Like Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the members of AC/DC did not get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Monday, even though these veteran rockers were on the ballot. But guitarist Angus Young is not going haywire over the rejection.
"I've never been a person that worried about prizes, because they devalue the currency sometimes," he tells Wall of Sound. "The words 'rock and roll' are so abused these days. What people would call rock and roll and what I would call rock and roll — it's two different views. With AC/DC, we were never a band out to seek accolades."
The veteran Aussie band hasn't won any Grammys, either. "I'm not looking for one," Young says. He points out how the Grammys also ignored some of his heroes, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis, until giving them lifetime achievement-like awards. "And I was told they gave Little Richard his Grammy not onstage [in front of the TV cameras] but backstage," Young says.
"The awards are more on a technical, tradesman type of thing," he says. "What stands best is the public buys your records and they come see you — what more do you want?"
With 70 million albums sold, AC/DC ranks fifth on the all-time sales charts, behind The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Eagles. Young figures that "rock music is always the music of choice." He said a radio programmer once told him that while everybody in the industry is looking for the next trend or next big act, the public always goes back to rock and roll.
And even though AC/DC's year-old Stiff Upper Lip isn't on the Billboard charts any longer, the band launched another U.S. tour on Sunday and, naturally, most shows are sold out. As with last year's tour, the show features a 36-foot-tall giant statue of Young onstage.
The idea is more playful than egotistical. The inspiration came from a European fan's Web site, Young says. His brother Malcolm, AC/DC's other guitarist, who used to spend time on the Internet, discovered a site with a graphic of a huge statue of AC/DC. The Young brothers decided to try the concept on the cover of Stiff Upper Lip, and then a stage designer said he could adapt it for the tour.
"The first one was eating itself from the inside" because of the material it was made from, Young says. "They've updated it and fixed it."