Sometimes inspiration happens in the strangest of places. During Angus Young and Brian Johnson‘s recent chat with Apple Music, Young recalled coming up with the key lyric to AC/DC‘s 1979 classic, “Highway To Hell”: He says “I started playin’ the beginning — the intro — but I didn’t have anything to sing, and I said, ‘Okay, give me a few minutes.’ And I went to the toilet, and then I go, ‘I thi. . . I’ve got it! I’ve got it, I’ve got it!’ And then I came in and I said: ‘I’ve got it! ‘Highway To Hell’!”
Highway To Hell proved to be the final album to feature co-founding frontman Bon Scott, who died on February 19th, 1980 at age 33, after passing out and choking on his own vomit following a long night of drinking.
Angus Young spoke candidly on how he was able to personally deal with the loss of his friend and bandmate: “Yeah, it was like, it put you in shock. I don’t know what it is when you’re in your youth, you don’t think of dying. The one element of it that held it, probably, together for me is, again, Malcolm. He called me and he said, ‘What are you doin’? And I just said, ‘I’m mopin’ about it, Mal.’ And he said, ‘Listen — why don’t the two of do what we were doin’ before? Which is, we’d been in a rehearsal room; it’s strange that was one of the last places that we had seen Bon was in the rehearsal room. And he said, ‘Why don’t the two of us go back to that and just work on songs and ideas, and just sit and do that.”
- “Highway To Hell” was the opening track to AC/DC‘s 1979 album of the same name, and was written by Bon Scott, Angus Young, and Malcolm Young.
- Highway To Hell was released on July 27th, 1979 and peaked at Number 17 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
- It was the last album to feature Bon Scott, who following his death in 1980, was replaced by current frontman, Brian Johnson.
CHECK IT OUT: AC/DC in 1979 performing “Highway To Hell” live on German TV: