Angus Young’s Radical Advice To Make Yes Less Boring
Public and press perceptions of bands vary, but AC/DC, in particular, was criticized in the late 1970s for not taking the band’s work seriously. Despite the criticism about their stage performance, Angus Young, the band’s guitarist, stated in the Classic Rock issue 115 that they took the band and their performances seriously, but not to the point where they didn’t enjoy it anymore.
The guitarist defended their on-purpose behavior on stage and shared that those ‘serious’ bands’ shows tend to be boring. He explained:
“I don’t know anybody who’s gone to see any of those serious bands who’ve enjoyed it. They may say it was great, that the music was good, but somewhere during that set, they were bored and were too scared to admit it.”
Young gave Yes as an example and shared what they had to do on stage to keep him interested and not walk out. He added:
“If I went to see somebody that was ‘musical,’ I’d yawn my head off. I’d end up walking out to the bar. Bands like Yes would be a bore to see unless they had some Sheila strippin’ off.”
The rocker also pointed out that the light show Yes put on during their live performances can’t keep the audience engaged for the whole set. Angus continued:
“Yes would probably come on with a fantastic light show. I’ve never seen them, but they probably use a light show to cover up that they’re bored and their music is boring, and they’re not making people jump!”
Angus went on to give a shout-out to Hawkwind, which were described as the radicals of the 70s rock, with their visual shows dressed in ‘kaftan and beads,’ and of course, the onstage nudity that got them in trouble with the authorities.
Angus shared that even though Hawkwind took an untraditional route with their on-stage presence, everyone took their efforts seriously. The rocker said:
“Well, even then, Hawkwind has done that! That shows you what they got to resort to, and yet people take them seriously.”
You can read Angus Young’s feature in Classic Rock 115 here.