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AC/DC: The awesome exhibition

Friday, July 29, 2011
Kelly Landry ventured to the Western Australian Museum to see an exhibition dedicated to an Australian rock band formed in 1973, before she was born.

AC/DC was started by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, drummer Colin Burgess, bass player Larry Van Kriedt and vocalist Dave Evans in Sydney in 1973. The band's name was suggested by Malcolm's sister who saw it on a vacuum cleaner! They say their band was simply rock'n'roll, but others say is was hard rock and pioneered heavy metal.

In 1974 Angus wore his school uniform on stage for a bit of fun and it became a permanent thing, occasionally swapped for a gorilla suit, Zorro or a parody of Superman named Super-Ang.

AC/DC had several line-up changes before releasing their first album High Voltage with Bon Scott on lead vocals in 1975. In 1977 bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams for the album Powerage.

Within months of recording Highway to Hell, Scott died after a heavy night of alcohol consumption. His parents convinced AC/DC not to disband and Brian Johnson was recruited as Scott's replacement. Back in Black is still the second highest-selling album ever, beaten only by Michael Jackson's Thriller.

The band's success has been nothing short of staggering and they remain one of the highest-grossing bands of all time. Known to fans as Acca Dacca they are still going gangbusters and their music is as popular as it ever was.

Well, that's a short history of AC/DC and if you are one of the millions of fans, you must visit the Western Australian Museum and take in the Family Jewels exhibition.

With the official endorsement of the band, and in association with Albert Music and Sony Music, the exhibition brings to life the history, creativity and power of one of the world's greatest bands.

Their 18 original albums and 60 tours to every part of the world are highlighted. There are photographs, instruments, posters, programs, show tickets, letters and lyrics, personal memorabilia and costumes on display.

Much of the memorabilia is rare, including one of Angus Young's schoolboy outfits and the home-sewn Super-Ang costume, complete with gold and red satin cape. Scott's Highway to Hell sweatshirt and leather jacket are poignant reminders of him. There's a statue commemorating him in Fremantle, his home and burial place.

The exhibition has three hours of footage, video clips and interviews charting the history of the band. Fans love the iconic clip of them performing 'It's a Long Way to the Top' on the back of a flatbed truck driving down Melbourne's Swanston Street followed by thousands of screaming fans. There's footage from the memorable Monsters of Rock shows at Castle Donington in the UK. Monsters of Rock spread around the world and continued until 2008.

The famous 13 cannons firing in the For Those About to Rock tour is captured on screen and brings back a lot of noisy memories to devotees.

Kelly said the huge screen gave the feeling of being in the mosh pit of a live gig.

AC/DC popularity crosses generations and everyone wants to leave a message on the dedication wall at the exhibition.


The Western Australian Museum in Perth.


Admission to the AC/DC exhibition is free. It closes on August 7, 2011.

Virgin Australia has one-way flights to Perth:

  • Adelaide $205
  • Sydney and Melbourne $219
  • Brisbane $245

The fares are available for a limited time only so log on to for further details.

Prices correct at June 30, 2011.

For further information

Virgin Australia
Ph: 136 789

Western Australian Museum
James Street
Perth, WA 6000
Ph: (08) 9212 3700

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