Wendy Smith australian fan for H2acdc.com | Highway To ACDC : le site francophone sur AC/DC


Wendy Smith australian fan for H2acdc.com

- The Book


- Your book is based on your memories as a teenager, and more particularly the notes you took in your private diary. Did you regularly write down your memories in this journal? Was this a habit for young people at the time?

My diary was a five year diary 1972-1976. I wrote in it every day for that whole period. (My mother always wrote in her diaries every day so it would have been her idea to buy me one). Many girls would have kept a diary but a lot of them would have been lost over time. I am so glad that I kept mine.

- How did you come up with the idea of publishing these notes? Why did you agree to share them with the general public?

I have always thought that it would be a good idea. After losing some old friends and family members I began to wonder what would happen to these memories and photos if I passed away, so this spurred me on to get busy and just do it.
I hoped that the stories and photos would bring back many memories to the band members, as well as others who were around at those times. It was important for me to record the dates, concerts, venues, etc. as I had noted them in my diary.

- What was your profession ?

I was a Veterinary Nurse for over 30 years. I am now retired.

- Did you use the help of a writing professional to start producing a book or did you do everything yourself ?

I wrote a very long manuscript and hired a freelance editor who thought it should be shortened to the band period only. After the editing I hired a proof reader and a printing company to complete the book. The photos were professionally scanned. The book was fully funded by me.

- The book seems self-published? You didn’t want to distribute it through a publishing house ?

To get a publishing house interested in a book in Australia, it sounded difficult and time consuming, and with no guarantee of a positive outcome. Although it was a costly venture, I decided in my retirement that this was something that I wanted to do so I self- published. It was an enormous undertaking and I had to learn so much along the way. My printing company – Boolarong Press – was extremely helpful and supportive. Looking back now I think I would have liked to have had the book distributed through a publishing house and if I had my time again I would have tried this first.

- Would you consider having it translated into other languages ?

I love this idea but I would not know where to start and I probably would not be able to afford to have it done.

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- Were you aware of the interest that such a testimony could arouse, in particular on the beginnings of AC/DC, throughout the world ?

I was aware of AC/DC’s strong worldwide following, however I did not realise that my book would be of so much interest, particularly as part of it is about growing up in Melbourne, Australia in the 1970s. I am pleased that AC/DC reached the success they wanted and I am glad that the book has been enjoyed by many people around the world.

- Are there elements that you have not published and that you keep to yourself ?

No, everything is in the book as I remember it. I chose what I thought were the best photos but I have kept a few photos just for myself.

- Were people taking photos or films around you? In Super 8… ?

There were other girls with cameras at some of the venues but not many. I often wonder if there are more photos out there somewhere. I don’t recall seeing any Super 8 or other recording cameras around.


- Memories

- Were you aware at the time of the scale that the AC/DC phenomenon would take ?

No, I had no idea at all. I did know how committed Malcolm and Angus were though – even back then they were both so serious about their music.

- What role did music play in your life in the early 70s? Who were your favorite bands ? Have you experienced any musical evolution ?

Music was everywhere in Melbourne in the 1970s and it was so easy to see live bands. We played and listened to music whenever we could, on records and radios. My first international favourite band was Slade and Slade Alive was the first album I bought. I saw and liked many Australian bands but Skyhooks and AC/DC became the standouts. After AC/DC and Skyhooks started touring I followed Split Enz for a while. I then started listening to Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Sparks and Roxy Music. These are still my favourites today.
In the 1970s we had access to live bands in school halls, town halls and TV studios such as Countdown. It was great for us still being at high school as we were unable to get into licensed venues. As the bands became successful they would begin touring both nationally and internationally, as well as play in the many pubs around Melbourne. Concerts became much larger events too. This all started to happen in the late 70s and I became more interested in international bands and bought many of their albums.

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- Before your first stage meeting with AC/DC, on December 6, 1974 at Carrum High School Hall in Seaford, the group had already been in existence for almost a year. Have you ever heard of it ?

I had heard of AC/DC but didn’t pay much attention to them until after Bon had joined the band. I think I had seen one or two pictures of them in the rock magazines.

- Had you seen them on TV during music shows? Maybe even with Dave Evans, before Bon Scott arrived ?

I can’t remember seeing them on TV before Bon but it is possible.


- You were able to attend several recordings of the TV show “Countdown”. Was it easy to attend the filming? What were the studios like? How long did the recording take ? What kind of audience attended the show ?

The TV Studios where Countdown was recorded were easy for us to get to but you had to have tickets to get in. We would have to write letters to order tickets and we never knew which shows Skyhooks and AC/DC would be doing. That is why we would often just turn up to see them outside and hope that someone could sneak us in.
The studios were rectangular in shape with a wide stage and a polished floor (so the cameras could roll across easily). The backdrops were always colourful. Recording of the show started at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon and would usually take one hour. The audience was mostly young school-age girls like me – anywhere between 13 – 17 years old.

- What word would best define AC/DC on the Australian scene between 1974-1976 ?

I don’t like to steal from Tana Douglas’s book, but Loud is the best word that I would choose.

- Did you attend later, in the 80s, 90s and 2000s, the Boys' concerts with Brian ? If so, have you met them and shared a moment with them ?

No, I didn’t see them live on stage again after 1976, and I have never met them again.


- Did you continue to listen to their music ?

I did listen to some of their music but probably less as time went on.

- How did you react to the news of Bon's death ?

This was a great shock when I heard about it. It seemed so unfair and tragic. Bon was still so young and he had so much left to give. I felt for his family, and the band members, as well as all his fans. I did hope that Angus and Malcolm would go on but I had no idea of how they would.

- Then when Malcolm disappeared in 2017 ?

The news of Malcolm hit me very hard. My mother had dementia and I was working in Aged Care at the time so I was aware of what a terrible disease it is. Again, you always think of his family and friends. I really felt for Angus as they had been such close brothers for so long – my heart went out to him.
I often wonder what Bon and Malcolm would be like today if they were still here. It is very sad when such great talents leave us early.

- Did you maintain any friendship with “The Quiet Ones” after the 70s ?

“The Quiet Ones” still meet up for our regular lunches 2-3 times every year. During those years at school and following bands we formed very strong friendships which are lasting our lifetimes.

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- And in the end, Skyhooks or AC/DC ?

This is a very good question! To be totally honest I could not pick one – I loved both bands with all my heart.

- Highwaytoacdc would like to thank Wendy for all these exchanges, these sharings and this trust.
- To order the book : The Quiet Ones Book

Photos :

Concert : 1974/12/06 - Seaford, Carrum High School Hall


Concert : 1975/03/29 - Chelsea, Town Hall

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Concert : Skyhooks : 1975/04/**

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The AC/DC House : 1975/04/** - Melbourne, Lansdowne Road


Concert : 1975/04/** - Moorabbin, Southside Six Hotel (Backstage)

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Concert : 1975/05/25 - Melbourne, Hard Rock Cafe


Voyage : 1975/06/** - Melbourne, Freeway Gardens Motel (prêt à prendre le bus pour une semaine de concerts loin de Melbourne)

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Concert : 1975/07/11 - Prahran, Ormond Hall Wesley College Dance

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