Angus Young will celebrate his 65th birthday this coming Tuesday, March 31st. In celebration of the rock and roll icon - best known for his posh schoolboy outfit, signature Gibson SG guitar, and some of the most iconic guitar riffs in history - we’re sharing 7 little known facts about Angus:
1. He doesn’t drink alcohol, at all.
While his fellow bandmates were known for living up to the rock n roll stereotype of being hard partiers, Angus Young is actually a teetotaler. Late AC/DC singer Bon Scott was known for his wild partying and Angus’s brother Malcolm Young was a huge fan of Jack Daniels, but Angus Young doesn’t drink at all. The guitarist can only ever be seen chugging back a cold glass of chocolate milk, or the occasional cup of coffee.
2. He still owns his very first Gibson SG
Angus purchased his very first Gibson SG (and definitely not his last) in 1970 from a second hand shop. He played it “until it got wood rot because so much sweat and water got into it,” he said. And he still has it to this day - “I’ve still got it and it’s still my favorite guitar of them all.”
3. He’s a big fan of Jazz
Being able to take inspiration from other artists outside your own genre is an important mark of being a great musician. Angus Young not only loves rock n roll, but is a huge fan of jazz, in particular Louis Armstrong, who he calls “one of the greatest musicians of all time”.
4. He thinks solos are the easiest part of his job
Many guitarists see solos as the hardest part of their job, but Angus calls it the easiest part of his: “I think the hardest thing is to play together with a lot of people, and do that right. I mean, when four guys hit one note all at once – very few people can do that.”
5. He was great friends with Keith Emerson
AC/DC were consumed with grief over the death of their friend Bon Scott while they were recording ‘Back in Black’. While recording in Nassau, ELP keyboardist Keith Emerson took Angus and the band out on his fishing boat to help them settle in and work through the shock of their friend passing so suddenly. Tragically, Keith died in March 2016 after a bout of severe depression, striking the AC/DC band members with grief once again.
6. Angus never expected to be in a band with his brother, Malcolm
While it’s hard to imagine AC/DC without the Young brothers, back in the day Angus wasn’t allowed to jam with his brother, or even hear him play. Angus recalled back in 1992 the shock of Malcolm asking him to join the band: “In the beginning, we never used to play together, even at home. When I’d walk in to see what he was up to, he’d go, ‘Get out!’ I was amazed when he asked me to come down to a rehearsal and play.”
7. He never finished school
Angus dropped out of school at the age of 15, going to work as a typesetter at a men’s magazine called ‘Ribald’, not knowing he would soon be a member of one of the biggest rock n roll bands on the planet.