The Music Fans Malcolm And Angus Young Couldn’t Stand

Malcolm McLaren was looking around for the right type of singer to lead his new ‘fantasy’ punk when he came across a fellow called John Lydon. The young man seemed like he would be the right person for the job with his green dyed hair and modified ‘I hate Pink Floyd’ shirt. So, after a quick rehearsal, John was in.

The new wave of punk would sweep the UK from the mid-’70s and on; however, McLaren wished to see more than just colored and spiked hairstyles or edgy teenagers wearing spiteful shirts. The manager wanted the genre to evolve into a statement, a violent riot, which would reflect how much the youth desired to be set free and destroy any establishment.

Sex Pistols were at the front of the anti-establishment protest, and after Glen Matlock was out and new bassist Sid Vicious was in, the act’s notorious reputation would precede the success of their music. Each show would be a violent play, with the audience yelling, spitting, and throwing anything they could possibly get onto the stage, and this was precisely what McLaren wanted to see.

However, an Aussie band wasn’t as pleased with this whole ‘punk’ thing. Angus Young even had to check out what the word ‘anarchy’ meant after hearing it was a common word punks loved to use. The guitarist wasn’t pleased to learn what the word meant, though, and his brother, Malcolm Young, also shared similar feelings.

The duo chatted with Kerrang in 2005, discussing how AC/DC would often be confused as a punk band. The Youngs said they were no punks when it came to songwriting and loved making music on simpler things like parties, cars, and women rather than politics. Angus also emphasized how much Chuck Berry influenced their music and how he had to get a dictionary to learn about anarchy.

Angus Young’s words on AC/DC singing about simpler things and punk movement:

“We liked Chuck Berry. And Berry sang about cars, women, and party time. That, to us, was rock and roll. [Punks] were locked into selling anarchy, like a political thing. To be honest with you, the first time I heard the word’ anarchy,’ I had to get a dictionary to look up the f*cker! I’m limited – meaning a limited education – so that wasn’t communicating anything to me.”

Malcolm then continued how the punk audiences would come to their shows, spit and throw things on the stage. However, the rocker wasn’t pleased with the whole ‘riot’ thing as much as McLaren would be. Thus, whenever a band member was hit by something the audience threw, the Youngs would get in the crowd and start punching.

The late rocker on the punk audience confusing them to be a punk band, getting violent, and AC/DC returning the favor:

“We would get punks showing up [at shows] and spitting, and when anyone [in the band] got hit by gob, we’d be in the audience punching the sh*t out of them. It wasn’t like we were punk, but the reputation of the band was there.”

Yet, despite their ideological and musical differences, the band perhaps had the punk spirit in them since leaving the stage and fighting back to the audience was undoubtedly what a typical punk band would. Still, they believed in more straight lyrics and lesser political statements but didn’t hold back when they needed to punch edgy punks.

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