Dave Evans (Original Vocalist of AC/DC)
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS
How did you originally meet Angus and Malcolm?
A. In early
1973 I joined local top Sydney band called Velvet Underground as lead
singer after their singer and one of the guitarists had left. I heard
about the Malcolm Young the guitarist who had left from the other members
who also told me that he was the younger brother of George Young of
The Easybeats fame. Velvet Underground split later when the guitarist
and drummer joined up with Ted Mulry- only recently passed away from
cancer- who was one of Australia's top solo artists to form The Ted
Mulry Gang who's biggest hit was JUMP IN MY CAR. I was without a band
and shortly afterwards I was visited at my flat in Bondi by a
Soon after I
answered an advertisement in the local Sydney Morning Herald which stated
that a strong rock singer was wanted into bands such as Free, Rolling
Stones etc and when I rang the number in the ad I was asked my name.
When I said Dave Evans the person on the other end introduced himself
to me as Malcolm Young whom I had heard a lot about from the boys in
Velvet Underground. Malcolm was glad to hear from me as he had also
heard good reports about me and invited me to jam with him with two
other musos that he had joined with to audition for a new band. I met
the three guys in an old unused office block in Newtown an
What are your favourite memories of being in AC/DC eg. best laughs in band, road stories, gigs etc?
A. I enjoyed myself immensley with AC/DC although I think the anecdotes will have to remain secret until I write a book.
What was the reason for your departure?
A. The reasons were mixed I guess. There were jealousies between young egos as initially I did mostof the interviews for the press and radio and received a bit of attention from female fans. I always thought that Angus kept a resentment towards me because I had rejected his offer to join Kentuckee. Maybe I was wrong I'll never know for sure. I also did not get on with our manager at the time who didn't last much longer than myself with the band. I noticed that they had a new manager very soon after my departure. I really don't want to go into it too far as the band itself was riding high with CAN I SIT NEXT TO YOU GIRL racing up the charts at the time. So it wasn't that I wasn't performing. Maybe one day the truth will come out.
What was your opinion when AC/Dc made the big time with Bon Scott?
A. The band deserved to make the big time overseas because the songs were great and they still had that enormous energy and excitement.
Did you keep in touch or are you still in touch with the band at all?
A. No but I don't hold any grudges at all. I can't speak for the Young brothers but I would be more than happy to have a drink and go over those very early days which made everything that came later possible.
Since leaving what bands have been your faves you have been part of and why?
A. I have enjoyed
all the band I have been with since AC/DC. Rabbit as a band was more
wild and exciting with every member given space to explode on stage
and to give the audience 100% of their performance and personality.
Dave Evans and HOT COCKEREL was just a
A. I don't know. I have never asked them.
A. I used to
bump into him occasionally when I was living in Sydney but not since
I moved to Melbourne two years ago.
I have sold advertising and been a publisher for a couple of niche industry magazines in Australia.
Do you tend to get recognised for being Dave Evans in your own right or are you still regarded by many as the guy who used to front AC/DC in the beginning?
I get respect for also fronting Rabbit probably the wildest live band
in Australia ever. The Rabbit fans were and are very loyal and the emails
I get still rave about past performances on and off the stage. Also
I am recognised as a solo artist with my time with backing bands Hot
Cockerel , Thunder Down Under and I have done a few gigs with Thunderstruck
which is an excellent AC/DC covers band from Melbourne with which I
recorded the live cd A HELL OF A NIGHT which was a tribute to Bon Scott
on the 20th
What else was recorded apart from the 1st single featuring yourself?
A. I recorded SOUL STRIPPER and ROCK N ROLL SINGER with AC/DC but they were re-recorded with Bon.
Are there any gigs in existence on tape or on video with AC/DC and will they ever see the light of day?
A. There is
the video of myself with AC/DC singing CAN I SIT NEXT TO YOU GIRL which
was our first single and that is seen worldwide whenever there is an
AC/DC special plus a very bad quality tape of a live gig we did which
is not worth listening to really.
A. I got a real
shock when I heard the news over the radio about Bon. I wondered how
this would affect the band and whether they would continue as AC/DC
or form a different band with a different name. At no time did it ever
enter my head that I would be rejoining AC/DC
A. I was part
of the most important historical part of AC/DC - The founding of the
band and the all special firsts like The naming of the band, the first
gigs, the first recording sessions, the first hit record, the first
tours etc. Everything else came afterwards including Bon Scott and Brian
Johnson and of course the enormous international successes.
A. A friend
of mine, Simon Croft who had been guitarist in my Hot Cockerel band
was then a member of Thunderstruck in Melbourne. He rang me to tell
me of the gig they would be doing to mark the 20th anniversary of Bon's
death and asked if I would like to sing out of a mark of respect as
I had met Bon before he joined AC/DC. I asked him how many songs would
he like me to do and Simon said as many as I would like. I rang him
back later and realised that if
Everyone was wrapt with the outcome. Being live it captured the very special atmosphere of that historic performance.
Did you have to relearn some of the songs and practice much - how long?
No. I just had
two rehearsals with Thunderstruck.
A. I enjoyed
the spontaneity of the occasion as no-one knew what was going to happen
- how the crowd was going to react, what the quality of the live sound
would be but it was a magic night. Everyone knew why we were there and
what the occasion meant and we all
How did you go about assembling the set?
I wanted the
first few songs to be my credentials for performing at this historical
occasion to make it authentic. I then picked four songs which was a
precise of Bon's life with AC/DC.
A. The cd runs
for 40 minutes as it captures the whole show and what I had to say and
not just the songs. This was more than just about me singing AC/DC songs.
This was about Bon Scott.
A. already answered.
Who came up with the idea of releasing the gig as a cd and video?
A. It was my idea.
What made you choose Perris Records for the cd?
A. An Agent
in Florida contacted me regarding Perris Records. I didn't know if anyone
would be interested in it really. I was just glad that Perris put their
A. I haven't
received any numbers from Perris as yet.
A. The reviews
have been really very good - terrific. The reviewers also understand
the significance of the cd as well.
A. I have no idea if they have heard it or not.
Why has the single 'Can I sit next to you girl' never been re-released - especially since it features the unobtainable b-side 'Rockin' in the Parlour'?
A. You will
have to ask the Young brothers. It is something that the fans want to
see. I know that from all the emails I receive about it.
What would your reaction be to working with AC/DC again alongside Brian Johnson? Could it happen one day?
It would be great. We're all rock and rollers and supposed to be older
and wiser and if there were bad feelings all those years ago what's
the point of holding grudges now that were between young kids really.
I am speaking
to Agents and Promoters in England, Germany, USA and Canada at the moment
who have expressed an interest in possibly touring. I can't really say
anything until I have signed contracts and firm dates.