AC/DC's Angus Young Explains Why He's Always Moving Onstage

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

August 25, 2020

For almost 50 years, AC/DC co-founder Angus Young has made a living prancing around stadium stages dressed in a schoolboy uniform and playing guitar.

Even as he reels in the years, Angus' onstage energy never faltered. In a recent interview with Guitar World, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer explained that most of his energy comes from nerves.

But the reason he covers so much ground goes back to AC/DC's early days when they were playing gigs at some of the roughest biker clubs Down Under. In those days you were as likely to get a beer bottle thrown at your head as you were to get an encore, Angus recalled.

"I had just one thing on my mind: I didn't want to be a target for blokes throwing bottles," he explained of his first time onstage in his schoolboy shorts. "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."

While Angus no longer fears for his safety when he performs, he still gets nervous before going onstage.

"Usually, once I've got the uniform on, I'm okay. I'm on edge, nervous, but I'm not in a panic," he said. "...And some nights I'm in stitches when I'm trying to be The Schoolboy. But because of nerves, I've tripped over and even forgotten to do my zipper up a few times. I got for a pee and forget."

Keeping his feet moving helps him keep calm, even on recent AC/DC tours. He says there's nothing like the adrenaline rush of playing an AC/DC show, but it takes him hours to come down from that high after a gig to get some sleep.

AC/DC is rumored to have a new album on the way featuring some of Malcolm Young's final contributions to the band. The band has yet to address the rumors publicly.

Photo: Getty Images


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