Original AC/DC singer Dave Evans spoke to The Age recently and recalled the legendary Australian band’s first-ever gigs, which took place 40 years ago. The group played a set at the Chequers Club in Sydney just before midnight on December 31st, 1973, and then performed another one after the New Year had passed, in the wee hours of January 1st, 1974.
Evans said, “It was a small place, absolutely jammed — there were no laws in those days so it was like sardines. The crowd didn’t know us, of course, but it just went off. We all had so much energy. I don’t get nervous before shows but I remember I was nervous before that one. But we knew we were going to kill them, and we did.”
- Evans added that the band, which had formed just two months earlier, didn’t have enough material to play. He explained, “(Guitarist) Malcolm Young said, ‘We’re about six or seven songs short, so make up some names and we’ll put them through the set.’ So we made up songs on the spot and played them that night.”
- Evans was replaced later in 1974 by Bon Scott, who sang on AC/DC’s first six studio albums and became a legend himself after his death in 1980.
- Evans said he “never had a problem with Bon,” adding, “He had an opportunity to take my place and become the singer for AC/DC. I would have done the same thing. Bon was a rock and roller and as hard as me . . . He was quite a few years older than me but we grew up tough and did the hard knocks.”
- AC/DC enlisted its third vocalist, Brian Johnson, shortly after Scott’s demise and has carried on with Johnson at the mic to this day.
SIDE NOTES: Evans recently told Wales Online that his former bandmates have not acknowledged his role in AC/DC’s early history, saying, “They like to pretend in interviews that Bon Scott was there from the very beginning. The truth of the matter is that a lot went on before Bon became involved — in fact, the band had already got through two bass players, three drummers and a handful of managers by that point . . . all the stuff (Bon would) later do onstage with AC/DC, like taking off his shirt and carrying Angus (Young, guitarist) around on his shoulders, was nicked off me.”
Watch Dave Evans’ interview with The Age:
Watch extremely rare footage of Evans performing with AC/DC: