An Interview with Dave Evans of ACϟDC

2 0
Read Time:33 Minute, 36 Second
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is thumbnail_Image-1.jpg

Before evolving into a monstrous worldwide phenomenon, Australia-based rock act ACϟDC honed its chops in various Sydney clubs in the early 1970s.

In those clubs, ACϟDC adopted its signature image and forged an identity that would ultimately catapult the band to iconic status in subsequent years.

But, aside from the Young brothers, others had a hand in establishing said foundation. For example, few acknowledge the other three founding members: bassist Larry Van Kriedt, drummer Colin Burgess, and singer Dave Evans. While the impact of Van Kriedt and Burgess was relatively minimal during their respective tenures, Evans provided a creative element.

Though his stay with ACϟDC lasted just shy of a year, Evans managed to record the single, “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl/Rockin’ in the Parlour,” which was well received and also included a promotional video for the demo. Due to his songwriting prowess, the Carmarthen, Wales native also teamed with the late Malcolm Young to formulate early workings of songs before his departure in 1974.

As the story goes, ACϟDC’s rock ‘n’ roll train fueled on with vocalist Bon Scott in Sept. 1974, but Evans returned to the spotlight with glam rock band Rabbit merely months later. With Evans on vocals, Rabbit recorded two albums, Rabbit (1975) and Too Much Rock ‘N’ Roll (1976).

In the 47 years since his departure from ACϟDC, Evans has endured a winding musical journey. He may never elude the ACϟDC label, but these days, he’s thrilled doing things his way, touring the world, producing new music, and making his mark as a solo artist.

I recently sat down with the ACϟDC co-founder to discuss his journey in a career-spanning interview.

Andrew:
Dave, I greatly appreciate you taking the time. To start, tell us about your backstory. What was your earliest introduction to music?

Dave:
Well, I’ve always loved music. I was born in Wales, originally, and the family moved to Australia when I was a little boy. Of course, everyone knows that everyone sings in Wales. My father was on stage when I was a kid. He was singing, not my kind of music, but a different type of music. And opera, too; he loved opera, so I got to listen to opera as a boy. And I was in all the school concerts as well, so music’s always been a part of my life. It’s been a part of my family’s life. And different types of music, from opera to other kinds of music. Music’s just been a way of life for me. We didn’t have television until I was fifteen, so we had music at home, poetry, reading, and stuff like that. It’s not like I wanted to be a Rock star or any of that bullshit; I was always involved in writing songs and singing since I was a little boy, and my father was on stage when I was a kid.

Andrew:
Who were some of your most prominent musical influences?

Dave:
I mean, in the early days, I used to sing to all sorts of things, from Johnny Horton to Harry Bellefonte. I was only a little boy; my father used to like all that kind of music. And opera; [Beniamino] Gigli and Jussi Bjorling; all the great tenors. So, I had quite a range of music that I loved. But when I got into my own music, of course, it happened when The Beatles broke the whole world. That changed everybody. Then it was The Rolling Stones and The Kinks; the British sound happened when I was a kid and still in school. That’s what happened to me, and the whole world, but I was always singing other artists and things before Pop music.

Andrew:
You landed in your first band as a teenager and it seemed you were poised for a breakthrough, so what prompted the uproot to Sydney?

Dave:
Yeah, in a small country town in Queensland; a one-horse town called Charters Towers. Didn’t even have any streetlights; it was just a very small, country place. My first band was there, and then I moved myself to Sydney to make it to the big time. I didn’t know anybody in Sydney, but any adventure, you just gotta be brave and go.

Andrew:
After establishing a name for yourself in Sydney, you ultimately became a founding member of ACϟDC. How did you and Malcolm end up on each other’s radar?

Dave:
I joined a band called Velvet Underground. That was one of the top bands in Sydney at the time; everybody knew Velvet Underground. They were looking for a singer, and I happened to audition for them and get the gig. They talked about a former member who had only just left, a guitarist called Malcolm Young, who was the young brother of the famous George Young of The Easybeats. [The Easybeats] were a huge band around the world; I used to buy their records when I was a kid in school. I didn’t take too much notice of it because he wasn’t around, but they would talk about Malcolm at times. Then finally, we broke up, Velvet Underground, and I answered an ad in the local Sydney Morning Herald for a rock singer into The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, and Free.

