Watch AC/DC Backstage Delight: Rare 1983 Footage with Hell’s Bells and Unexpected Trombone
via Scott Young / YouTube
A gem from the past has surfaced online – a rare glimpse of AC/DC backstage during their 1983 Flick Of The Switch tour. In this one-and-a-half-minute clip, the band can be seen getting ready for their performance. Angus and Malcolm Young are captured playing the iconic intro to the timeless Back In Black classic, “Hell’s Bells”.
The video was shared on the YouTube account of Scott Young (apparently no relation), which features various AC/DC clips spanning years, including interviews with former bassist Mark Evans from 2016.
Unfortunately, the specific details about this clip are limited. It’s known to be from the year 1983, but its exact date and location are not specified. Some speculate it might be from the band’s shows at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on November 17 or 18, which were filmed for broadcast on MTV.
Regardless of the specifics, this footage offers a fascinating snapshot of history. Drummer Simon Wright can be seen casually sipping a beer, just a short time after stepping into the spotlight as Phil Rudd’s replacement. Frontman Brian Johnson appears, holding a beer and a glass, perhaps containing rosé. Bassist Cliff Williams warms up with a Steinberger headless bass, a trendy choice of the era. The air is thick with cigarette smoke, capturing a slice of the past rock scene.
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The Young brothers steal the show as they casually prepare for their performance, indulging in a relaxed blues session.
Their rendition of the “Hell’s Bells” intro unexpectedly echoes the sound of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” when performed softly.
“Are you in tune, Bri?” Malcolm asks.
“Bleeeeeuuugh,” Brian responds.
“Uuuuurrrgh,” adds Angus, adjusting his cap.
As the band readies to leave the dressing room for the stage, an unexpected twist emerges. Brian engages in a brief jogging-in-place, akin to a boxer prepping for a title match. And intriguingly, a trombone makes an appearance on camera. Its presence remains a mystery, adding an extra layer of curiosity to the footage. The clip charmingly captures the serenity in the AC/DC camp, just moments before the storm of their performance erupts.