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
little guy with very long hair accompanied by a larger portly fellow. The little guy introduced himself to me as Angus Young, Malcolm Young's younger brother and he was with the bass player from Angus's current band KENTUCKEE. He had heard about me and was wondering
whether I would be interested in joining his band as his singer had left. They played me the music that Kentuckee was covering but it was really not what I was into as the music was very guitar orientated and light on any vocals. I declined the offer.

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
inner suburb of Sydney and we jammed for a few numbers which sounded great. We were all smiles and Malcolm offered me the position there and then and I was very happy to accept. After a couple of rehearsals Malcolm told us that his younger brother Angus's band had
split for good and if Angus could audition for us. We were all cool and Angus came to the next rehearsal and jammed with us. Malcolm asked us what did we think and we all said cool - so Angus joined the band and we were five members.

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
very heavy and menacing band but done with some tongue in cheek. I loved having the girl strippers on stage which drove the audience into a frenzy. Dave Evans and Thunder Down Under was a bit different as the songs were a was a bit more serious although still very
heavy. I enjoy singing and performing as long as there is an audience wanting to really rock.

What's the reaction been from any AC/DC members to other bands you have fronted?

A. I don't know. I have never asked them.

Do you see Mark Evans much?

A. I used to bump into him occasionally when I was living in Sydney but not since I moved to Melbourne two years ago.

What have you up to outside the music biz to bring other money in?

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?

In Australia 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
anniversary of his tragic death.

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.

When Bon died, what went through your mind? Did you ever think that you could get the call to rejoin the band?

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
as that was now water under the bridge. I have heard that there is a book which mentions that I was waiting to get phone call from the boys but that is a blatant lie and the person who said it is a liar.

What parts of AC/DC's career would you have like to have been part of?

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.

How did the idea of the tribute concert come about?

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
I was to do it properly and sincerely it would have to be a real performance with a certain amount of history there. I told Simon that there would be 8 songs and that it would certainly be a part of AC/DC history that fans would want to hear. We decided to record it for any AC/DC fans worldwide that would want this moment of history in their collection.

What was your initial reaction to it?

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.

What were your favourite parts of the set and why?

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.

How come it is a relatively short set?

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.

How did you find out about the tribute band 'Thunderstruck'?

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 hands up.

Have it sold many copies so far?

A. I haven't received any numbers from Perris as yet.

How have the reviews been so far?

A. The reviews have been really very good - terrific. The reviewers also understand the significance of the cd as well.

Have any of the AC/DC members seen it or heard it? What was their reaction to it?

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.

Would say that 1988's 'That's the way I wanna rock 'n' roll' is a very similar riff to 'Rockin' in the Parlour'?

A. No comment.

What would your reaction be to working with AC/DC again alongside Brian Johnson? Could it happen one day?

A. Personally 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.

What are you currently up to?

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.

A big thank-you for that Dave!!