Former AC/DC Drummer Tony Currenti Explains Why He Didn’t Join the Band
We all know a story or two of a musician who parted ways with a band in its early days. While the most famous is probably Pete Best, who was fired from the Beatles on the eve of their first recording session, Tony Currenti, who drummed for AC/DC on their 1975 debut, ‘High Voltage,’ says that he missed out on the gig because of his heritage.
Speaking to ‘The Morning Show‘ on Sydney’s Seven Network, Curenti, whose family had moved to Australia when he was a teenager, said that he was asked to become a member twice in four days. “My dream was to travel around,” he said. “There was just one problem: I had an Italian passport. I couldn’t go anywhere. That was one of the reasons why I had to decline the offer to join them.”
Currenti had been a member of Jackie Christian and Flight when he met Harry Vanda and George Young, the writing and producing team that stemmed from the Easybeats. He had just finished recording with them when he was asked by George if he would help out on a new project by his younger brothers. Curenti wound up drumming on all of ‘High Voltage’ except their cover of Big Joe Williams’ ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go.’
However, Currenti said he feels no regrets on having missed out on his chance for mega-stardom: “I sort of was honored by Vanda and Young to be associated with them on previous recordings. The band I was in always followed the Easybeats. They were our favorite band. They were my heroes.”
Currenti also said that he had known Bon Scott since 1968. Although his description of Scott — “He was a fun guy. He liked a bit of a drink and we’d meet up at the bar very often” — doesn’t shed any new light on the singer, he does say that the ‘High Voltage’ sessions were very professional, with nothing stronger than coffee or tea consumed.
After hanging up his sticks in the late ’70s, Currenti opened up a pizzeria in Sydney, which has some AC/DC memorabilia on its walls. Earlier this year, he made his first onstage appearance in decades at a Sydney bar when he sat in on a few songs with a local band.