How old is Angus Young? Well, Angus Young is not exactly young, at 66 years old and going 67 in March of 2022. But he is definitely not feeling his age, as he still performs while donning his trademark schoolboy uniform.
He is known for his preppy schoolboy attire, his loyalty to his Gibson SG, and his energetic stage performances and funny antics like his impression of Chuck Berry’s classic duckwalk. He is included in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and is also a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Of course, we’re talking about the ferocious AC/DC guitarist, Angus Young.
Who is Angus Young?
Angus McKinnon Young is a major force in the formation of the famous Australian rock band AC/DC. It was formed in Sydney, Australia in 1973. He is the group’s co-founder, songwriter, and lead guitarist. Following the departure of some original members, Angus Young is the sole constant original member in the group.
The band that he co-founded with his brother gained massive popularity and achievements; in fact, even up to these times, the group is still actively touring!
Angus Young is a known teetotaler, heavy smoker, and staunch supporter of Rangers F.C.
He married Ellen van Lochem, a Dutch woman from Arnhem, in 1980.
So, How Old is Angus Young?
Let’s answer this question straight away—he is now 66 years old, going 67 on the 31st of March this year.
Yes, Angus Young is already old; the man has been plunking his guitar since the middle of the 70s with his band. That means it’s only a few more years before we can say he’s been rocking for half a century!
But how did his journey start?
Angus began his musical adventure in a guitar shop; he purchased a cheap second-hand acoustic. This cheap guitar would later be replaced when he bought a Gibson SG.
The year was 1970, and he knew this is the beginning of what would later become a lengthy music career. And so, with his trusty Gibson SG, he played and played it till the wood rotted from his sweat! If that is not passion and dedication, then we don’t know what is!
In 1973, after playing in various bands, he formed AC/DC with his brother, Malcolm. The phrase “AC/DC” appeared on the back of their sister Margaret’s sewing machine, which inspired the band’s name.
Young idolized music icons of his era like Little Richard and Keith Richards.
The band plays rock music, but Young’s primary influence is a genre that is a far cry from rock music’s blood-pumping beats and boisterous guitar wails. It was B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Chuck Berry’s languid blues and Louis Armstrong’s jazzy tune that inspired the young Angus.
He says, “Blues is a big part of rock and roll. The best rock and roll got its birth in the blues. You hear it in Little Richard and Chuck Berry.”
Angus said that they would always cover Chuck Berry during the band’s early years performing in small venues. He learned the blues licks in both the major and minor pentatonic twelve bar blues-type scale.
Power chords in the root and fifth position are common in AC/DC songs. The chords E minor, G, A, and the pentatonic scale in the first open position would be the center of a typical AC/DC riff.
The hammer-ons are crucial to Angus’ playing style, but the most significant component of his playing is his ability to express his power and energy.
Angus Young Greatest Hits
The heydays of AC/DC may be long gone, but fans will always remember Angus Young rocking and rolling it on stage.
You can just show a video of them performing on stage to anyone who is not really familiar with the group (even though they may have heard of Highway to Hell), and say that the one who radiates so much energy is Angus Young. That’s how easy it is to spot him.
That, and his trademark schoolboy regalia.
But Angus Young is also well-known for his iconic moments and routines, such as:
The Amp is on Fire
Angus’ guitar amplifier caught fire during a studio recording of Let There Be Rock in 1977. His brother Malcolm cajoled him to keep playing, and Angus did. The same incident happened once again while they were recording Rock or Bust. Thinking it was just a glow from a cigarette, Angus just kept playing. This was long thought to be fiction, but Angus confirmed it in a 2014 interview.
Walk Like a Duck…
More than an iconic moment, this one is more of a routine. Chuck Berry is one of Angus Young’s influences, and it’s easy to see that this influence extends beyond writing and playing. Angus would always perform the duckwalk during their performances, much to the delight of the crowd. Aside from the duckwalk, there is also another move he did a lot that never failed to cause an uproar.
…And Die Like a Bug
He tripped over a lead, dropped on the stage floor, and decided to make it look more like intentional than an accident; and so he reeled and kicked his legs, all the while playing his guitar as if a requiem to a Dying Bug. And that’s how this move was born.
This went on to become one of his signature moves on stage, never failing to rile up the crown.
Witness the Dying Bug at 3:40 here:
Follow Your Bliss (Final Thoughts)
To conclude this article, here’s a quote from Angus Young about going where his guitar leads him:
“Actually, because I’m so small, when I strike an open A chord I get physically thrown to the left, and when I play an open G chord I go right. That’s how hard I play, and that’s how a lot of my stage act has come about. I just go where the guitar takes me.”
Young may be old now, but it seems he’s far from putting his guitar away in its case for good.
It’s not him that is leading his guitar to where it should go; it’s his guitar taking him to where he should be! And so playing and touring he goes!
And that is following your bliss, regardless of whether you’re young or old.
Joyce Ann graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies at New Era University. She especially enjoyed her journalism class and was nominated for Photojournalist of the Year. Joyce Anne loves music; she is a self-taught piano player. When she's not writing (or baking or watching documentaries), she's probably playing songs on the piano, mostly by ear.