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Cliff Williams - Bass Phil Rudd - Drums Angus Young - Guitars Bon Scott - Vocals Malcolm Young - Guitars Click for enlarge

This theatrical Australian hard rock band was formed in November 1973 by Malcolm Young (b. 6 January 1953, Glasgow, Scotland; rhythm guitar) after the demise of his previous outfit, the Velvet Underground (no relation to the US group).

Malcolm Young, whose elder brother George had already achieved stardom in Australia as a member of the Easybeats, also enlisted his younger brother, Angus Young (b. 31 March 1955, Glasgow, Scotland; guitar). Their sister later suggested that Angus wear his school uniform on stage, a gimmick that rapidly became their trademark. The two brothers made their debut appearance in a bar in Sydney on 31 December 1973, along with Dave Evans (vocals), Larry Van Kriedt (bass) and Colin Burgess (drums).

In late 1974, the Young brothers and Evans moved to Melbourne. Another immigrant from the UK, Bon Scott (b. Ronald Belford Scott, 9 July 1946, Forfar, Scotland, d. 19 February 1980, London, England; vocals), graduated from being the band's chauffeur to becoming their vocalist when Dave Evans refused to go on stage one night. Evans went on to form Rabbit, releasing two albums for CBS Records in Australia, before joining Hot Cockerel in 1984 and releasing David Evans And Thunder Down Under in 1986. Scott had previously recorded with two Australian outfits, pop group the Valentines (1966-68) and rockers Fraternity (1970-74). Indeed, after he emigrated from Scotland in 1951, he had also spent five consecutive years as drum champion (under-17 section) with the Perth Pipe Band. After such a wholesome start, a prison conviction for assault and battery indicated a more volatile side to his nature, and resulted in him being refused admission to the army. In 1965, he joined the Spectors, before the aforementioned periods with the Valentines and Fraternity.

The AC/DC line-up that welcomed Scott had already recorded a solitary single, "Can I Sit Next To You Girl", but it was his voice that graced their first two albums, High Voltage and T.N.T. The latter album also introduced two new members, Mark Evans (b. 2 March 1956, Melbourne, Australia; bass) and Phil Rudd (b. Phillip Hugh Norman Witschke, 19 May 1954, Melbourne, Australia; drums). Both sets were produced by George Young and his writing partner, another former Easybeat, Harry Vanda. Neither set was issued outside Australia, though Atlantic Records in Britain did offer a selection of material from both records under the title High Voltage in 1976. These albums established AC/DC as a major draw in their native territory, and brought them to the attention of Atlantic, who promptly relocated the band to London in January 1976. However, Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams (b. 14 December 1949, Romford, Essex, England; ex-Home) in June 1977 after the former tired of touring. He went on to Finch/Contraband, then a variety of bands including Swanee, Heaven, Best and Party Boys.

Once AC/DC began to tour outside Australia, the band quickly amassed a cult following, as much for the unashamed gimmickry of its live show as for its furious, frequently risqué brand of hard rock. Let There Be Rock broke them as a chart act in the UK, with its contents including the perennial crowd-pleaser, 'Whole Lotta Rosie'. The live "If You Want Blood ... You've Got It" consolidated their position, but 1979's Highway To Hell established them as international stars.

This, the band's first album with producer Mutt Lange, also proved to be their last with Bon Scott. On 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy drinking, he was left unconscious in a friend's car and was later found to be dead, having choked on his own vomit. The coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.