AC/DC Plays a Short Gig at CBGB in 1977: Played on Punk’s Hallowed Grounds
Punk rock and heavy metal were two genres that evolved over the ‘70s, but seemed to run parallel to each other, despite sharing common fashion, sounds, and attitudes. But then there are moments in history, where everybody plays together in the same sandbox. For example, the above audio, which captures the Australian band AC/DC on their first American tour, playing New York’s CBGB, synonymous now with punk and new wave music.
The date is August 24, 1977, and AC/DC were on a cross-country trip that had taken in both club dates and arenas, where they supported—yes, hard to believe, I know—REO Speedwagon. Their album Let There Be Rock had just dropped in June. The band would be in the States until the winter.
This CBGB gig finds them on the same bill as Talking Heads and the Dead Boys, according to a poster from the time.
And while there’s no video for this show, there are plenty of tasty photos showing lead singer Bon Scott working the crowd and Angus Young—at the spritely age of 22—being carried through the crowd on the shoulders of Scott himself. You can feel the muggy New York summer in these photos, but also the excitement of an unforgettable gig.
At 15 minutes, the set is short, but still three minutes longer than the Ramones’ first set at the same club three years earlier. That’s pretty metal, man.