Electric Shocks

In June 1974, AC/DC made their first tentative incursion into the recording studio, to score a single with producers Harry Vanda and George Young. By the time this single was recorded, the band had gone through some line-up changes. Drummer Colin Burgess was the first to depart, to be replaced in rapid succession by Ron Carpenter, Russell Coleman and, finally, Peter Clark. Meantime, Rob Bailey replaced bassist Larry Van Knedt. The historic single was titled “Can I Sit Next To You Girl” and was released in Australia in mid-July of that year. The B-side consisted of a song called “Rockin’ in the Parlour”, both songs were written by the Young brothers. The single became a minor local hit. The band even got to play the A-side live on Aussie TV during this period.

AC/DC then started touring for the first time across Australia. By this time Angus had established his schoolboy stage presence. Thanks to the band’s name, they found themselves booked into the strangest of venues, playing at gay bars and such. They even supported Lou Reed during this tour playing at such clubs.

After the tour was over, the Young siblings decided to relocate the band to Melbourne, Australia’s rock capital. Here, AC/DC were booked to play at the Hard Rock Café in Melbourne, owned by Michael Browning. It was here that they met Browning, who eventually took over their management affairs. Browning proved to be a good choice for a manager considering he made some good decisions concerning the band. The most important was his first, the hiring of a chauffer to drive the band around. His name was Ronald Belford Scott, known to all as Bon Scott.

Since Bon had had some experience in singing and drumming with other bands, he thought that a job with this new band AC/DC might be a golden opportunity for him to resurrect his musical career. He persuaded the Youngs to give him a chance on drums, ousting Clark in the process. Bon was also able to sneak in an old band mate of his to replace Bailey, namely Bruce Howie. But all of that wasn’t enough for Bon; he wanted to front the band. After realizing that the band was having problems with Evans, he became very hopeful. When Evans failed to show up for a gig, Bon seized his chance.

After the gig, Bon was officially AC/DC’s front man. The band toured furiously, and with Bon’s presence ensuring an ever-growing audience, AC/DC had become just about Australia’s biggest homegrown gigging rock band by the end of 1974. There were still some big changes to come. Howie was lagging behind the rest on bass, so he was expelled and George Young came in on a temporary basis. Since he didn’t want to move to Melbourne with the rest of the band, AC/DC were reduced to a foursome, with Malcolm taking over for bass.

During the first part of 1975, the band recorded their debut album with George on bass and Mark Kerrante on drums. The album was titled “High Voltage” and was incredibly recorded in just 10 days. It was released through EMI in February 1975 in Australia. It was an immediate success. After the release, the band finally found a stable line-up. Phillip Rudvecruz, known to all as Phil Rudd, was recruited to man the drums. But he desperately needed a four-string partner. In came young bassist Mark Evans, after the band rescued him from a fight with the bouncers of the Station Hotel at Melbourne.

With this amazing line-up in place, AC/DC were ready to conquer the world. Their second album, “T.N.T”, was released towards the end of 1975. It clearly showed the band had made enormous strides. In Australia, the album was a huge success, selling more than 100,000 copies. AC/DC were officially the biggest thing in Aussie music, but that meant little on a worldwide level.