When the fellow at the other end of the phone answered, it was Malcolm, and he asked me who I was; I said, “Dave Evans.” He said, “Oh, with Velvet Underground?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Oh, great. Come around and jam with us.” He had two other guys, and he said, “There’s three of us. We just want a singer to form a band.” So, I went around that afternoon and jammed with him, Colin Burgess on drums — he’d been with The Master’s Apprentices, which was a huge band – and a bass player called Larry Van Kriedt. So, the four of us jammed most of the stuff that I was doing with Velvet Underground, and Malcolm knew the stuff, too. And after we jammed, Malcolm just said to the other boys, “Well, I’m happy with Dave if you guys are.” They were, and he said, “Well, do you want to join?” I said, “Yeah. I’m happy with you guys.” So, we shook hands, and we had a band.

But a couple of weeks later, Malcolm asked if his younger brother Angus could audition for us. He had a band already called Kantukee, but they’d broken up. So, he asked if Angus could come along and audition, and we said, “Yeah, sure.” He auditioned for us, and he joined. So, there were the five original members of ACϟDC. We had a settled lineup for the band.

Andrew:
Angus has become an undisputed icon, heralded among the most revered guitarists in rock history. What were your early impressions of Malcolm’s younger brother?

Dave:
Look, Malcolm was the better player ‘cause he was the older brother. Malcolm was about 21; Angus was 19 at the time. He wasn’t 16; that was a fallacy put out so that people would think he was still in school, with the homemade schoolboy outfit. But Malcolm was a bit older, and he was a better player at the time. Malcolm was a better rhythm player; he was a strong rhythm player. When we first started, they both used to play lead. Angus wasn’t the lead guitarist; he was one of the guitarists. In fact, the first record that I recorded with them, “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl/Rockin’ in the Parlour,” you got Angus playing lead guitar on “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl.” But on the B-side of the single, you got Malcolm playing the lead on “Rockin’ in the Parlour.” We were on tour when Malcolm announced to us that he was going to stick with the rhythm because he was better at it than Angus. And of course, Malcolm was writing the songs anyway at the time. He said that Angus was going be the show pony, as it were, and do all the leads. That was Malcolm’s decision.

Andrew:
How did the band gel musically? Did your visions align?

Dave:
It was fantastic; we all liked the same music. We were all into the British sound and Colin was already famous. And Malcolm and Angus, their older brother, George, he was already famous as well. And I’d grown up with music myself. So, we already had an attitude about all this stuff. There was no problem, whatsoever. We were all full of energy and we were positive; we were all gonna make it big. We weren’t trying to make it in Australia; we were going to make it in the world from the very beginning. We weren’t just like every other band that was starting at the time; we already had big ideas. We knew what we wanted straight away.

Andrew:
Much like a vast majority of bands at that time, I presume ACϟDC’s early setlist was mostly comprised of cover songs. What were some of the bands you covered?

Dave:
Yeah, we did. We had to do a lot of cover songs, but we had a couple of originals from the get-go; Malcolm had already had a couple of original songs that we learned and put into the set. Then, we were writing new ones as we were going along. But we did a lot of covers. We did a lot of Chuck Berry – as a lot of bands did – The Beatles did the same thing; The Rolling Stones did the same thing as well. So, we did a lot of Chuck Berry, we did Free – and I did a lot of Free when I was in Velvet Underground and so did Malcolm – and we did a lot of Rod Stewart. So, we did those kinds of covers, but we did them sort of our way. We were writing original stuff as well because that’s what we wanted to do. All the bands wanted to be original in those days, and record labels were signing original bands back in those days; most bands were originals. So, we were on the track to getting a whole repertoire of original songs. But, yeah, we started doing some covers in the early days.

Andrew:
ACϟDC was largely composed of established players from the start. How instantaneous was the following?

Dave:
Well, they loved us straight away because we were known. You gotta remember, Malcolm was already known from Velvet Underground and I was known from Velvet Underground, too. And Colin was famous; everyone knew Colin Burgess. Larry wasn’t so well known.

But our first gig was New Year’s Eve in 1973, going through to 1974. Our first gig was at Chequers Nightclub. Chequers Nightclub was the No. 1 nightspot in Australia, let alone Sydney. It went back to the ‘50s; people like Shirley Bassey and all the great stars played there. It was only a small club, but it was a really famous club — and this was New Year’s Eve. We got that spot as our first-ever show. It was the most prestigious gig in Australia — to be doing New Year’s Eve — going through midnight and counting in the new year. That was our first show because people were excited about us to start with; because of Colin Burgess in the band; because of the Young brothers, Malcolm and Angus, the younger brothers of George. There was a buzz already for our first show and we got that gig. I was so excited. It was an amazing show and I’ll never forget it. How can I? We started off with a bang.

