Raisin' Hell

In October 1978, Atlantic Records decided to release the first live AC/DC album, titled “If You Want Blood…You’ve Got It”. Predictably, the album proved to be the band’s biggest UK album to date. It entered the charts and peaked at number 13. A maxi-single was released shortly after the album, combining live renditions of classics “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be”.

AC/DC promoted the live album by touring in the UK during early November for a series of 16 dates in just 18 days. They were now a major act. The band was using stage effects like smoke canisters hidden inside Angus’ schoolbag and a walkway behind Rudd’s drum kit. In the Glasgow Apollo gig during the tour Bon got lost and somehow ended up outside the venue and had difficulties trying to make the bouncers believe that he was part of the band.

The band’s longest serving allies, Harry Vanda and George Young, decided to part company with AC/DC. They wanted to move on and find bigger challenges for themselves. The band then moved out to Florida to work on the new album with famous producer Eddie Kramer. But things didn’t work out. Many a times, members of the band came close to physical encounters with him. Browning finally decided to replace Kramer with the manager’s ex-roommate Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Lange decided to move the band back to London where they recorded the new album. Another big change came when the band decided to ditch manager Browning for the mighty CCC (Contemporary Communications Corps) organization, which was based in New York.

The company provided AC/DC with a personal manager, namely Peter Mensch. Soon after, the band headed out to the US during the spring of 1979. They toured relentlessly across the country, supported by Pat Travers, Sammy Hagar, Riot, Molly Hatchet, and Blackfoot. It was around this time when Bon’s drinking got excessive. He almost missed a gig in Austin, Texas because of it. Phil, at that time, was living it up by adapting to strange and expensive hobbies. During this period, AC/DC were offered the chance to star in the horror movie “Dracula Rocks”. But, fortunately, they weren’t interested. “We’re not actors. We’re too crazy. We’ll let the Mick Jaggers go and make fools of themselves!” Angus told Sounds!

The July of that year saw the release of their new album, “Highway To Hell”. It was a hit instantly. The album made its way into the UK Top 10 peaking at number 8, while in the US it made the Top 20 reaching number 17. The band was officially an international success. A single of the same title was later issued in America peaking at number 47.

In mid-August, AC/DC returned to UK to play their biggest show yet at the Wembley Stadium in London. The Who headlined the show. AC/DC, like always, rocked the house. Halfway through “Whole Lotta Rosie” the entire PA was extinguished. Right after the gig, the band announced a full-blown UK tour. The tour was supported by Def Leppard and didn’t come to a conclusion until the end of December. AC/DC ended the year by playing a date in Paris, which was filmed and later released in 1980, titled “Let There Be Rock”.

January 27th, 1980 was a date to be remembered by all AC/DC fans, for it was Bon’s last gig with AC/DC.