SIMON WRIGHT Looks Back On His Time With AC/DC In New Episode Of 'Beyond The Thunder' Podcast

September 30, 2022

"Were you the first official member of AC/DC to quit?" That's the question posed to former AC/DC drummer, Simon Wright, during the latest episode of "AC/DC Beyond The Thunder", a podcast that features high-profile guests who've been influenced by, or in this case involved with, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame band AC/DC.

In 1983, AC/DC was in fact, without a drummer. When founder Malcolm Young decided to serve up a one-way ticket to longtime stickman and human metronome Phil Rudd during the "Flick Of The Switch" recording sessions, one of the best-selling bands in the world had seemingly lost its beat. Seven hundred auditions later, a relatively unknown teenager by the name of Simon Wright strolled into a London studio, unaware that he was trying out for a once-in-a-lifetime gig to replace the mighty Phil Rudd.

"Phil Rudd's a phenomenon," admits the now 59-year-old veteran stickman, "It's just the way he plays. He's got this built-in groove. I just tried to dial in with him."

Simon got the job — although he wasn't officially told so. Following his audition, he overheard AC/DC already discussing tour plans when he leaned over to Malcolm and asked, "Does this mean I'm in the band?" The de facto bandleader shot the new drummer a look and said, "Yeah, it looks like it, doesn't it?"

From his early upbringing just outside Manchester, England, to being shot into the stratosphere headlining the Monsters Of Rock festival with AC/DC, all the while keeping the band's heartbeat alive throughout the 1980s, Wright drums up plenty of stories during this exclusive two-part episode.

During Part 1, Wright reflects on everything from Eddie Van Halen jamming with Angus Young backstage, going to dinner with an "intense" Stephen King, listening to unreleased AC/DC demos, and witnessing the first time Stevie Young would replace his uncle, Malcolm Young, while tackling alcoholism during the late Eighties.

"We were all deeply concerned about him," says Wright of Malcolm's departure on the "Blow Up Your Video" tour. "I'm just so glad it finally got solved and he came around again." Wright would never record another album with AC/DC after Malcolm's return.

Part 2 follows up on Wright's second act, sitting behind the drum kit for even more rock and roll heroes, including Ronnie James Dio, Michael Schenker and UFO, John Norum of EUROPE, Geoff Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE and the recently formed METAL GODS with Tim "Ripper" Owens, the ultimate ode to DIO and JUDAS PRIEST, now touring Australia throughout the month of October.

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