AC/DC rumours regarding Phil Rudd and Vancouver come from the right place

I don’t care how tiny Angus is, the world needs his killer riffs.

By Steve Newton

There’s been a lot of rumour and speculation flying around the music world since yesterday, when I posted a blog on the Georgia Straight website reporting that Phil Rudd and Stevie Young had been spotted in downtown Vancouver.

The assumption was that, since AC/DC had recorded its last three albums here at Warehouse Studio, it might be in the midst of making–or at least planning–another one, this time with Rudd back in the lineup on drums.

Well, the AC/DC universe went a bit nuts at that news, the message boards and fan sites lighting up. Some diehard followers were beside themselves at the possibilities, while others immediately declared it bullshit or “fake news” (god I hate that Trumpian term).

I have complete faith in my source who says he saw–and actually chatted with–the two Aussie rockers. Why the hell would he contact me out of the blue and lie about it?

Also, I guess I really wanted to believe that it was happening, that AC/DC was going to make another album–with either Axl Rose or Brian Johnson at the mike. I’d prefer it be Johnson–unless they wanted to give Jimmy Barnes, the former steel-throated howler for Cold Chisel, a shot. But if it has to be Axl because Angus Young says so, so be it. As long as I get to hear Angus cranking out killer riffs and kick-ass solos, I’m good.

When it comes right down to it, the world would be a much lamer place if AC/DC wasn’t rockin’ the joint. At least that’s the conclusion I came to after considering my personal connection to the band.

The first AC/DC album I remember owning was 1978’s Powerage, so I was a little slow to pick up on the group, not getting previously turned on to international releases like Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (’76) and Let There Be Rock (’77). But Powerage blew me away with bluesy boogie tunes like “Gimme a Bullet”, “Down Payment Blues”, and “Gone Shootin'”.

Keith Richards has stated that it’s his fave AC/DC album, so there ya go.

A few months after Powerage came out the band released its first live album, If You Want Blood You’ve Got It, so I scored that one real quick. True to its title, it sounded like its creation had left lead-guitarist Angus Young’s fingers dripping red. Goddamn was that one fierce-sounding platter. I relied on it continuously and at high volume to ease the suffering of studying at UBC, much to the chagrin of my landlord.

Five years later, as luck would have it, I’d scored a job writing about metal for the Straight, so when AC/DC came to town in support of its 1983 Flick of the Switch LP, I went and interviewed Malcolm, singer Brian Johnson, and then-new drummer Simon Wright in their room at the Four Seasons. They were the coolest blokes you could ever be invited to have tea with.

Among other things, Johnson proclaimed his fondness for ZZ Top (“They don’t give a fuck”) and Young described their approach to making videos (“We just keep it raw and basic, like our music.”).

The next time I got to hang out with the boys was when they played B.C. Place Stadium on their Blow Up Your Video tour in 1988. There was a small riot outside the venue, but that didn’t stop me and some pissed-up buddies from invading their dressing room and scrounging beers and autographs on our backstage passes. I’m sure they didn’t remember me from five years earlier, but they were still unbelievably down-to-earth and friendly as hell.

Why can’t all rockers be like that!?

Over the years I’ve seen AC/DC in Vancouver numerous times, including in 1991 on the Razor’s Edge tour (“Thunderstruck” anyone?) and, most recently, in 2008 on the Black Ice tour. Each and every time they kicked extreme butt.

The Black Ice album—the second AC/DC disc recorded at Warehouse and mixed by Langley hard-rock maestro Mike Fraser—went to Number One in 29 countries and sold six-million copies. At the time of its release, I didn’t give it a great review, but hey—maybe one day I’ll learn not to compare everything to Back in Black.

If AC/DC is indeed in Vancouver making an album right now, that’s awesome. And if it isn’t–if Rudd and the younger Young just happened to be in town because they wanted to experience the annual fireworks display at English Bay or some crazy shit–that’s okay too.

As long as I can entertain the thought that more AC/DC music is coming one day–or even just spread rumours about it–I figure I’m doin’ alright.

