AKA…All Hail ACDC

Let’s make this clear from the start…bagpipes are rubbish. You may have had some great memories of bagpipes in your life:

Scottish Cup finals
Wedding days
Big events

But these memories are great because of the other elements of the day, not the music itself which goes a long way to indicating just how poor the bagpipes really are. The bagpipes are so bad they even manage to take the glorious edge off a drunken stumble down Sauchiehall Street at silly o’clock in the morning. It is a brave busker that takes to wearing a kilt and blowing on the national instrument in the heart of Glasgow in the early hours but bravery is not always to be commended.

However, there is proof that the bagpipes are not completely useless and in the right hands, they can help to create a magical tune. It hasn’t happened very often but it won’t surprise you to learn that when it did happen, two Glaswegians were right in the mix of it.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present you with ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock N’ Roll)’:

There appears to be two promotional videos shot for this song but the one above is definitely our favourite. Seeing the band journey round Melbourne on the back of a flatbed truck is surely what rock n roll is about? The simpler promotional video for the track can be found at the bottom of the page.

Short Trip for a Sausage Roll - © Get Around Glasgow T-Shirts

Short Trip for a Sausage Roll - © Get Around Glasgow T-Shirts

It is safe to say that Australia has a far greater claim on the ‘DC than Glasgow but what the heck, the Young brothers remain proud of their Cranhill origins. In 1963, William and Margaret Young emigrated from Cranhill to Sydney, Australia taking three sons George, Malcolm and Angus and daughter Margaret. Their older son Alex stayed behind in the UK to further his dreams of being a musician but it was his male siblings who headed down under that would make the biggest splash on the music scene. George was a member of The Easybeats, a fairly popular and commercial beat-combo but it was the success of Angus and Malcolm that would overshadow everything else.

The Youngs were joined by another Scot in the band as original vocalist Bon Scott was born in Forfar and grew up in Kirremuir. In this regard, you can see why the boys used the bagpipes in their music but there is a whole lotta more (and a whole lotta Rosie) to the music of ACDC than merely relying on their Scottish roots. We could spend days dissecting the ACDC sound, their phenomenal live shows and whether it is right for Angus to still be wearing that school uniform but in the interest of brevity, we’ll just have a quick look at some of their biggest moments.

Highway to Cranhill - © Get Around Glasgow T-Shirts

Highway to Cranhill - © Get Around Glasgow T-Shirts

‘Back In Black’ is a phenomenal record, made all the more remarkable given the speed it was recorded with during the turmoil surrounding the passing of Bon Scott. New vocalist Brian Johnson quickly slipped into place and the band made a record that not only stood as a tribute to their departed singer, it became the album to own for anyone who liked their music on the heavier side.

The thing about this album is that it is the only heavy album that many people own. Glasgow is a city that embraces all music cultures and there is a great deal of crossovers between music lovers but even a good portion of the twee indie kids in the city have this album. They may not be completely au-fait with the DC back catalogue but when it comes to ‘Back In Black’, they know the score.

However, if you want to see the true link between the band and Glasgow, their first ever live album ‘If You Want Blood You’ve Got It’ featured an extensive number of songs from an electric set at the Glasgow Apollo.

This show has gone down in folklore as the gig that the band played wearing Scottish football strips.

ACDC Glasgow Apollo

ACDC Glasgow Apollo

ACDC Bootlegs site
This picture was taken from the ACDC Bootlegs site and is credited to a member called ‘Shakedown Ice’.

Don’t forget that this show of football support came when there was a frightening amount of hype surrounding the national team. The gig, which took place on the 30th of April 1978, fell less than one month before Scotland’s incredible send-off from Hampden Park on their way to the Argentines to lift the World Cup…or at least that was the plan.

In an ironic twist of fate, it was the rock n roller Angus Young who had a clean living milk drinking lifestyle while one of the Scottish international team was caught taking enough drugs to wipe out the Sex Pistols! The talk of that Tartan send-off from Hampden is not discussed in too fond a manner these days but stories of ACDC live at the Apollo are always worth hearing. Quite simply, ACDC, and to a degree still are, the band that everyone, regardless of their usual musical taste, loves.

It is this across the board appeal that makes the band so interesting and they are deserving of their place in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The exhibition, getting it’s only airing in Europe, runs until the 12th of February 2012 so there is still plenty of time to see some timeless artefacts from the band and their countless world tours.

Over 200 million album sales
Just under 50 million album sales for ‘Back In Black’ alone
Inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame
Having streets in Madrid and Melbourne named after them

…not bad for a couple of kids from Cranhill and their mates.

Highway to Cranhill - © Get Around Glasgow T-Shirts

Highway to Cranhill - © Get Around Glasgow T-Shirts