Andrew:
Earlier you mentioned the band cutting its teeth playing cover songs, but you also acknowledged a handful of original songs in the rotation. What were some of those songs, if you can remember?

Dave:
There’s one song called “The Old Bay Road,” which was a great song. They never, ever recorded it. Even after I split from the band, I never did end up recording that song. But we did it every night and it was a great song. There’s one or two others; I really can’t remember some of them. The very first gig, I wrote a song called “Sunset Strip” – on the spot. We didn’t have enough songs, so Malcolm said, “Just make something up.” So, I just introduced “Sunset Strip” and Malcolm just started a 12-bar rocker. We kept it in the set for the whole time that I was with the band. But after I split, they never recorded it.

After all these years, I ended up recording it about three years ago in Norway on a CD that I did; I just rejigged it a bit and recorded it. And the year before last, I was actually at Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles; the Sunset Strip, of course. And I performed that song, “Sunset Strip,” finally, on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. I told the crowd the history of the song before I did it, that I did it the first-night ACϟDC ever played. I made it up. And finally, here I was, on the Sunset Strip, performing it live. The crowd just went nuts.

Andrew:
What songs did you bring to the band? Were any of your songs included or reconfigured on High Voltage?

Dave:
“Sunset Strip,” we did. When they recorded High Voltage, they kept that arrangement, but Bon Scott changed the lyrics and it became “Show Business.” So, “Show Business,” the arrangement of the music was the music that we played to the original “Sunset Strip.” They changed it. And there’s another song I wrote with them called “Fell in Love,” which we used to perform. Bon Scott changed the lyrics to that one and it became “Love Song.” So, [Bon] changed the lyrics to two of my songs and recorded them. Those two were my songs, originally, with Malcolm; I wrote them with Malcolm.

But we already had songs there for our first album. Of course, we had “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl/Rockin’ In The Parlour.” Also, “Rock and Roll Singer;” I recorded that for the first album. “Soul Stripper” was already recorded for the first album, and “Little Lover.” So, we had five songs already recorded for the first album and were about to do “Baby, Please Don’t Go,” which I used to do with the band. I had five songs already done for the first album and about four ready to go, too. But when Bon Scott joined the band, he used to hang around us, he got his chance and they re-recorded most of the stuff that I did. And he re-wrote the songs as well, so I was a bit pissed off about that. But, that’s life.

We had a big hit record, “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl.” It was voted the Best Australian Group Record of the Year, which wasn’t bad for a very first record for a young band. So, I’m very proud of that, too.

Andrew:
The video for “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl is still floating around the internet.

Dave:
Yeah, yeah. And what’s really cool about that, when we did the video, Australia didn’t have color T.V. in those days; we only had black and white television. But Albert’s, the record label, and George Young, who was our producer, they had the foresight to record it in color. Now, they recorded it in color, but we never saw it in color because they only had black and white television. It wasn’t until many years later that Australia finally got color T.V. and it appeared on one of the shows in color. But they did have the foresight, which is brilliant, to video us in color.

Andrew:
Larry and Colin are also founding members, yet rarely included in the annals of ACϟDC’s history. What caliber of players were they, and what led to their respective departures?

Dave:
Colin was a great player. I mean, he had to be; he was already world-famous. He was a great, solid player. There were no problems with his playing. Larry, I don’t think he was the best bass player on the planet, but I wasn’t so attuned to his playing at that time. He was solid, but he wasn’t good enough because George Young when he was producing us, I don’t think George was so happy with Larry’s playing. With all respect to Larry, he’s one of the founding members of the band and he’s a very lovely guy, but that’s just the sad truth about that.

Colin was a Rock star and I think Malcolm and Angus were a bit jealous of Colin. Wherever we went, Colin was surrounded by women all over the place because he was a genuine Rock star. And that used to get under the skin of Malcolm and Angus. I liked it; I thought it was great. Something to look forward to for myself. [Laughs]. So, there was a bit of a rankle there about Colin being such a Rock star; it was just one of those things. It didn’t affect me, because I was happy. I like Colin; he was a great guy. Still is.

