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The artist that Angus Young says makes his hair go up

Angus Young
Photo by Christie Goodwin


The artist that Angus Young says makes his hair go up

The legendary AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Angus Young is certainly one of the most influential of all time. Alongside his brother Malcolm, they were the heart and soul of the sound of the Australian Hard Rock band, being a fundamental element for their success, although, of course, members like Phil Rudd, Cliff Williams, Mark Evans, Bon Scott and Brian Johnson were also important.


AC/DC transformed Hard Rock music and showed that it could be fast, heavy and fun. They sound the same since they started back in 1973 and will never change their sound. But although fans might think that Angus likes to listen to Hard Rock music a lot, he actually loves older acts and he revealed once who is the artist that makes his hair go up when he hears the music.

The artist that Angus Young says makes his hair go up

That artist is the late legendary Little Richard, who really caused a revolution in not only Rock and Roll, but in music back in the 50s. Young praised him in an interview with VH1 in 2014, when he was asked which early Rock artist that he would tell every new Rock musician should listen to.

“I guess I’d just say if you want somebody looking for a Led Zeppelin type, plug in to Elvis Presley. A lot of the early Presley there’s a bit of Led Zeppelin you know? I mean, in Presley, you’re definitely hearing Robert Plant.”

“And in our case you could probably plug into something like Little Richard, ‘cause he always just went for it. He was just had power-packed vocals and power-packed songs. If I still hear those early Little Richard tracks, it’s like a hurricane. My hair goes up, you know?” Angus Young said.

Young said that you could play Little Richard during an earthquake and be happy

Little Richard was really one of the main artists that caused an impact in Angus when he was a kid. He not only likes the music but also gives him a good nostalgic feeling of his childhood. In 2020, the musician praised Richard in an interview with Forbes, when he was asked about music as something that helps to heal people.

“For me, when you said healing I was thinking back probably to there was a Little Richard live album. And I always remembered Little Richard, one of his little raps before the song. He’s going, ‘My music is the healing music. It makes the deaf hear, the deaf and dumb rise up and hear and talk.’ And he had the voice of gods you know. He had some great raps between songs.”

“Like when he would do, ‘You’ and the band would go, ‘Boom,’ ‘You, “Boom, ‘You, Boom. ‘Not you’ (they crack up). So he had all this great stuff. For me, Little Richard, I loved the energy. Still to this day if I want to hear rock and roll and that energy and songs that pack a punch it’s Little Richard.”

He continued:

“Even when he did that, years later, that thing for that movie, Down & Out In Beverly Hills. He did this great song, ‘Great Gosh, a’Mighty.’ One of my older brothers at the time said to me, he listened to radio and everything. He came in one day and he said to me, ‘Have you heard that track by Little Richard? It just takes you back.’ And he was so excited about hearing Little Richard again on the radio again. He always gave me that warm feeling. You could put Little Richard on in an earthquake and I’d be happy.”

Little Richard was 23 years older than Angus and started his career in 1947, eight years before the guitarist was born. By the time AC/DC was formed in 1973, Richard already was one of the biggest Rock and Roll artists of all time. He sadly passed away in 2020 at the age of 87.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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