Watch AC/DC Rock a Gymnasium Full of High School Kids in 1976

Through the mag­ic of black and white video, this rare gig of Bon Scott-led AC/DC has been unearthed. The sound is poor, the light­ing some­times non-exis­tent, but who cares? Just look at the faces of the 16-year-old girls in the front row as one of the hard­est rock­ing bands plays (checks notes) the St. Albans High School gym­na­si­um in 1976! It’s absolute mad­ness. Who knew at that time that AC/DC were going to hit big, like sta­di­um big, like essen­tial hard rock band of all time big? To some it was prob­a­bly a fun night out and isn’t it fun­ny that the lead singer likes to rock a set of bag­pipes?

In fact, the song they play in the video “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wan­na Rock ‘n’ Roll)” is the first (per­haps) track to pit bag­pipes against gui­tars.

In this key bit of inves­ti­ga­tion by Dan­ger­ous Minds, writer Cher­ry­bomb won­ders whether Bon Scott–a trans­plant from Scot­land to Aus­tralia when he was six–actually could play the pipes at all. I mean, yes, one might *assume* that being Scot­tish means you’re half-way there, but in fact, accord­ing to a piper called Kevin Con­lon, Scott only got an inter­est in the instru­ment dur­ing the record­ing of 1975’s T.N.T. :

I got a call from Bon, and he didn’t know who I was and I didn’t know who he was. He want­ed to buy a set of bag­pipes and have a few lessons. I told him they would cost over $1000 and it would take 12 months or more of lessons to learn how to play a tune. He said that was fine and came down for a few lessons, but as we were only going to be mim­ing, he just had to look like he was play­ing.

Cher­ry­bomb con­cludes that maybe, just maybe, Scott is play­ing the pipes dur­ing this num­ber, instead of mim­ing to a pre-record­ed track over the P.A. But lat­er the pipes got smashed up, and the num­ber got dumped from the act. And report­ed­ly the rest of the band was furi­ous over their lim­it­ed funds being spent on an instru­ment Scott couldn’t real­ly play. The whole sto­ry has a tinge of Spinal Tap excess to it, but hey, you wouldn’t want it any oth­er way, right?

via Dan­ger­ous Minds

Relat­ed Con­tent:

AC/DC Plays a Short Gig at CBGB in 1977: Hear Met­al Being Played on Punk’s Hal­lowed Grounds

Hear a Super­cut of the Last Sec­ond of Every AC/DC Song

Demen­tia Patients Find Some Eter­nal Youth in the Sounds of AC/DC

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the artist inter­view-based FunkZone Pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at and/or watch his films here.

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