But the band itself, we killed it everywhere we went. Just absolutely smashed it. From the very first gig we did at Chequers Night Club, they went nuts. The band had energy. We changed into the British look after about four or five months together. The record was just about to come out and the record label and George Young wanted us to look modern, like the British bands at the time, ‘cause we were wearing just jeans and shirts. And he said, “Now, we want you to look like the British Invasion look.” Part Slade, Rod Stewart, Alvin Stardust, T-Rex, and all those bands; he wanted us to look like that.

And he wanted Angus to wear a schoolboy outfit ‘cause they’re very tiny guys, Malcolm and Angus, and just say that Angus was 16 so that all the kids would relate to him. So, I looked at Slade and got some platform boots made and jackets like Rod Stewart. We looked very, very colorful and we had a big show to do. Angus had his new schoolboy outfit, Malcolm had a jumpsuit with blue boots, we walked out on stage and fans were out there waiting for us. The whole crowd went crazy before we even played a note. Angus, for the first time, he went up and down the stage with that outfit on; before, we would just stand there virtually and play. But I won’t forget seeing Angus going up and down that big stage. I thought, “Wow, that uniform has really done something to his character.” That was the beginning of Angus doing his great stage act. He wasn’t just Angus Young on stage; he was the schoolboy on stage.

Andrew:
ACϟDC went through several drummers during your time with the band before settling on Phil Rudd. Was there a specific quality they were searching for?

Dave:
We had three drummers before Phil Rudd. We had three drummers, three bass players, three managers; it was a pretty volatile situation. After Colin, we got another drummer, Noel Taylor. He played with us for a while, but we weren’t that satisfied with him. Then we got another one after that, Peter Clack, and three bass players. We went through some musicians. We were trying to get a drummer to really play straight; really straight. We wanted a drummer to play like Simon Kirke from Free and Bad Company. Simon Kirke, when we saw him play, he had one hanging Tom and two side fills; that’s it. And he got that incredible drum sound on the records! So, drummers threw away half their drum kit overnight when they saw Simon Kirke playing. We were trying to get a guy to play like Simon Kirke, and, of course, drummers didn’t wanna give up their drum kit. So, it was difficult to get a guy to play exactly how we wanted; that’s why we went through three drummers while I was in the band, trying to get the right sound after Colin. Malcolm wanted that sound, too; to get that solid, straight drum sound. And it was difficult to get drummers to play like that because they wanted to show off how good they were. It was like, “It’s not how good you are, pal. It’s what the music needs.

Andrew:
Phil Rudd joined the band in ‘75. You would have been gone by then, but were you around during the initial conversations or audition process?

Dave:
No. After our third drummer, that’s when I split from the band. [Peter Clack; drums, Rob Bailey; bass] stayed for a little bit longer, then they were gone, too. And Phil Rudd sort of came after that.

But in the meantime, what happened was, when they were doing the first album [High Voltage], they were still trying to get this straight drum sound and they couldn’t get it. Peter just couldn’t get that sound that Malcolm wanted. They were trying to record the album and they couldn’t get that sound from Peter. So, they were at the studio and there was another band playing there. They saw this other drummer, Tony Currenti, who was playing pretty straight, and they asked him to come in and play some songs; which he did; he did session work for them that night. When Peter Clack went home, they got Tony to play, and he played exactly what Malcolm wanted. So, they ended up using [Tony] on the first album as a session player. Tony ended up doing the first album exactly how Malcolm wanted. He was a session player, so there was no ego for him; he just played what he was told to play. And he got that drum sound on the first album that everybody knows. When Phil Rudd joined the band, he already had that album, so he knew what to play because Tony had already put the drums down. I have nothing against Phil Rudd – I’ve never met him – but Tony Currenti was the guy that put the drum sound down. He just copied what Malcolm wanted. And then when Phil Rudd joined the band, he copied what Tony did.

Andrew:
There have been various recounts of what provoked your departure from ACϟDC, but I’d like to hear it from your perspective.

Dave:
Well, the main thing was doing all the shows we were doing – the top shows in Australia, including the famous Sydney Opera House and Festival Hall (Melbourne) – and sometimes we were doing three shows a day; early, midday, and late. We had our third manager at the time, and we were not getting paid. We were all bitching about it because we were working our asses off, and where was the money? We were famous, great, but what are we gonna eat? How are we gonna pay our car payments off back in Sydney? How am I gonna pay the rent back in Sydney? I’m gonna lose money. So, that was the main problem.

