Load Up Your Cannons

In mid-1981, AC/DC started working on their new album in Paris with “Mutt” Lange. The band rehearsed in a huge, abandoned factory near Paris. The producer was having a problem finding the right kind of sound for this album. On August 22, 1981, the band was offered the chance to headline the second annual Castle Donington Monsters of Rock binge, which was sort of a sigh of relief for them.

Joining them in the concert were Whitesnake, Blue Oyster and Blackfoot, More, and Slade. More than 60,000 people showed up at the gig, most of them waiting for their favorite band, AC/DC. A funny thing happened when the band was about to go on stage. According to Brian, a security guard refused to let Malcolm get on stage because he didn’t have a pass, when Brian tried to clear things up, the security guy told him to shut up and said that Brian couldn’t go either. When things got cleared up, AC/DC went on stage and rocked the house.

By the time AC/DC came back from UK, Lange had solved the recording problem, by hiring a mobile studio from England. The album, titled “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” (the name came from the title of a book about Roman warriors “For Those About To Die We Salute You”), was released in November 1981, and quickly climbed to number 3 in the UK charts and number 1 in the US, becoming their first chart topping album. Followed by the album’s release was a huge US tour where they attracted bigger audiences than ever. For the first time, AC/DC were attracting female audiences in the same amount as male.

But all of this attention did have a down side. One of the kinds of people they attracted was, unfortunately, religious folk, who thought of the band as Satanists. They would follow the band around while they were touring and they would carry out propaganda against AC/DC.

Back in Britain, “Let’s Get It Up” reached number 13 and the title song peaked at number 15. In late September of 1982, the “Cannon and Bell” tour finally reached the UK. According to Kerrang!, at the time AC/DC were the highest grossing rock band in the world. They toured till the end of the year and then decided to take an extended break.

Brian, who was very disappointed at the way in which Geordie was being released to capitalize on his high profile with AC/DC, sued his previous band’s record company for not giving his old band mates any royalties.