'I don't regret walking out on AC/DC'

IT must be weird seeing the band you formed – but then left – go on to become one of the biggest in the world.

That's exactly what happened to AC/DC's original singer Dave Evans, who chose to go his own way back in 1974, just before the band started making it big.

Now 56, the Welsh-born dad of one has no regrets about his decision and was only too happy to describe how the band came together in Sydney, Australia, in the early 1970s.

"After my band Velvet Underground – not to be confused with the US band of the same name – split up, I answered an advertisement for a heavy rock singer in the Sydney Morning Herald, and Malcolm Young, AC/DC's bass player, answered the phone," recalled Dave.

"Malcolm asked me to come over to jam with him and drummer Colin Burgess and bass player Larry Van Kriedt, as they were looking for a singer to complete the band.

"After that, we shook hands and formed a band, although we did not have a name. A week later Malcolm asked us if his younger brother Angus could audition for us.

"We agreed and Angus auditioned for us and was accepted into the band, and then we had five members.

"We eventually settled on AC/DC as a name which represented electricity and power, and first performed at the Sydney nightspot Chequers on New Year's Eve 1973."

Sadly, it wasn't long before sparks started to fly between the band's members, prompting Dave to quit.

Far from feeling sorry for himself, though, he got straight back into the saddle and joined Rabbit, before hopping off to join various other bands.

"After Rabbit, I formed Thunder Down Under and The Badasses."

Asked if his career had turned out as well as he might have hoped all those years ago, he said: "More actually. When you start singing in a local band in a small country town, you hope to be nationally recognised and only dream of touring internationally.

"I have done that. After more than 30 years, I'm still lucky enough to be recording and touring."

Back, inevitably enough, to AC/DC – what did he think of the men who succeeded him, Bon Scott, then, after he was killed by alcoholic poisoning in 1980, the North East's own Brian Johnson?

"Bon always had a cheeky grin and loved to clown around. Everyone liked him," said Dave.

"He was a real character, and no doubt wrote some of the best rock classics of all time with AC/DC.

"I have never met Brian, but the fans who have tell me he is a great fellow.

"He had a hard act to follow after Bon's tragic death, but, boy, he really stamped his own trademark on AC/DC. I still love You Shook Me All Night Long.

"I've never been to Newcastle, but I'm looking forward to it and hope Brian's crowd and family will welcome me in his home town."

Gracious to the end, but wasn't there at least a tiny part of him that wished he was still on stage with the Youngs?

"Anyone would love to have enjoyed the enormous success of any band like AC/DC, but the kudos goes to those who wrote and performed the classic hit songs after me," he said.

"I love what I do and respect the audience's right to receive 100 per cent from me every time," he said.

Featuring material from The Badasses, plus some AC/DC classics from both Dave's time in the band and afterwards, Thursday's show at Trillians Rock Bar in Newcastle will be, in Dave's words, "traditional, but new, and full of badass classic hard rock". Who could ask for more?

Doors open at 7pm and tickets cost 8. For more information, call 232 1619.

* The Gazette has two pairs of tickets to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question – which singer followed Dave in AC/DC?

E-mail your answer, along with your name and daytime telephone number, to johnny.wilson@northeast-press.co.uk by noon on Wednesday.