The band announced it had parted ways with drummer Simon Wright, who joined in 1980, during a press conference held Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 31). “I’m very sad about this,” he told reporters. “But I’ve been thinking about it for some time now.” He added that he’d like to remain friends with his former bandmates.
Johnson took over the drumming duties after Wright left the group in 2008. His tenure lasted less than three years, however, as he suffered a severe case of vertigo that required surgery. A subsequent hearing loss led him to step down from the band. In 2016, he returned to the fold, replacing founding member Angus Young.
Young, meanwhile, has remained in the spotlight since stepping away from the band in 1990. During his absence, he worked as a producer and songwriter for several artists including Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John, and George Michael. He also became involved in politics, running unsuccessfully for Parliament in 1992.
Rudd stepped down from the group in 2013, citing health concerns. At the time, he described himself as having dementia. He later revealed that doctors diagnosed him with Parkinson’s disease.
AC/DC formed in Sydney in January 1973. They played their first gig at Chequers Club, Newtown, on December 31st, 1973. Their manager, Gene Pierson, booked the band to play there on New Year’s Eve. He wanted to keep it low key, because he thought it might help promote them. But the club owner told him no one would come. So he offered them a free drink, and they agreed to do it.
The next night, the band played again, and this time the crowd was bigger. And the following week, they played every Wednesday. Then they got a record deal, and the rest is history.
Bon scott era
In September 1974, Bon Scott joined AC/DC replacing Dave Evans, whose voice was deemed unsuitable for the band’s sound. He remained with AC/DC until his death in 1980. During his tenure with the group he wrote many songs including “Highway To Hell”, “Back In Black”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Let There Be Rock”, “Thunderstruck”, “Whole Lotta Rosie”, “Shoot To Thrill” and “Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be”.
AC/DC began recording their debut album,, in November 1974, and it was released in Australia on 17 February1975, along with a single, “High Voltage”. They played their first live concert performance on 7 April 1975, at Sydney’s Regal Theatre, and toured extensively throughout 1975 and 1976. Their second Australian tour took place in June and July 1977, supporting Thin Lizzy.
The group performed at the 1975 Sunbury Music Festival on 27 August, where they became involved in a dispute with the organisers over payment. Following the incident, drummer Phil Rudd left the band and was replaced by Malcolm Young.
On 2 December 1975, AC/DC signed a record deal with Albert Productions, a subsidiary of EMI Records Australia. They released their third Australian single, “Baby Please Don’t Go”, on 4 January