The True Story Of How AC/DC’s Angus Young Decided To Wear School Uniforms

It is without a doubt that AC/DC is one of the most iconic bands in rock n’ roll music history. The band was founded in 1973 in Sydney by the brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who remained in the band for 20 years despite several changes in the line-up throughout the band’s career. Now the current members of the band are Angus Young, Phil Rudd, Cliff Williams, Brian Johnson, and Stevie Young who replaced Malcolm Young after he died from early dementia.

Back in 1975, AC/DC released their first debut album ‘High Voltage.’ After the death of the lead singer Bon Scott from alcohol intoxication, the band thought about disbanding but then Brian Johnson joined the group as Scott’s replacement. ‘Back in Black,’ the band’s famous album was released in 1980 as a tribute to Scott and became one of the best-selling albums of all time later on. Then they released their eighth studio album titled ‘For Those About To Rock We Salute You’ in 1981 which became AC/DC’s first album topping the U.S. lists until the release of ‘Black Ice’ in 2008.

AC/DC has sold over 200 million records around the world, 75 million of which were in the U.S., which made the band the ninth-highest-selling artist in the U.S. and 16th best-selling artist worldwide. Their best-known album ‘Back in Black’ has also sold near 50 million copies internationally which made it the third highest-selling album by any artist or by any band. AC/DC was named by MTV as the seventh Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time and by producer Rick Rubin as ‘the greatest rock and roll band of all time.’

Angus Young, the band’s lead guitarist, co-founder, and the only constant member is mostly known for his eccentric stage performances, his unique style of Chuck Berry’s duckwalk, and his schoolboy uniform outfit. Wearing it in almost all of their live performances, Angus was identified with this school uniform outfit of his own.

Why Does Angus Young Wear A Schoolboy Uniform?

For decades, it is wondered why Angus has chosen to wear a schoolboy uniform on the stage since it might be the last thing to come up to one’s mind to be associated with a hard rock band. In fact, the schoolboy uniform was one of the many costumes he tried to wear for his performances.

Although most of the rock and metal bands go with classic black outfits, some of them wear unique outfits which later become identified with them. Like Slash’s top hat or KISS’ make-up, Angus Young was also identified with his schoolboy uniform. It is known that before his signature look, he tried on various outfits, including a gorilla suit, a Zorro mask, and a Superman costume. Later on, in 1974, his sister Margaret suggested that he might try dressing up as a schoolboy on the stage. He took that suggestion into consideration and wore the uniform during the band’s performance in 1974 at Victoria Park in Sydney for the first time.

Angus was nervous to put on the uniform though at that time, as he told Guitar World that:

“That was the most frightened I’ve ever been on stage, but thank God, I had no time to think. I just went straight out there. The crowd’s first reaction to the shorts and stuff was like a bunch of fish at feeding time – all mouths open. I had just one thing on my mind: I didn’t want to be a target for blokes throwing bottles. I thought if I stand still I’m a target. So I never stopped moving. I reckoned if I stood still I’d be dead.”

Although there are other theories about his outfit, such as Angus appearing at the group rehearsals without taking his school uniform out as he was still of a school-age back then when he formed the band, or him being influenced by his teachers’ words saying that he will not achieve anything if he continues focusing on music, taking his sister’s suggestion is considered a more prominent one.

As of 2021, Angus Young the schoolboy is the only constant member of the band AC/DC. After more than four decades, he still fits on a schoolboy outfit as seen in their gigs, although his uniform has evolved over time but remained the same.