The AC/DC Song In Which Angus Young Refers To Gladiator Games In Ancient Rome


It is a well-known fact in producing music that inspiration for a hit song can come from anywhere. Most songs released today and before have covered a handful of topics such as love, heartbreak, relationships, loss, or some social issues. Some iconic songs mostly came about what artists or bands were experiencing at the time. These pieces also turn into inspirational ones for the listeners by evoking impactful emotions.

Yet sometimes, musicians get odd inspirations for their songs, resulting in some exciting creations. Some songs shine out with their interesting lyrics or references to various subjects. There can be some obscure references that are hard to notice, while there can be obvious ones. In one of the AC/DC songs, Angus Young also surprised the listeners with the intriguing reference he made.

In Which Song Did Angus Young Used History As His Muse?


AC/DC first released ‘For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)‘ in their eponymous eighth studio album. Later in 1982, it also dropped as a single. The song appeared on AC/DC’s first soundtrack album, 1986’s ‘Who Made Who,’ for the film ‘Maximum Overdrive.’ The band recorded the song at EMI Pathe-Marconi Studios in Paris in 1981.

Besides its energetic and moving sound, the track also stood out with its surprising inspiration. Angus Young revealed in a previous interview that he was impressed by a book Bon Scott gave him about the gladiator games in ancient Rome. After reading the book, Young used an ancient salute used by Roman gladiators to the high rulers, ‘We who are about to die salute you,‘ as a reference.

Angus Young adapted this ancient phrase to ‘For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).’ The rocker said that the book that inspired him is titled ‘For Those About To Die We Salute You’ by Robert Graves, yet he didn’t have a book with that title. Young probably remembered it wrong at the moment. It is thought that it could be Daniel Mannix’s ‘Those About to Die,’ which became the basis for the famous movie ‘Gladiator.’

You can listen to the song below.