In Search Of The American Dream

For any rock act yearning to be taken seriously, America has to be the ultimate goal. Thus AC/DC began their great US adventure in the southern states during the summer, starting out in local clubs and attracting big audiences. The recent release of the UK “High Voltage” in the US definitely helped the cause. They even found themselves on the bill for an outdoor festival in Hollywood, Florida. The town appreciated the band so much they actually gave the five-some the keys to the city.

AC/DC were later booked to perform at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles where they played two shows in one night, they were even called back for an encore. But, unfortunately, by that time half the band was too drunk to even remember where they were. “He (Bon) thought he was in Detroit,” said Angus in an interview with Sounds!

Arguably their finest night came in New York, when they were booked to open for The Dictators at The Palladium, as well as headline at the CBGB’s later that night. AC/DC stole the show at The Palladium. This was the first time where Angus unleashed his new weapon, a cordless guitar. This night proved to be a turning point for the band in America. With the release of “Let There Be Rock” in the wake of this live onslaught, AC/DC had made an everlasting mark on the US. But even after all the success, Atlantic’s US branch was somewhat scared of what it had before its very eyes. It has been suggested that if it weren’t for the success of the gig in Hollywood, the record company would have dumped the band. The fact that Atlantic was scared had something to do with the negative attention AC/DC were getting from the media. The newly released album got somewhat of a thumbs-down from the critics.

But that didn’t bother AC/DC; the band still played their balls off. Towards the end of 1977, they were selected to support Canadian heroes Rush and even more importantly, KISS. The latter, at the time, were arguably the biggest live draw in the US.

On December 7, 1977, AC/DC performed a show for radio broadcast at Atlantic’s own recording studios on Broadway. A special album, called “Live From Atlantic Studios”, was pressed up and sent to radio stations across the country. This LP was released worldwide 20 years later in the “Bonfire” box set.

Thus, having made some progress in the search for the American dream, AC/DC hot-footed it back to the homeland as the year ended, in order to start work on their next album with the Vanda and Young duo producing once again. The next album was to be a crucial one in the continuing rise of the band.