Life Of AC/DC's ANGUS YOUNG Examined In New Book

August 26, 2017

Due on August 28 from Nero is "High Voltage: The Life Of Angus Young", the first biography of AC/DC's co-founder and last surviving original member. Its author, Jeff Apter, believes the story of the man he describes as the "face, sound and sometimes the exposed backside" of the band is worth telling in detail.

In his trademark schoolboy outfit, guitar in hand, Angus has given his signature sound to songs such as "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)", "Highway To Hell" and "Back In Black", helping AC/DC become the biggest rock band on the planet.

"High Voltage" is the first biography to focus exclusively on Angus. It tells of his remarkable rise from working-class Glasgow and Sydney to the biggest stages in the world. The youngest of eight kids, Angus always seemed destined for a life in music, and it was his passion and determination that saw AC/DC become hard rock's greatest act. Over the years, Angus has endured the devastating death of iconic vocalist Bon Scott, the forced retirement of his brother in arms, Malcolm Young, and more recently the loss from the band of singer Brian Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd. Yet somehow the little guitar maestro has kept AC/DC not just on the rails, but at the top of the rock pile.

Apter told The Courier that he approached Angus to let the guitarist know that he was working on the book and to see if he would submit to an interview. The answer, unsurprisingly, was a no.

The writer, who described the Young clan as "very closed," said: "You'd never get access to them, they never do interviews. And they're not the best interview subjects either. They'd much rather talk by playing their guitars than they would in an interview.

"I've interviewed [Angus] once when I was at Rolling Stone and even then … it was fine, but he's no Bruce Springsteen.

"He's not going to sit there and pontificate on the seriousness and the worthiness of rock and roll. It's just not his thing. He would rather just bang away on his guitar. So even if you did get access, I don't think you'd get that much of a story, to be honest. It's just not what he's about."

Apter also talked about Angus's offstage presence, saying the rocker "looks like a little old man. Yet he plugs in and puts on that school uniform and something happens. Suddenly he's transformed. He says that the uniform gives him the freedom to be a different character, to not be Angus Young, to be someone else entirely.

"Offstage, he's a bit of an introvert," Apter said. "He doesn't drink, he doesn't do drugs. His biggest indulgence is pot of tea that he drinks after shows to stave off dehydration. He doesn't hang out. He disappears to his hotel room after gigs. He's been married to the same woman for thirty-five years."

An extract from "High Voltage: The Life Of Angus Young" can be found at

AC/DC's future remains in doubt after the band completed its world tour in support of 2014's "Rock Or Bust", a cycle that saw a massive turnover in the group's personnel. Angus has not yet indicated whether the group will continue recording and touring.

In March 2016, AC/DC's singer of thirty-five years, Brian Johnson, had to leave the band's North American tour after doctors told him he might lose his hearing, while forty-year bassist Cliff Williams announced his retirement at the rescheduled trek's conclusion.

The lineup that completed the tour consisted of Williams, Young, GUNS N' ROSES singer Axl Rose, Chris Slade on drums and Angus's nephew Stevie Young on guitar.

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