That time I asked Malcolm Young if AC/DC were from Australia and he politely set me straight

By Steve Newton

Here’s one of my favourite audio excerpts from my interview with Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson, and new AC/DC drummer Simon Wright back in 1983.

At one point in the conversation–which took place on a Vancouver hotel-room floor where the lads were sipping tea and smokin’ ciggies–I asked about the Australian music scene, which led Malcolm to explain, with slight exasperation, that AC/DC weren’t Australian. That they actually came from Scotland, and hadn’t resided Down Under for years.

“What do you think we worked so hard to get out of the place for?” he exclaimed.

Then Brian pointed out that most of the musicians you meet in Australia aren’t from there, before Malcolm cites the Bee Gees as an example. Soon after that comment you can hear shitdisturber Johnson casually drop the notion that the Bee Gees are Simon’s cousins, which leads to quite an uproar among the assembled rockers.

“Do you think we’d a got Simon in the band with the reputation of having fuckin’ Bee Gees for his cousins?” proclaims Malcolm with a chuckle.

“I’d chop his fuckin’ medallion off,” adds Johnson, threatening to neuter the new recruit, I suppose.

The excerpt ends with Johnson offering me some tea, which I turn down, instead hassling the new guy for a smoke.

No wonder it’s one of my fave AC/DC audio excerpts.

Have a listen:


To hear my full 23-minute interview with Mal and Bri, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon.


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