To hear the audio of my 1983 interview with AC/DC’s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson subscribe to my Patreon page, where you can also eavesdrop on my uncut, one-on-one conversations with:

Steve Earle, 1987
Gabby Gaborno of the Cadillac Tramps, 1991
Terry Bozzio, 2003
Roger Glover of Deep Purple, 1985
Matthew Sweet, 1995
Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds, 2003
Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars, 2001
John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, 1995
Steve Hackett from Genesis, 1993
Grace Potter, 2008
Buddy Guy, 1993
Steve Lynch of Autograph, 1985
Don Wilson of the Ventures, 1997
Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar, 1998
Trevor Rabin of Yes, 1984
Albert Lee, 1986
Yngwie Malmsteen, 1985
Robert Cray, 1996
Tony Carey, 1984
Ian Hunter, 1988
Kate Bush, 1985
David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, 1984
Jeff Healey, 1988
Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, 1996
Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, 1993
Colin Linden, 1993
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 1995
Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, 1986
Elliot Easton from the Cars, 1996
Wayne Kramer from the MC5, 2004
Bob Rock, 1992
Nick Gilder, 1985
Roy Buchanan, 1988
Klaus Meine of Scorpions, 1988
Jason Bonham, 1989
Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, 1991
Joey Spampinato of NRBQ, 1985
Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers, 2003
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash, 2003
Steve Kilbey of the Church, 1990
Edgar Winter, 2005
Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, 1990
Randy Hansen, 2001
Dan McCafferty of Nazareth, 1984
Davy Knowles of Back Door Slam, 2007
Jimmy Barnes from Cold Chisel, 1986
Steve Stevens of Atomic Playboys, 1989
Billy Idol, 1984
Stuart Adamson of Big Country, 1993
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, 1992
Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule, 1998
John Bell of Widespread Panic, 1992
Robben Ford, 1993
Barry Hay of Golden Earring, 1984
Jason Isbell, 2007
Joey Belladonna of Anthrax, 1991
Joe Satriani, 1990
Vernon Reid of Living Colour, 1988
Brad Delp of Boston, 1988
Zakk Wylde of Pride & Glory, 1994
John Sykes of Blue Murder, 1989
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, 1998
Alice Cooper, 1986
Lars Ulrich of Metallica, 1985
John Doe, 1990
Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, 1992
Myles Goodwyn of April Wine, 2001
John Mellencamp, 1999
Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1999
Kenny Aronoff, 1999
Doyle Bramhall II, 2001
Jon Bon Jovi, 1986
Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, 1992
Randy Bachman, 2001
Little Steven, 1987
Stevie Salas, 1990
J.J. Cale, 2009
Joe Bonamassa, 2011
Tommy Emmanuel, 1994
Rob Baker of the Tragically Hip, 1997
John Petrucci of Dream Theater, 2010
Alex Van Halen, 1995
Eric Johnson, 2001
Stu Hamm, 1991
Gene Simmons of Kiss, 1992
Ace Frehley from Kiss, 2008
David Lee Roth, 1994
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
John Mayall of the Bluesbreakers, 1988
Steve Vai, 1990
Tony Iommi of Heaven and Hell, 2007
Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1996
Geoff Tate of Queensryche, 1991
James Hetfield of Metallica, 1986
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1990
Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites, 1988
Andy McCoy and Sam Yaffa of Hanoi Rocks, 1984
Steve Morse, 1991
Slash of Guns N’ Roses, 1994
Brian May from Queen, 1993
Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, 1991
Jake E. Lee of Badlands, 1992
Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1997
John Fogerty, 1997
Joe Perry of Aerosmith, 1987
Rick Derringer, 1999
Robin Trower, 1990
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, 1994
Mick Ronson, 1988
Geddy Lee of Rush, 2002
Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult, 1997
Michael Schenker, 1992
Vince Neil of Motley Crue, 1991
Vinnie Paul of Pantera, 1992
Joan Jett, 1992
Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, 1988
Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, 1989
Rob Halford of Judas Priest, 1984
Bill Henderson of Chilliwack, 1999
Paul Rodgers, 1997
R.L. Burnside, 1999
Guthrie Govan of the Aristocrats, 2015
Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, 1985
Carlos Santana, 2011
Walter Trout, 2003
Rudy Sarzo of Quiet Riot, 1983
Rob Hirst of Midnight Oil, 2001
Tommy Aldridge, 2001
Donald “Duck” Dunn, 1985
Mark Farner of Grand Funk, 1991
Chris Robinson of Black Crowes, 1990
Jennifer Batten, 2002
Mike Fraser, 2014
Leo Kottke, 2002
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, 2002
David Gogo, 1991
Booker T. Jones, 2016
Link Wray, 1997
James Reyne from Australian Crawl, 1988
Mike Rutherford of Genesis, 1983
Buddy Guy, 1991
Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers, 1990
Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers, 2016
Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1986
Lindsay Mitchell of Prism, 1988
Buddy Miles, 2001
Eddie Money, 1988
Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith, 1983
Gaye Delorme, 1990
Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, 1984
Graham Bonnet of Alcatrazz, 1984
Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, 2016
Doc Neeson of Angel City, 1985
Rik Emmett of Triumph, 1985
Sonny Landreth, 2016
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, 2016
Jeff Beck, 2001
Albert King, 1990
Johnny Ramone of the Ramones, 1992
Peter Frampton, 1987
Otis Rush, 1997
Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, 1989
Leslie West of Mountain, 2002
Steve Howe of Yes, 2017
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, 1983
Uli Jon Roth, 2016
Poison Ivy of the Cramps, 1990
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1985
Greg Lake of ELP, 1992
Robert Plant, 1993
Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson of AC/DC, 1983
Warren Zevon, 1992
Tal Wilkenfeld, 2016
Steve Clark of Def Leppard, 1988
Roy Buchanan, 1986
Gary Moore, 1984
Ronnie Montrose, 1994
Danny Gatton, 1993
Alex Lifeson of Rush, 1992
Ann Wilson of Heart, 1985
J.J. Cale, 1990
Yngwie Malmsteen, 2014
Chris Cornell, 2008
Long John Baldry, 1985
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Kim Mitchell, 1984
Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers, 1994
Derek Trucks, 1998
Susan Tedeschi, 1998
Joe Satriani, 2018
B.B. King, 1984
Albert Collins, 1985
Ronnie James Dio, 1985
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, 1984
Dick Dale, 2000
Greg Allman, 1998
Dickey Betts, 2001

