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Music

The classic rock heroes Angus Young thought were "ridiculous"

Angus Young is one of the most opinionated men in rock, especially regarding what makes for a thrilling live show. He believes bands fall for “ridiculous” tropes that can often ruin concerts and, as result, thinks those at fault need to take a leaf out of AC/DC’s book.

It’s hard to undermine Young’s credentials as a live performer. With AC/DC, he’s been playing to sold-out stadiums for decades, and despite now being an elder statesman of the business, they are still rocking out today. Few bands have enjoyed the same longevity as the Australian group, and there’s a reason why they have stayed at the top for so long.

In 1977, AC/DC were still making their way up the ladder and yet to become the international behemoths they became three years later with Highway To Hell, which remains one of the best-selling records of all time. At the time, there was arguably no band more successful than Led Zeppelin, and Young wasn’t afraid to criticise them.

The guitarist spoke to Classic Rock and lamented their live set, which he felt went on for far too long. Young said: “I’ve seen that band live. They were on for three hours. For two-and-a-half hours, they bored the audience. Then at the end they pull out old rock’n’roll numbers to get the crowd movin’. That’s sick. They’re supposed to be the most excitin’ rock’n’roll band in the world.”

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Nobody was safe from the wrath of Young’s tongue, and the Australian even slammed The Rolling Stones. He continued: “Them and the Stones. They’re not playin’ it. The Rolling Stones get up and play soul music these days.”

Young added: “This is supposed to be rock’n’roll. Leave that to the people who do it best, the black people. If the Stones played what they do best, they’d be a helluva lot better. They’d probably find themselves at ease.”

However, his most scathing remarks were aimed at Deep Purple, who Young regretted paying money to see live, and he labelled them as “ridiculous”. The AC/DC guitarist made his comments in 1984, which was harsh considering his band had supported Deep Purple at the beginning of their career.

“I saw Deep Purple live once and I paid money for it and I thought, ‘Geez, this is ridiculous.’ You just see through all that sort of stuff,” Young commented. “I never liked those Deep Purple or those sort of things. I always hated it. So I always thought it was a poor man’s Led Zeppelin.”

Considering Young wasn’t kind towards Led Zeppelin, he must have passionately despised Deep Purple to call them a “poor man’s” version of Zeppelin. Furthermore, it takes a wealth of courage for a man who wears a school uniform on stage to call another band’s live show “ridiculous”.

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