Former AC/DC Drummer Recalls Angus Young’s Advice Before His First Gig


During a recent conversation with VWMusic, former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright looked back on his tenure with the band. The musician also remembered his first show with AC/DC and how lead guitarist Angus Young prepared him for their signature loud performances.

Drummer Phil Rudd’s friendship with the band leader Malcolm Young deteriorated due to his substance addiction. Their relationship got so worse that they got into a physical fight that led to Rudd’s discharge halfway through the ‘Flick of the Switch’ sessions.

AC/DC then started looking for drummers via an ad in a magazine where they penned, ‘Rock Drummer Wanted. If you don’t hit hard, don’t apply.’ Following their ad, the band held over 700 auditions both in the US and UK including with Simon Wright who played three songs at the audition.

Eventually, the band decided to work with Wright and he joined AC/DC in the summer of 1983 as their drummer. The band recorded three albums with him, ‘Fly on the Wall,’ ‘Who Made Who,’ and ‘Blow Up Your Video.’ The young drummer left the band in November 1989 to join another successful band, Dio.

During a recent interview, Simon Wright was asked about his first live performance with AC/DC which was in a place called The Saddledome in Canada according to him. The drummer recalled being pretty nervous for his first show whereas it was just another usual day for the band members.

In addition to this, Wright remembered the advice Angus Young gave him just before they took the stage. Apparently, the guitarist warned the young drummer about their incredibly loud performance which is something AC/DC is known for. Of course, Young wasn’t wrong but Wright was quick to adapt as their show went pretty well if you ask him.

About his first gig with AC/DC, Wright stated:

“I believe it was Calgary, in Canada, a place called The Saddledome, and it was just business as usual. I mean, we traveled obviously, but they’re like a family or a gang, and there’s no crazy stuff going on. I was obviously a little bit nervous, but they were just like, ‘Let’s get this done so we can have some beer and stuff.’

I do remember standing there waiting to go on, and Angus Young said, ‘When the lights go down, it’s going to get really loud,’ and he wasn’t wrong. I mean, you just get down to it and get working, and playing. We hit all our marks and stuff because they were great at gigging anyway. We didn’t have any hitches or anything. It went really well.”

Simon Wright was only 20 years old when he joined AC/DC which sounds impressive considering how he was chosen among dozens of other successful drummers. While his tenure with the band didn’t last necessarily long, he had a pretty good run with one of the greatest bands in the history of rock music.