….with hundreds more to come

4 thoughts on “AC/DC rumours regarding Phil Rudd and Vancouver come from the right place

  1. It’s no longer AC/DC, it’s the Angus Young Band. I’m a fan through and through but Malcolm was AC/DC, with him gone and by firing Brian, Angus managed to destroy what remained of it. Cliff retiring after Brian being given the boot just confirms it.

  2. I’ve been to three AC/DC shows with the original lineup, including the original lead vocalist. Best of the best shows possible! When Bonn died it was all over, as far as I was concerned. I didn’t want to hear the new guy, it wasn’t the same. But the fact that Angus, Malcolm and the band held it together was too amazing to not appreciate, being a musician and knowing it’s not exactly easy(closer to impossible) to put together, join or even find a perfect band and make it be around forever?! It’s still AC/DC as long as Angus Young says so. How dare anyone judging Angus Young with all he’s done for not only AC/DC, Rock and Roll, Music but for helping make the world a better place than it actually is. Thank you Angus!▶🎼💛👍

    1. While Johnson replaced Bon it was Angus and Malcolm writing the music, actually Axle vocals allowed AC/DC to cover Bon era songs, I personally think they would be better with a young ( no pun intended) nobody who could cover both Bon and Johnson era to move forward, or if need be a new group for Angus to continue onward with…

  3. Brian wasn’t fired. He voluntarily left because he didn’t want to go deaf. He left out of respect for the fans and he didn’t want to embarrass the band with his failing voice capabilities — he said. He complained about the four operations he had to undergo and said he doesn’t want to go through that again so he’s done his time, and with nearly forty Years under his belt with the boys he said he’s grateful and feels honored but no more, he added. Cliff’s daughter scolded fans for dissing Angus and falsely spreading news that Bry was fired. Boy I’ll tell You, she really gave it to them that girl and thank God for that

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