Iconic Spotlight : AC/DC, by Terry O’Neill

“They were making a comeback when we took this photo,” remembers Terry O’Neill. AC/DC, formed in the early 1970s, saw a string of hit records and quickly became known for living the rock-and-roll lifestyle they portrayed on stage and through their music. “The 1970s were very excessive for numerous musicians. I was far removed from that in a way, living in Los Angeles at the time. That doesn’t mean the 1970s passed me by musically, I did take numerous shots of David Bowie, Elton John and other brilliant performers during this seminal decade. By the time the 1980s rolled around, bands like AC/DC had crossed over to commercial success, selling out stadiums worldwide. But as the years go by it’s very clear which bands have talent (and I mean real talent) and which bands will simply fade away. That’s why I took the assignment to photograph AC/DC for these pictures, some time in the 1990s. They had stood the test of time and were very, very talented.


“When I shoot studio portraits such as these, I’m always thinking of new ways to present the subject or, in this case, a way to capture the band’s unique style. We did take several photos of the band in a more traditional straight-on way. But I admit that I like these better. Looking at them from the bottom up, it almost feels like I was able to capture the band mid-air. That’s why I love this portrait of Angus Young, clad in his trademark school uniform. That’s the electricity of the band, the performance. By this time, the band had been performing and recording non-stop for more than two decades and they still had that magic.”

Extract taken from ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’, available to purchase SIGNED by Terry O’Neill at the Iconic Images Store.

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