Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guitarists: Angus Young

I posted this on twitter earlier, and @squiggle7 responded with this, which prompted me to find this:

Scottish-born co-founder, songwriter and lead guitarist of rock band AC/DC, Angus Young was born on 31st March 1955 and formed the band with his brother Malcolm in 1973. Famed for his wildly energetic performances and trade-mark school uniform, he is also recognisable as an enthusiastic demonstrator of Chuck Berry's duck-walk. The school uniform apparently came after a line of failed stage costumes including 'Super-Ang', Spiderman, Zorro and a gorilla.

A lot of people put AC/DC into the category of 'shouty music', but I don't; largely because I don't like shouty music, but I do like AC/DC very much*. I like them because of their attention to detail, their musical talent and the down-to-Earth, tongue-in-cheek, rock'n'roll and often hilarious themes and lyrics that they give their songs. They're a phenomenal live band, and one of the most fun groups I've ever come across: if you've never given them a try, I suggest you change that, and you can't go wrong with a copy of Highway to Hell** and/or Back in Black***

I love Angus as a guitarist because he's one of those musicians that treats his instrument much as one would expect an extra body part to be treated- he uses it to the full, and appears to have complete mastery of it. He's also one of those guitarists who, due to a combination of style, equipment and attitude, are instantly recognisable just from an audio recording of their work. On top of all this, of course, he's bonkers.

* Yes, I realise that this is a bit wishy-washy.
** Bon Scott's final album with AC/DC
*** AC/DC's comeback album with Brian Johnson at the helm. The title song 'Back in Black' is a tribute to Bon Scott who died after a night of heavy drinking in February 1980.