One night, we had a night off; I was in Adelaide. We had a top-5 hit record — it was top-5 on the charts — and we were doing the big shows there in Adelaide. And still, no money. We had a night off, and I confronted the manager over this for all of us; not just for me. He smart-mouthed me and I stuck into him, and it was pulled apart pretty quickly; I didn’t really hurt the guy. But that was it. I said, “I want this resolved. I’m not leaving Sydney – I’m not doing all these shows, personally – unless I get paid something.”

So, anyway, at the end of the tour, we had a meeting. They’d already talked and the manager was already pissed off. In the meantime, he’d spoken to Bon Scott to try to get him into the band because of what happened with me with him. My problem was not resolved, so I wasn’t going to stay. And so, I split with the band because of that. That was the main reason.

Andrew:
Now, did they bring Bon on board right away, or were other candidates considered?

Dave:
They sort of had a jam with Bon. I knew that they had a jam. Bon was hanging around with us; he loved us; he was a big fan of the band. I just went back to Sydney. I didn’t know who they were gonna get, and I did not know until they had a show a couple of months later in Sydney. I just went along to see who the singer was, and lo and behold, there’s Bon Scott. It was such a shock to see Bon because he’s a lot older than us; he was 29 years old. When you’re like 22, 29 is ancient. But he did a great job as we all know. They changed their image; they relocated to Melbourne; started fresh with him and did very, very well until his untimely death. So, he got his chance. Good on him.

Andrew:
Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, but do you feel the band would have achieved similar heights with you as the singer?

Dave:
Well, we were doing great already. We had one record out and it was known as the Best Australian Group Record of the Year; can’t do much better than that. It was our first record, ever. We were already a top band in Australia, with the biggest crowds; the biggest shows. So, we were on our way, so who knows how far we would have gone. But we’d already gone as far as we possibly could as a young band in our first year. I didn’t get on with the manager, and I’m not sorry what happened. Of course not. I don’t take shit from people, man. That’s why I’m still going, now. I didn’t need ACϟDC. That’s why I’m still recording, I’m still touring the world, I’m still badass and I don’t give a shit.

Andrew:
What direction would it have gone from a musical standpoint?

Dave:
Well, it depends. They were writing most of the songs, so they were in control of all that stuff. Malcolm was writing the riffs, as he did with all the different singers. The band would have gone in the direction that Malcolm and older brother George Young would have put in the band; Hard, Rock ‘N’ Roll band. It would have gone in the same direction as what we were doing. You gotta remember, I’d already recorded “Rock and Roll Singer,” Soul Stripper, “Little Lover.” I’d already recorded those songs. So, I was already there in that same direction.

Andrew:
Do you ever harbor any regrets about how everything played out?

Dave:
Well, how can I? I’ve had a fantastic life, man. Lots of different bands; lots of albums out; touring all over the world; recording with bands all over the world, too. And I’ve had a badass time doing it my way and not having to kowtow to people telling me how to do this; can’t do this. I do it my way – the Dave Evans way. I proved to the world I didn’t need ACϟDC.

Andrew:
Once AC/DC achieved mainstream success, did you ever find yourself subconsciously monitoring the band’s trajectory?

Dave:
I didn’t monitor it, no. But it was in the news, like everything else. You see what people are doing from the news. But they knew what I was doing, too, don’t worry about that. I didn’t sing it for a long time, but “Rock N’ Roll or Bust” was on a record of mine from 2004; it’s an unusual title. “Rock N’ Roll or Bust” is a great song I used to do, so I sort of got a bit of a kick when, years later, they come out with Rock or Bust. So, it’s like, who’s monitoring who here? [Laughs].

Andrew:
Have you maintained an active line of communication with any of your former ACϟDC bandmates?

Dave:
Yeah, I did for a while. I bumped into them a few times when I was in Sydney. Neil Smith, he was a nice guy, he’s dead now; he died a few years ago. [I’ve bumped into] Noel Taylor, as well. Colin Burgess, I spoke to him eight years ago. We don’t actively do that. Tony Currenti, who did the session work on the first album and laid down the foundation on the drum sound, I saw Tony in Sicily when I was touring Sicily. He’s from Sicily originally and he happened to be there on holiday to see his momma while I was touring. So, I had Tony come and play drums as a special guest for a couple of my shows, which was really cool.

Andrew:
Any contact with Angus or Malcolm over the years?

