Back in 1979, I was the proud owner of two AC/DC albums: If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It…Live and Powerage. I loved listening to those albums before I left the house to go to Friday or Saturday night basketball games in order to get psyched to play. That is, until I realized their music got me too hyped, and I would begin a game cold as ice. That was when I turned to funk music, which always seemed in the rhythm of basketball. But, I digress about my long gone athletic career. Let’s get back on track.
In July 1979, the local rock station, WFBQ, or Q-95, began playing a new song by AC/DC could “Highway to Hell” from their upcoming album of the same name. Even better, the DJs were announcing that AC/DC was the middle band in a triple-band concert coming up on August 1, 1979. And, since Cross Country season had yet just started, a few of us went to the concert of Ted Nugent, AC/DC and this newer band from Germany, Scorpions.
Of course, I bought the Highway to Hell album when it came out and purchased a ticket for the concert, which was $7.50 back then! Although I had a couple of Nugent albums, I was more excited for the men down under, AC/DC. So, we waited for the concert by listening to the album at each others’ houses and constantly talking about the concert out on our eight-mile morning runs.
Finally, the day rolled around. Another guy, Jeff, and I went down to the old Market Square Arena together to meet up with the rest of the guys from the old hometown. It was back in the days of festival seating, before the horrible deaths that occurred before The Who concert in Cincinnati later that year. I cannot begin to tell you how different things were back then. Drugs and drinks were openly used back then. When I walked into the restroom after arriving, some stoned dude was leaning up against the wall, just saying to anyone who entered that he had drugs of all sorts for sale and opened his large hand to show us. Being a naive guy from a small town, I kind of had my mind blown. But, then I shrugged, told my would-be dealer no thanks and left after doing my intended task.
The first band on was Scorpions. I didn’t like them then and still don’t care for them now. They did produce a couple of good songs in the Eighties, but I honestly can’t recall their titles. Oh well! After they played for 15 minutes, they left the stage, much to the pleasure of the crowd.
Next up was AC/DC, and they kicked ass! It was a tight 30-minute set complete with all of the famous antics of lead guitarist Angus Young, like mooning the crowd, being carried through the crowd on the back of singer Bon Scott (Yes! I saw Bon Scott! I’m old, I told you.), etc. It was a magical set that kept me a fan of theirs forever, sans a few albums between For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) and Razor’s Edge, when the band re-discovered their mojo. Like I’ve always told my boys, there are three sure things in life: taxes, death and the AC/DC power chord riff. By the way, Ted Nugent did headline and sucked. That was the last time I really paid attention to Nugent, or “Uncle Ted” as my oldest son calls him.
Unfortunately, it was a mere seven months when Bon Scott died after going on a bender. I remember the next day at school it seemed as though every male student, and a few females, were wearing an AC/DC concert T-shirt. They were one of the two biggest bands in popularity at my school, with the other being the original Lynyrd Skynyrd. For me, I prefer AC/DC and how throughout their career they have remained true to themselves. Very few bands can actually make that claim, even when they have brought in new singers and musicians.
By the way, I ended up taking my oldest son to see AC/DC for his sixteenth birthday in 2001, for the Stiff Upper Lip Tour. But, I had to hold my breath to make sure singer Brian Johnson did not die seven months later. WHEW! Lightning did not strike twice. Vive AC/DC!