Angus Young

This is Biography Angus McKinnon Young (Glasgow, March 31, 1955) is a naturalized Scottish guitarist and songwriter, co-founder and lead guitarist of the hard rock band AC/DC. Known for his great live energy and for wearing a school uniform on stage, in memory of his high school days, since 2011 he is ranked 24th on Rolling Stone’s list of the hundred best guitarists of all time was declared the best Australian guitarist ever by Australian Guitar Magazine and is in third place, along with his brother Malcolm, in the list of the hundred best metal guitarists of Guitar World magazine.

He figures, along with the other members of AC/DC, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Angus Young moved to Sydney, Australia, along with his parents and brothers, including Malcolm, George and Alex, who would all become musicians, and his older sister Margaret. He began playing the guitar at the age of 5, when he became interested in his brother’s guitar. He later made his own stringed instrument by modifying a banjo; his first guitar, a Höfner, was given to him by his brother Malcolm.

Angus hated school from the start. His favorite subject was art, where he could give vent to his artistic vein. Even in music he didn’t have an easy life: his professor thought he didn’t have the slightest sense of rhythm. As a matter of fact, on the back cover of the international edition of the album High Voltage, there is a school letter in which is reported for the umpteenth time the conduct at school of the two brothers. He then abandoned his studies.

Later he inherited the legendary Gibson SG, of which he owns several models. During his youth he played in a band called Kantuckee. When he was 18 years old, he and his 20-year-old brother Malcolm founded AC/DC on December 31, 1973; the initial nucleus of the group consisted of: Angus on lead guitar, Malcolm on rhythm guitar, Colin Burgess on drums, Larry Van Kriedt on electric bass, and Dave Evans on vocals. Their first single, Can I Sit Next to You Girl, was later recorded a second time with Bon Scott as lead singer. AC/DC’s name comes from an inscription on a vacuum cleaner that saw Angus and Malcolm’s sister and means Alternate Current-Direct Current .

Angus wore many costumes on stage, such as Zorro, Spider-Man and a gorilla; he also performed a parody of Superman by calling himself Super-Ang, all before adopting a school uniform as his symbol, which is ironic as Angus didn’t like school at all. The original uniform came from his high school, Ashfield Boys High School in Sydney. In 1973, when Angus had long since dropped out of school, his sister Margaret suggested he wear his uniform after Malcolm asked band members to get their own costumes.

In order to promote the image of him as a rebellious schoolboy, Angus’s date of birth was falsified for several years and falsely disclosed to the press and the public: according to this information, Angus was born in 1959, and not in 1955. Only towards the end of the seventies the band testified that Angus was in fact four years older than previously claimed; even in the following years, however, various publications continued to report the wrong date of birth.

Another trademark of his is the famous Duck Walk, which was actually invented by Chuck Berry many years earlier. Observing carefully the video of Heatseeker , experts have detected from his posture that he suffers from flat foot. Angus, in spite of the rock star stereotype, has no tattoos and has never abused drugs or alcohol, declaring that his favorite drink is tea. On the other hand, he is a heavy smoker and states that without his favorite cigarettes he could not write rock songs.

Famous for his energy on stage, in fact, despite his age, he is still unleashed throughout the performance which includes, in addition to his hyperbolic solos, a unique spectacularity given by a set design that is explosive to say the least: flaming locomotives (Rock’N’Roll Train), giant rubber puppets (Whole Lotta Rosie), abnormal bells (Hells Bells), maxi screens, catwalks in the audience and, at the close of the concerts, during For Those About to Rock (We Salute You), culverins that come out and fire blanks at the audience. Typical and characteristic is his entrance with his index fingers on either side of his forehead to mimic the devil’s horns.

In a poll held by Maxim magazine in 2005, Angus Young (1.57 m tall) was voted the most important short person of all time. Although Angus Young prefers to keep his personal life private, it is known that he lives in Sydney, Australia, and has another home in Aalten, the Netherlands. On August 24, 2006, Angus received a major award from Kerrang! magazine; on that occasion, editor Paul Branningan called AC/DC “one of the most important and influential bands in history.”
Angus Young has mainly used Gibson SG, of which he has mainly red (Heritage Cherry) and black (Ebony) models: besides playing mainly standard models, he has also used Custom and Special models.

Although he has never used the tremolo, the standard model of 1968 has mounted the vibrola with the iconic lyre bearing the trademark, also present in his signature model. Since 2009, all his tour guitars are mounted as pick-ups two Seymour Duncan humbuckers. He uses Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings (.009-.042)[ and Fender “Extra Heavy” picks.[Except occasionally, he has never changed guitar models.
As for amplifiers, he mainly used the Marshall Super Lead head (alternating with a JMP Master Volume 2203 100-watt in the late 70s) and 1960AX and BX speakers, recognizable by the silver-gray grille, mounting four 12-inch Celestion cones. Under the stage he also has a JTM 45 attached. Since he moves around the stage during the performance, he does not use effects / pedals: his sound is a natural distortion / overdrive derived from the setting of the tube head attached directly to the guitar. [An element that boosts the latter is a booster present in a wireless system of the 70s, used both live and in the studio for this feature.


1974 – High Voltage

1975 – T.N.T.

1976 – High Voltage (riedizione)

1976 – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

1977 – Let There Be Rock

1978 – Powerage

1979 – Highway to Hell

1980 – Back in Black

1981 – For Those About to Rock

1983 – Flick of the Switch

1985 – Fly on the Wall

1988 – Blow Up Your Video

1990 – The Razors Edge

1995 – Ballbreaker

2000 – Stiff Upper Lip

2008 – Black Ice

2014 – Rock or Bust

2020 – Power Up

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