Dave:
No, not really. I haven’t seen those boys, personally, since the 70s, when they were still in Australia and I was still in Australia as well. But Malcolm’s son, Ross, is special to me. He calls me Uncle Dave; he loves my music; he loves being a badass. He’s one of my badasses now. He told me, on many occasions, believe it or not, his favorite ACϟDC song is “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl.” That really got me. Incredible. So, I keep in contact with Ross. He’s a lovely, lovely boy.

Andrew:
You landed on your feet fairly quickly after splitting with ACϟDC, joining the Glam Rock band Rabbit in late 1974. What led to this opportunity?

Dave:
I’d seen Rabbit once or twice in Chequers Night Club. They were from Newcastle; good band. They were called A Rabbit at the time. The singer was a very good communicator with the people and the band was just great, but they didn’t have a record contract. So, after the ACϟDC split, one of my good friends, Ted Murray – who was a big star in Australia – knew the guys from Rabbit. He said, “Dave, are you looking for a band?” I was in Chequers one night on a night off, as he was, and I said, “Yeah, if it’s good.” They said, “Do you know A Rabbit?” I said, “Yeah, I do. They’re a damn good band.” He said, “Well, they’re looking for a new singer. The other guy is leaving.” I said, “Okay,” got the details from him, and I got a friend to call them. They said they’re interested in me as a singer, so I called them myself. They came down to Sydney from Newcastle and we had a chat. Going to Newcastle was a step back in a sense because Sydney was the scene. Newcastle was the second biggest city in New South Wales. Great town; great city. I thought, “Sometimes you gotta take a step backward to take three forward.” And I liked the band, so I decided to join them.

So, I moved to Newcastle and I started playing with the guys. Amazing band. It wasn’t long, it was only six months, maybe, and they already had a lot of original material. So, their manager at the time submitted, to CBS Records, A Rabbit as a band to be recorded. CBS Records knew of me from ACϟDC, of course, and had a listen to the stuff. And, low and behold, CBS Records said, “Yes, we’ll sign. But we don’t want A Rabbit; we want Rabbit.” So, we went, “Okay, cool.” I didn’t care about the “A Rabbit.” So, we signed with CBS Records as Rabbit and did two albums. Those guys are still great friends of mine to this day. Mark Tinson, who was one of the major songwriters with Rabbit, he produced two of my solo albums; my Judgment Day album and my Sinner album. He produced both of those and wrote most of the songs with me or by himself. We kept our successful relationship going. And the other boys are still friends of mine, too. In fact, David Hinds, who was on our second Rabbit album, he played lead guitar on a lot of tracks on the Sinner album. So, I’ve kept the connection with the Rabbit boys over the years.

Andrew:
Other than 1986’s Dave Evans and Thunder Down Under, you remained musically inactive until 2000. With the 90s being such a volatile era of music, how did you ride out the decade?

Dave:
Uh, the 90s, for me, was a non-decade of music. It was the Grunge era, as it were. For me, it was just rubbish music; cut your wrist crap. To me, there was nothing going on. Grunge was just absolute garbage as far as I’m concerned. A lot of us from my generation hated that horrible, ugly look. So, in the 90s, I didn’t really do much with music because Grunge was going around and I wasn’t gonna look as ugly as possible just to sit there.

So, I got into advertising. I had different magazines and I designed ads for the top corporate businesses in Australia; including the government as well. It was fantastic because I learned about marketing; I learned about advertising. Made a lot of money, too, at that time. So, when I got back into music when the Grunge thing was over in the early 2000s, I used the skills that I learned — marketing other people’s products — to market myself. Then I became my own manager and it’s been fantastic ever since; I haven’t stopped recording and traveling the world ever since that. So, the 90s weren’t fruitless for me; it was educational. I was the No. 1 advertising executive in the companies I worked for; I learned really quickly. So, I just applied all those skills to myself as the product. I’ve had an amazing last 20 years.

Andrew:
As it turned out, your comeback was ultimately sparked by a recording of a Bon Scott tribute performance in Melbourne, which became the album known as Hell Of A Night! Tell us more about how they materialized.

