AC/DC: Why Angus Young Wears a School Boy Outfit
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories, they take a look at the age old question: why does AC/DC guitarist Angus Young wear a school boy outfit? AC/DC is set to release their first new album in 6 years with Power Up next week. Check out the video below!
story continued below…
What’s going on my fellow rock n’ rollers. Don’t forget to hit the bell notification icon to be notified every time i put out a new video on my channel. With AC/DC releasing their highly anticipated album Power Up this month i wanted to take a look at the age old question, why does Angus Young wear a school boy outfit? Stay tuned to find out the fully story. When you think of rock n’ roll fashion pieces or statements, Angus Young’s school boy outfit is definitely up there alongside Slash’s top-hat or Kiss’ makeup. It would be Angus Young’s older brother Malcolm and his sister Margaret who suggested in 1974 that he may want to don a costume or an outfit on stage with his band AC/DC. His siblings suggested a school boy outfit. It didn’t seem like a terrible idea to the guitarist since he had already performed on stage with the band wearing a multitude of outfits including superman costume , a zorro style mask and cape a gorilla suit.
A school boy outfit seemed tame in comparison. Murray Engleheart, author of AC/DC biography Maximum Rock And Roll recalled how Angus’ sister came up with the idea of a school boy uniform revealing “He was going to Ashfield Boys’ High and he used to dash into the house after school, wouldn’t change and would practice guitar all night in his uniform, and his sister Margaret suggested he wear his uniform on stage because he was this crazy schoolboy guitarist – and it worked.” Angus would wear the outfit for the first time in April of 1974 at Sydney’s Victoria Park. And this wasn’t the AC/DC people were familiar with. The band was still rehearsing in a bedroom.
Bon Scott was not in the band yet and Angus had just graduated high school. It wasn’t just Angus who was in a costume that night as the entire band decided they needed to step up their stage presence. AC/DC’s then drummer Noel Taylor remembered that moment saying “The band had been talking about wearing costumes and we decided we’d dress in character, It was something different; we wanted attention” he’d say. It would be older brother Malcolm Young who decided the band needed to step up their image ahead of their gig at Sydney’s Victoria Park. Malcolm would tell his bandmates he would be planning to play on stage wearing a satin airman’s jumpsuit and Angus would wear his tradmeark school uniform: while drummer Noel Taylor dressed as a joker, and frontman Dave Evans dressed as a glam influenced rocker. Of course only one uniform stayed wit the band and it would be the school boy outfit. In fact Angus would wear his actual school outfit from Ashfield Boys High School in Sydney. Angus would tell Total Guitar his first experience of wearing the school boy uniform on stage revealing: “that was the most frightened I’ve ever been onstage,” “But thank God, I had no time to think. I just went straight out there. The crowd’s first reaction to the shorts and stuff was like a bunch of fish at feeding time — all mouths open. I had just one thing on my mind: I didn’t want to be a target for blokes throwing bottles. I thought if I stand still I’m a target. So I never stopped moving. I reckoned if I stood still I’d be dead.” And the band even devised a publicity stunt where they claimed Angus was born in 1959 instead of 1955 to make the media think he was in fact still a school boy. And up until that point in AC/DC’s short lived career Angus wasn’t well known for his stage presence, but frontman Dave Evans remembered in the book AC/DC The Early Years and Bon Scott, how the uniform changed the guitarist revealing “I remember thinking to myself boy this is fantastic.
So the schoolboy uniform really did something to his psyche and shaped what he does. He’s a fantastic performer, but until then the wasn’t a great performer.” That’s not to say everything went smooth as Young would tell Total Guitar how one gig had his stomach turning saying “I remember one night I said to the rest of the band, ‘I’m not going out there. The police couldn’t get in the place. There was some madman running around inside the hall with a meat cleaver, chopping into the people! And the front row was all bikers and I said, ‘They just want blood!’