Rock’n’Roll ain’t noise pollution: The first time I heard AC/DC

Jan 22, 2023
Source: Getty

Today I’m sitting and scrolling through Facebook when I came across an old video of AC/DC performing Thunderstruck.

The song sparks a fuzzy memory of when I was studying at home on a Saturday night in the ’70s. I’m not sure what the exact year was, but I do know it this was the first time I heard AC/DC, our great Australian export. 

Our family was about 4km from the town centre, and the band was playing either at the long-demolished Town Hall or was the feature band at the local ice skating rink. I remember these venues being very popular alcohol-free attractions for many hometown young people or young ones from surrounding suburbs. 

I could hear them playing their music from my bedroom, where I was writing an essay. Sometime in the evening, my father woke up from snoring in front of a limited Saturday night viewing playing on the television.

“What is that racket? Are they home yet?” he asked, but I didn’t reply. 

H was referring to my sisters, who were off on dates.

Dad then tells me it was time to go to sleep, and mum came to my bedroom shortly after to remind me that I couldn’t have our German Sheperd sleeping on my bed. 

It was the middle of winter and was raining hard, our dog lay curled up on my single bed where I had my electric blanket switched on. 

I  remember sighing and continuing to work on my essay. I could still hear AC/DC kept playing through the rain, it was new music then and they were very popular.

Eventually, my sisters came home, they were right on time. “Home in one piece, now I can go to sleep,” Dad had said upon their arrival, rising from his seat to lock the front door. 

I continued to write another page of my essay. AC/DC still playing, loud, but it sounded so good.

The next week, my sisters and I went to Brash’s to search for their records.

Yes, I still remember Brash’s music store. They used to sell cutting-edge vinyl records for fans of any age, my sisters and I could stand there for what seemed like hours. We always did our best to save up our money to buy a new platter. 

Brash’s was a musical wonderland. Do you remember trying to tape the top 10 off the radio? Classic. We always had to eliminate the disc jockey and the ads. Cassette tapes are another thing I still remember, how could you forget the necessary life skill was rewinding a tape meltdown, and twirling a pencil in the spool? 

Brash’s wasn’t the only music eutopia, there was another big music store in the city, Allan’s. I spent many a happy hour there browsing for sheet music, both classical and pop. Our high school chamber music group could, at lunchtime, launch into impromptu pop tunes, so our classmates could sing along. 

Guess we were a bit naïve then, but this little violin player did ask a male music store retailer for a G string! No one noticed then. Too fun. Are we too nostalgic for those days? 

I might just listen to an AC/DC concert on my phone. Why not? Rock’n’Roll ain’t noise pollution! Life is really only a short trip for each of us, we might as well enjoy the ride! 

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