Dave:
Yeah. It was the 20th anniversary of his death; 1980 I think it was. I was living in Sydney at the time, and some boys I knew from Melbourne, they had an ACϟDC tribute band; there wasn’t a lot of them around back in those days. But one of those guys used to be in a band with me, so he called me. He said, “Dave, it’s coming up on 20 years since Bon Scott died and we’re doing a special show for Bon to remember him. Wondering if you’d come down and do a couple songs?” And I didn’t know Bon Scott – I told you he used to hang around with us. He was a fan of the band and I met him a couple times afterward. I thought, “Okay, cool. He’s a Rock ‘N’ Roll soldier like all of us. Just bad luck what happened to him.” I said, “Yeah, okay. But if I come down, I’m not gonna do one or two songs. I’ll do a proper set.” I said, “And also if I do this, it’s going to be incredible because it’s a one-off thing.” No one else in the world was doing anything. Nobody else in the world was doing anything for him on the 20th anniversary. It was just a one-off in a pub; which is where we all started. So, I said, “If I do it, you’re gonna record it. I want it recorded for the fans that would like it because this is a very special event, and I want the best live recording.” So, I flew down to Melbourne and did the Remembering Bon Scott. It was an incredible night; it was packed. Masses of people could not get in. It was so hot; they didn’t have air conditioning and it was over 100 degrees. In fact, after the show, I was sick for three days in bed from dehydration. While I was recuperating from this show, I was thinking, “What a hell of a night that was,” because it was so hot. And I went, “That’s the title right there! Hell of a Night.” So, it was released, and anyone who’s ever heard it, they just love it. It’s an incredible part of Rock history, let alone ACϟDC history.

Andrew:
What inspired you to pursue a solo career, Dave?

Dave:
So I don’t have to put up with anybody telling me what to do! [Laughs]. That was the reason; I just wanted complete autonomy of the situation. If things get done, you don’t have to ask anybody’s permission to do anything. And you live and die by your own sword. If it works, it’s fantastic. If it doesn’t, well, bad luck; you’ve only got yourself to blame. So, I just backed myself, as I’ve always done all my life with whatever I’ve done, and it’s been fantastic ever since.

Andrew:
Since returning to the spotlight, you’ve shown no signs of slowing down, continuously churning out new music, and touring the world. Looking back, what has this journey been like for you?

Dave:
It’s been amazing. I’m the king of all badasses; ask Texas, they’ll tell ya. Look, wherever I go, I get full houses; you gotta remember, I’m the original ACϟDC guy.  They call me the king of all badasses in Texas; they should know, Texas has got its share of badasses over the years. I don’t take any shit from anyone, and anyone who knows me knows that. [Fans] come with the energy – the P.E.D.C. – which is my own power, energy, dynamics, and conviction. That’s what my music is all about. I’ve got my badasses all over the world; my American badasses; my Brazilian badasses; my Australian badasses; Finnish badasses; English badasses. Wherever they are, they’re my boys all over the world. They learn my music, and I fly all over the planet. And we just rock the place to bits and take no prisoners and don’t give a shit.

Andrew:
I appreciate you being so gracious with your time, Dave. Before we sign off, tell us what’s next on your docket.

Dave:
I’ve had two albums released this year already. I’ve got a DVD already released, as well. I’ve just recorded a new single only last week. So, I’m pretty busy. I’ve got all new products coming out all over the place and I’m touring in Mexico. I just work; I do gigs. I’m not frightened of any damn thing. So, yeah, I’m working flat-out and I’m recording. And the new record is coming out.

Interested in learning more about Dave Evans and the early origins of ACϟDC? Check out the link below:

Dig this article? Check out the full archives of Shredful Compositions, by Andrew DiCecco, here: https://vinylwritermusic.com/shredful-compositions-archives/

About Post Author

Andrew DiCecco

Predominantly known for his NFL coverage, Andrew DiCecco is a Pennsylvania-based journalist with a profound passion for Rock music and its illustrious history. What initially began as a childhood hobby collecting CDs eventually evolved into a full-blown absorption into the world of Rock and Roll. An aspiring rock historian, Andrew seeks out every autobiography and documentary on Rock artists imaginable to further his knowledge to go along with a growing collection of vintage albums and magazines. Andrew’s musical preferences include, but are not limited to, Def Leppard, Van Halen, AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Foreigner, and Journey. An innate appreciation for guitar heroes, Andrew cites Vito Bratta, Eddie Van Halen, John Sykes, George Lynch, Dave Meniketti, and Neal Schon as some of his personal favorite players. Andrew is also a regular listener to SiriusXM’s <i>Trunk Nation</i> with Eddie Trunk, his primary source of inspiration.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Social profiles
%d bloggers like this: