's sister Margaret said. It was also her who suggested that Angus wear a school uniform on stage. The abbreviation stands for Alternating Current/Direct Current in electrical parlance. However, in their naivety the Young brothers were ignorant of the term's bisexual connotations, and the band were to spend the next few years vehemently insisting on their heterosexuality.

Their first performance was on New Year's Eve, 1973, in a small Sydney club called Chequers. They played a covers set of the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and the Beatles. Thus, AC/DC was born!