PART EIGHT OF “THE UNVEILING”
[Angus Number One…]
I know this blog is supposed to be all about Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC (at least until his untimely death in 1980). Bon was obviously a charismatic guy, well loved by all who knew him. During the last month, I’ve heard the following mantra many times: “As far as I’m concerned, when Bon died, AC/DC died with him”.
But it would be wrong to identify the band solely with Bon, the frontman, the showman, the ladies man, the man with the tight pants. For there is another, equally powerful element in the group, an element that lives on. That element is not a man at all. It’s a boy: Angus, the skinny-legged schoolboy guitar virtuoso. And although AC/DC hasn’t performed live since 2001, you can still catch Angus with his cap and tie and shorts and satchel on stage every single night of the week, performing simultaneously all around the world.
Angus plays in Ireland with AB/CD; in Austria with T.N.T.; in Japan with ANGUS; and even in Orange County, California, in the band OC/DC. There are hundreds of tribute bands scattered across the globe. No matter how nerdy, how chubby, how old, how downright normal the members of the rest of the band might appear, every tribute group must have a guitarist who dresses up as a schoolboy. They must all have their “Angus”.
At the Aussie Rock Celebration concert, Mish and I spotted three Anguses. The first (pictured above) was the most debauched. He was so manic that we struggled to get him to stand still for a photo, and he disappeared immediately afterwards without revealing his name.
[Mish, Angus aka Wombat, and me…]
Our second Angus was this energetic fellow by the name of “Wombat”. Sweat was pouring off his face when we spotted him at the bar, and he was glad to sit down for five minutes to chat.
By day, Wombat runs his own concreting business in Denmark, a small town on the beautiful southern coast of Western Australia. Wombat got his name, the story goes, because one time, years ago, he was caught having sex in the dunes at his local beach. I suppose his mates figured that sex in the dunes was something wombats do. At any rate, the name has stuck with him ever since.
Wombat was pleased to be the centre of attention for a few minutes. He’d gone to a lot of effort with his outfit, and was very proud of it. His cap had a hand-stitched “A” for Angus, and he carried a sky-blue electric guitar he’d fashioned from cardboard and sticky tape. “I gave it a plywood core to keep it nice and stiff!” he said.
Then he put down his stubby holder and leaned in to tell us another secret.
“You know how you put together an outfit like this?”
“How? How?” we asked, all ears…
“I’ll tell you how! The Salvo’s!” he exclaimed.
Wombat’s entire Angus-ification had cost him just three dollars.
It was time to get back to the music. Wombat was bouncing off the walls. As we dashed back to the showgrounds, he paused long enough to convince a cop to pose for a photo with him. Then in a pale blue flash he vanished.
There was just time to spot one final Angus. Like a UFO, this Angus hovered, blurry, high above us on a distant balcony.