Yesterday, as soon as I saw the twitter reaction to the passing of Malcolm Young, I knew that there was no way today’s music video of the day wouldn’t come from AC/DC.
As I looked through all of the AC/DC videos that were available on YouTube, the main thing that I noticed was that there was not an ounce of pretension to either the band’s music or their videos. The majority of the videos that I saw were simply made up of footage of the band performing on stage. There was no attempt to pretend that they were anything other than a hard-working band that played fast and loud. How could anyone not respect that?
Highway to Hell was probably an obvious video to pick, as it seems to be the song that everyone knows. Well, that’s okay. Sometimes, the obvious choice is the right choice. Since the video is pretty straight forward, here’s a little background on the song, courtesy of Songfacts:
The title is often attributed as a phrase AC/DC guitarist Angus Young used to describe touring in America. There is a much more literal explanation, however. “Highway to Hell” was the nickname for the Canning Highway in Australia. It runs from where lead singer Bon Scott lived in Fremantle and ends at a pub/bar called The Raffles, which was a big rock ‘n roll drinking hole in the ’70s. As Canning Highway gets close to the pub, it dips down into a steep decline: “No stop signs… speed limits… nobody gonna slow me down.”
So many people where killed by driving fast over that intersection at the top of the hill on the way for a good night out, that it was called the highway to hell, so when Bon was saying “I’m on the highway to hell” it meant that he was doing the nightly or weekly pilgrimage down Canning Highway to The Raffles bar to rock and drink with his mates: “Ain’t nothing I would rather do. Going down, party time, my friends are gonna be there too.”