The Biggest Guitar

Malcolm Young, one of the founders of AC/DC, has died. It’s a sad thing. AC/DC has been among my all-time favorite rock n’ roll bands since forever. They are a band that no matter how I’m feeling when I put one of their records on, I’m instantly reminded of why I fell in love with music in the first place. They are pure, distilled, no bullshit rock. Malcolm was key not only in the writing of their classic riffs, but in also being the anchor of the three-legged rhythm foundation that allowed his brother, Angus Young, the freedom to go off on lead guitar.  I only saw them one time: August 19, 1986, Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA, Who Made Who tour. Queensryche opened (Rage for Order tour). The Tacoma Dome is an awful venue but the show was epic.

Still, my favorite AC/DC story has nothing to do with the band. When two friends and I started our first band, in the summer of 1983, our drummer at the time was an absolute tyrant. He was a jerk, and would berate our guitar player, my friend Mike, relentlessly: his playing sucked, his solos sucked, etc. He didn’t like his guitar either, which, if I recall, was a Peavey T25. “Why did you get that piece of shit?” he’d say. “You should get one of those really big guitars. You know, like the ones AC/DC play.”

What’s funny about this is that the guy didn’t realize that the Young brothers were barely over 5′ tall (Angus is 5’2″, while his brother Malcolm towered over him at 5’3″). So any guitar they played was going to look gigantic on their tiny frames. To this day I often suggest to Jimmy, my friend whom I’ve been playing music with for 16+ years now, that what he really needs is a bigger guitar.

RIP, Malcolm.

Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

4 thoughts on “The Biggest Guitar”

  1. So sad. Not too long ago we watched a recorded AC/DC show and had said if they ever played near here again, we were definitely going. For decades, the energy and zest for life embodied in their music had the power to make this indie-country-folk girl embrace some serious head-banging. <3

  2. Definitely one of my favorite bands while growing up. Saw only one show around 1980 during their “For Those About To Rock/Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” tour. Band absolutely rocked, even if they were banned from firing their cannon for the finale.

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