AC/DC guitarist Angus Young has opened up about his early musical influences, naming legendary musician Jimi Hendrix as an inspiration.
In a recent interview with Germany’s Guitar magazine, the Aussie rocker reflected on the first time he heard Hendrix’s iconic 1967 track ‘Purple Haze’.
“I could play guitar a little bit, but I really got focused on it around the years when I was about 12 into my teenage years, I started to focus more on it,” Young said.
“And around when I was about 13 [or] 14, that’s when Jimi Hendrix appeared on the horizon. And when I first heard the song ‘Purple Haze’, I was totally enthralled: ‘How’s he doing that?’ I was just so impressed with it,” he said of the late rock legend.
Young continued: “Plus, Malcolm, my brother, there were a few shows we had also seen. We had gone, the two of us together, and we had seen people like the band The Yardbirds; they had come to Australia. And at the time, the lineup had just changed. I think they originally used to have Jeff Beck. But then, later on, when we saw them, they didn’t have Jeff Beck; they had Jimmy Page on guitar.
“So that was good, because at that time, that kind of sound, especially for guitar, it jumped out at you, the sound of it. So that was really good. But then when along came Hendrix, you kind of went, ‘Woah! This is another level on guitar.’ So I was very much a fan of that.”
Young isn’t the only artist who has spoken of their love for Jimi Hendrix of late, with former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing saying that the ‘Bold As Love’ singer was his ultimate “Rock God”.
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Speaking on BBC’s The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker, the KK’s Priest rocker chose Hendrix for their ‘Rock God’ segment while fondly recalling the time he went to see the iconic music legend play no less than six times.
“I first saw Jimi at Coventry Theatre way back in 1967, and what an amazing night that was,” he recalled.
“I was lucky enough to see Jimi no less than six times, including his two appearances at the Royal Albert Hall [in February 1969].
“And yes, I was out there, at the stage door, autograph hunting. I was really lucky — Jimi arrived, and I managed to get his autograph, which was a real treat.”
For more on this topic, head over to the Classic Rock Observer.