The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

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Steven Tyler inducts AC/DC

"Thank God for the power chord.  That thunder from down under that grabs you in the lower-40 and gives you the second most satisfying surge that can run through your body.  There is no greater purveyor of that power chord than AC/DC.  The sparks that flew off the heavy metal of Back in Black, and the primal stink behind "You Shook Me All Night Long" lit a fire in the belly of every kid that grew up born to break the rules. And they're still out there touring; the fire rages on.  According to this shirt that's from way back when, AC/DC opened for us in 1979.  I was talking to the guys about how they keep it going on these years, and Angus told me that... Actually, hold on, I wrote it down.  You gotta hear this.  Angus told me, "Look, we hope to rage on, and over the years we put a lot of hard yacker with our no-worries-mate and fuck-all attitude and hair like a bush pig's ass.  It's no wonder we had to give a gobful to a few bloody wingers."  It's like, wow, you know, I used to think I didn't understand them 'cause I was fucked up, but it's not just me, right?  The journey from the pubs of Australia to the stadiums of the world, AC/DC became the Litmus test of what rock does.  You know, does it make you clench your fist when you sing along?  Does it scare your parents to hell and piss off the neighbors?  Does it make you dance so close to the fire that you burn your feet, and still don't give a rat's ass?  Does it make you want to stand up and scream for something that you're not even sure of yet?  Does it make you want to boil your sneakers and make soup out of your girlfriend's panties?  If it doesn't, then it ain't AC/DC.  These guys have dedicated themselves to the majesty of the power chord, ignoring the spoon-fed, "don't bore us, get to the chorus" fickle taste of pop music.  Let's see, 1975, TNT.  1976, High Voltage and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.  1977, Let There Be Rock.  1978, Powerage and If You Want Blood, You Got It.  1979, the 6 million-seller sensory assault, Highway to Hell.  But just as they reached to be their creative pinnacle, they experienced the worst kind of tragedy imaginable: the death of the great singer Bon Scott.  But rather than collapse, they rose like a sweat-soaked phoenix from the ashes, with their nerves of steel, hand in a velvet glove, sledgehammer to the back of the head vocals of Brian Johnson.  Then came Back in Black, which sold a crushing 19 million.  That's 13 million more than the previous release, with more than a little help from brilliant Mutt Lang, who continues to blow minds and speakers all over the world.  AC/DC is the ultimate middle finger aimed at the establishment.  Think about it. The monster meet-me-in-the-backseat backbeat, the shredding vocals, that 100,000 megaton guitar assault, and let's not forget about that schoolboy uniform, which begs the question, "How do such big balls get in such small pants?"  So when you think of this planet and how it may be on the highway to hell in a handbasket, think about how some distant future civilization will stumble upon what's left.  They may marvel at the paintings of Rembrandt, they may gawk with wide-eyed wonder at Michaelangelo's "David," they may drink deeply of the panty soup, but when they throw on Back in Black, they will still clench their fists, they will still piss off their neighbors, and dance too close to the fire - then they will have wild, animal sex under the light of the moon, bathed in the tribal energies of a thousand power chords.  Here's to the Holy Grail of it all; here's to the highway to hell.  May we have as much fun there as we had getting there.  Ladies and genitals, it is my honor on behalf of Aerosmith and every kid who has ever rocked his ass off to induct AC/DC, this night and forever, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "