ALTERNATING CURRENT/ DIRECT CURRENT
Useless facts about the rock band
‘Highway to Hell’, ‘Hells Bells’ or ‘T.N.T.’ – the alternating current vs. direct current debate would not be complete without its loudest representatives: Australian rock band AC/DC, which pays homage to both types of current in its name! A band that has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide – and still has hidden secrets despite its fame. Here are the most electrifying facts about AC/DC:
An eponymous sewing machine
The rockers did not get the inspiration for the name AC/DC from a guitar amp, as many assume. In actual fact, the sister of the two founders Angus and Malcolm Young owned a sewing machine bearing the letters ‘AC/DC’, indicating that you could use it with either alternating or direct current. And Margaret Young inspired her brothers to pick this name. In their home country of Australia, the band is also colloquially known as ‘Acca Dacca’.
A slip-up becomes a signature move
During one of the band’s first concerts, Angus Young tripped over his cable and tried to cover up the fall. Angus laid on the floor and carried on rocking. Playing on the floor became his signature move (and no, of course it wasn’t a Lapp cable).
Back in the 1930s, there was a music group called ‘AC/DC Current’ with members Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian and Lionel Hampton. And: the designer of the world-famous AC/DC logo with the lightning bolt never received a single cent for its use on fan merchandise!
Let there be rock
The first AC/DC concert was held in a club in Sydney on New Year’s Eve in 1973. Angus Young was still under age and had to be driven home after the concert. Their debut album was released in 1975 after a few changes to the line-up. It had an ‘electrifying’ title: High Voltage.
Out of school but still in uniform
The same sister who came up with the AC/DC name also hit up on the idea that Angus Young should wear a school uniform on stage. This was inspired by the time when Angus would go straight to band practice in the garage after school, without getting changed.
The consequence? As cables obstructed his animated performance, Angus Young became one of the first guitarists to use a wireless system. And his uniform was once again pivotal here: the transmitter was fitted into a school satchel, which Angus Young wore on stage.
No AC, no DC
‘Back in Black’ is the third best-selling album of all time with more than 50 million copies sold. It was recorded in spring 1980 on the Bahamas, where tropical storms caused several power cuts, and became the inspiration behind the first lines of Hells Bells: ‘I’m rolling thunder, pourin’ rain. I’m comin’ on like a hurricane. My lighting’s flashing across the sky...’