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You Think You Know AC/DC?

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We all like to think we’re fairly well versed in the stories of our favorite classic rock acts, but even the most thoroughly documented histories contain little-known events, crucial turning points, and fascinating footnotes. Case in point: AC/DC, whose lengthy history contains plenty of stories most of us know by heart — and a few that many of us have never heard.

For starters, there’s the tale of Gerard Huerta, a highly successful graphic designer whose name might be unfamiliar to most AC/DC fans, but whose work has been a constant fixture in American pop culture for decades. Huerta designed well-known logos for Pepsi and Time Magazine as well as a list of rock artists that includes Boston, Ted Nugent, and — you guessed it — AC/DC. Today, that logo is synonymous with the band’s legacy, and you can purchase it on countless pieces of merchandise, but contrary to what you might expect, Huerta only received a one-time commission for his work, and doesn’t see any of the royalties from those sales.

Every AC/DC fan knows that the band’s early success was nearly derailed by the Feb. 1980 death of singer Bon Scott, whose distinctive wail helped propel the group to stardom. But according to remarks made by former bassist Mark Evans in the book ‘The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC,’ Scott’s substance struggles nearly got him fired after his 1975 heroin overdose left band leaders Malcolm and Angus Young seeing Scott as “ultimately disposable.”

As far as some fans are concerned, Scott’s death didn’t mark the end of his involvement with the band; in fact, many argue that a stolen notebook of lyrics helped his former mates finish work on their first LP with new singer Brian Johnson, ‘Back in Black.’ For more on that AC/DC legend, as well as the story of how the band’s early ‘Jailbreak’ song ended up not seeing release in the U.S. until 1984, check out the video embedded at the top of this post. For those about to receive an education in little-known chapters in AC/DC history, we salute you.

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