Mourning Malcolm Young, and remembering Seattle area’s soft spot for hard-rocking AC/DC

Seattle has embraced AC/DC since its early days. The band came to Western Washington many times over the decades — with blatant lyrics, stage howitzers and at least one striptease. With the death of co-founder Malcolm Young, we take a trip down three-chord rock memories.

This was Saturday’s most memorable headline for many of you: “AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcom Young dies at 64.”

When it comes to AC/DC, the Australian band that goes back four decades and has sold more than 200 million albums, Seattle rock fans have always stood up to be counted with the group. They’ve always been up for its pounding, straight-ahead riffs and stick-it attitude.

This area — the machinist families in Everett, the Eastside suburban kids, the Seattle restless teens, the Puyallup main-street cruisers — “it was one of the first American markets to embrace the band.”

That’s from Beau Phillips, who from 1978 to 1992 was program director and then general manager of KISW, “The Rock.” He’s now a marketing consultant in Washington, D.C.

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He remembers, “It’s funny, other radio program directors used to laugh at us. It’s three-chord rock ’n’ roll for mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging rock fans.”

Other music genres came and went.

But the original AC/DC fans never drifted away. They just started taking their kids to the shows, everybody in black T-shirts.

Here’s a trip through The Seattle Times archives to remember the band’s Western Washington appearances. The early reviews weren’t always kind. The critics came around, though.

Sept. 2, 1978: Seattle Times rock critic Patrick MacDonald interviews lead singer Bon Scott and guitarist Angus Young (who co-founded the band with his brother, Malcolm) at a downtown restaurant. His views of the group evolve over the years.

“The tour publicist was very fearful that they might not behave themselves at…

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