Original AC/DC Singer DAVE EVANS Explains Why He Performs BON SCOTT-Era Material
June 5, 2023
In an interview with Argentina's Urbana Play 104.3 FM which originally aired in September 2022 but has just been uploaded to original AC/DC singer Dave Evans's official YouTube channel, the 69-year-old musician spoke about the inclusion of AC/DC material in the setlist for his solo concerts. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I include some of the early songs that I did with the band, of course. And I usually do a couple of the very popular Bon Scott songs too. I met Bon Scott; he used to come to see our shows. He was a fan of the band. And he loved the band. And when he joined the band, he used to do all my songs. So he doesn't mind me a couple of his. But it's okay to do some of his songs, because the fans love AC/DC, and I do some of Bon Scott songs, and as I said, he used to do my songs too, of course. And Brian Johnson also does some of Bon Scott's songs as well."
Dave recorded AC/DC's first two singles, "Can I Sit Next To You Girl" and "Baby, Please Don't Go". But in October 1974, less than a year after AC/DC's first gig, Evans was out of the band. He was replaced by Scott, who sang on AC/DC's first six studio albums and became a legend himself after his death in 1980.
This past February, Evans announced that he was planning to commemorate AC/DC's half-century milestone with a series of performances later this year.
"This year is the 50-year anniversary of AC/DC. I'm doing a special show, a 50-year-anniversary show this year, as well as the 'Icons Of Classic Rock' show," he told Rock Media UK. "I'm doing that as well with all the great singers. It's a huge production that we're doing [playing] massive venues all over the world. But I'm also doing my own show, a 50-year celebration show. And I'm doing songs from the very first show AC/DC ever did. So no one's doing what I'm doing. I'm taking people on a trip back down memory lane. We're doing songs like 'Lucille' by Little Richard, 'Tutti Frutti'; that's what we're doing; 'Baby, Please Don't Go' and 'Honky Tonk Women'; Chuck Berry… We're doing all those songs that we started with. And an original song that I did the very first night called 'Sunset Strip'. I wrote it the night we played it, 'cause we didn't have enough songs…
"I'm doing the 50-year anniversary, 'cause I was there," Dave explained. "Bon Scott wasn't there 50 years ago; Brian Johnson wasn't there 50 years ago. So it's a special show. And people will love it, because it's not just a show; this is a show that they'll never see again, and songs sung by the original singer. They'll never hear me sing these songs again either. So it's really wonderful. The people are all happy — they're so, so happy. And I'm happy too. So come along from near you out there. The 50-year AC/DC anniversary celebration — a badass show."
Evans discussed his post-AC/DC career in a separate interview with Argentina's Urbana Play 104.3 FM. Asked if he has any regrets about the way his time with the band ended, Dave said: "I've had a fantastic career. I kept rocking with RABBIT and DAVID EVANS AND THUNDER DOWN UNDER, and I'm traveling around the world now, still recording. So as far as my career is concerned, I've had a fantastic career; I'm still having an amazing time. Bon Scott joined the band, but he was there about five or six years, and he's dead. So it was bad luck for him.
"You can't have regrets," he continued. "I'm having the most incredible life. I travel the whole world. And I'm a solo artist, of course, so I don't have to take a band with me. I have musicians in all different countries. I go wherever I want to go. And I see all the countries and I do what I want to do, not what the band has to tell me to do and that kind of thing. So I have freedom to be where I want to be with the people I wanna be with. And at the end of the day, it's all about freedom — life is about freedom; freedom of choice and being with people that you really love. And I'm lucky to do that."
Evans previously talked about his exit from AC/DC in a 2021 interview with DJ Grant from New Zealand's Galaxy 107 FM. At the time, he said: "You've gotta remember that Bon Scott did a lot of the songs that I already did, like 'Baby, Please Don't Go', we already did that. That's the song that I got Angus [Young, AC/DC guitarist] up on my shoulders, and, of course, he used to watch us doing our show, so he copied that. I understand that he copied what I was doing. And the songs too, and re-recorded them and re-wrote the lyrics to some of the songs that I had already put down. But he was told to do that. I know that he was under instructions to do this, so I don't really hold it against Bon Scott for that, because when he joined the band, he was washed up at the time, and he got a great chance to do something, and he did too. He did a great job, but his lifestyle just let him down."
Evans also talked about the enduring popularity of "Can I Sit Next To You Girl", which was originally released as a single in July 1974 and featured drums by Colin Burgess and bass by George Young (older brother of AC/DC co-founders Malcolm and Angus Young).
"It's one of those songs, I play it around the world — I still do, of course, every show I do — and people love the song," he said. "And it's amazing how many people say to me that's their favorite AC/DC song. I can't believe it. [AC/DC has] 'T.N.T.' and all those great songs, 'Highway To Hell' and all these other great songs, and fans come up to me and say that that's their favorite song."
In 2021, Dave was asked in an interview with The Rocker Diaries if he thought "that would be it" for AC/DC after Bon's death in 1980. He responded: "No, not at all. I mean, we all keep going. And AC/DC has had that many players through [the history of] the band. I don't know how many. 20? And three singers, plus a stand-in singer as well.
"We were always ambitious when we first started," he continued. "We always wanted to be the best in the world — all of us. And after me, Bon Scott got his chance. He did great with the band. And when he died, I just thought, 'Who are they gonna get?' I never thought [I would be approached about it] myself, because that's water under the bridge. And I was busy with bands as well at the time, and doing my own music and recording. I was just wondering who it would be. I had heard of [Brian Johnson's pre-AC/DC band] GEORDIE — just the name GEORDIE. I'd never heard of Brian. And then Brian popped up and, of course, the 'Back In Black' album came out, which was a massive album around the world, and they were off and running with Brian. But if Brian quit, they'd get another singer, and another singer. [They've gone through] different bass players [and] different drummers.
"The drive was always Malcolm Young," Dave added. "I remember Malcolm when I first met him. He was such a driving force. Just a tiny little guy — just a little touch over five foot tall — but, boy, he had a big heart and a big personality. And he was tough, too — Malcolm was very tough. And no matter what, he was AC/DC through and through. And, of course, once he passed away, which is very sad, AC/DC, of course, will never, ever be the same without Malcolm. How can it be?"
In May 2021, Evans released a new compilation album called "BADASS Greatest Hits". The effort contained "20 massive hits on one album," including Dave's version of "Rockin' In The Parlour", the song that originally appeared as the B-side of the "Can I Sit Next to You Girl" single.
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