Tracey Muller australian fan for H2acdc.com
My girlfriend and I started going into Albert studios around the time Mark left/Cliff joined sometime late "77 by sheer luck I might add. My friend & I used to go into Alberts once a week after work-it was only a ten minute walk and talk to the girls in Alberts offiice who would give us all sorts of promo shit. Anyway,this one afternoon we go in & we knew the boys were recording and Malcolm's gf Linda (later to become his wife)was in there & we were begging her to let us go & get their autographs & she kept saying they can't be interrupted & anyway the phone rang & as she answered it, who should walk in but George Young. So my girlfriend as bold as brass says to George "How's the recording going?' & he's says really good, why do you know them & she replied yeah so as Linda who's still on the phone is waving frantically at George, George says to us well what are you waiting for, come on the boys will be happy to see you both.
So by this time I'm shitting bricks and we bounce down to the studios with George, and would you believe we got a really warm welcome & nobody let on that we had never met them before even the band. So that become our days as tea ladies as that was what we did most of the time as that was what we got asked "How about a cuppa, put the kettle on girls. Oh, I think back on the opportunies I had to take photos & would you believe we never once took a camera with us. Mainly but 1. I think we couldn't believe our luck & 2. we didn't want to do anything to get us kicked out.
My girlfriend and I started going into Alberts in 1977 for about one to two years. I think we saw bits of If you want blood and Powerage being taped. I remember the guys trying to work out what they could put with "If you want blood-blood on the rocks , every last drop.... and I remember Cliff sitting outside of the studio just playing the intro to Sin City. We used to go into the studio about 2-3 times a week even if the boys were tour. We became the unofficial tea ladies to Flash in the pan, we go and sit with George and Harry and watch them make music. At one point they even wanted us to sing backing vocals and we just cracked up-we said do you want the album to sell or not. But I did get an autographed Flash album with "To Tracey, thanks for the tea, George" written on it.
There are many stories that come to mind but one of the funniest is that when you went into Alberts at normal hours the door would always be open but if you went after hours it was a different story. There were two double glass doors at street level however(and I can't still no work out for the life of me, WHY) you had to press the intercom, say who you were & who ever answered would decide whether to come down from the 5th floor and let you in. Easy, right. Not quite so. The intercom button just happened to be on the ROOF of the entrance and we're talking about 2 15 years old girls here no taller than 5'4. Well, it used to be hysterical for the two of us to try and work out how to reach that damn button. Over time, we got the knack of it- I used to have to put my gf on my shoulders & hold her there til someone would answer and boy, did we get some strange looks from passerby's. It's only later on did we ever think"How did the boys in the band reach it because they were all short arses.And unfortunately we never caught them in the act so I don't think we ever know.
Another funny story-One night or in the early hours of the morning, everyone decided to head up to the cross(kings Cross) a very seedy part of Sydney-very appropriate, don't you? Bon took off at a zillion miles an hour on his motorbike-how he didn't die that nite is beyond belief-he was an absolute maniac. Angus & Plug had no way of getting there so m/f offered them a lift in her car. Big problem, it was only a two door car. Then the fighting started-Angus wanted to sit in the front as he was getting out first but poor old Plugger got car sick and needed to be near the door so he could spew if need be. They were like two schoolboys-no pun intended lol and argued for a good ten minutes until Plug made the valid point if he spewed whilst in the backseat(there were no opening windows in the back, I might add) he would make sure he directed it over Angus's head. He won. I must mention, I don't know where my rights as co pilot of my friend's car went-out the window, I think. I didn't get a look in but then again I didn't want to get spewed on either. So off we headed into the night with a quick stop at Bon's bedsit for some refreshments and on to drop Angus and Plug home. I have never in my life Yves, seen anyone move as quick without touching the seats, people or any part of the vehicle as I saw Angus move that nite. We pulled up out the front of the apartments where Angus was staying and suddenly Angus was up & gone in a blink of an eye. If you've ever been in a two door car, you'd realize the person in the front passenger seat must get out before the people in the back can get out. Well 99.95% of the time anyway. Oh no, not our Angus. What we soon realized though was that two of Angus's friends just happened to be standing on the footpath and quite obviously Angus had seen them long long long before we did hence the speedy and might I add less than graceful though I must add very fast exit from the car. No goodbyes no thank you no kiss your bum no nothing. How rude, dotcha think? We cracked up with laughter, dropped Plug off at his unit still laughing and laughed all the way home.
The next time we went to Alberts, we arrived in reception as we no longer had to sneak past the girls and the girls were all in a bit of a state and we thought to ourselves it can't be because the boys were back, there was obviously much more afoot. It was 14 December 1978. I don't know if it's ringing any bells for you but give me a minute and it will all become clear.
They told us they were having cake for Cliff's birthday but they wanted to give us the heads up as the band had gotten him a rather unusual birthday present. So we all went down to the studio with the cake & if my memory serves me correctly, even all us commoners say Happy birthday to him. So the girls went back up to the office and my friend & I started to say our goodbyes. So Cliff starts pouting saying aren't we staying for his birthday-he wanted for us all to go or a drink later on in the night-not forgetting I was only 16 at the time & m/f was 17. So my friend & I said no, sorry we had to go but he invited us to come over to his place the following day so we agreed and got out of there as quick as we could. I'm not at liberty to say what the boys in the band got Cliff for his birthday as it was only heresay but if you add two and two and get five, you're probably pretty close.
Argh, the beauty of age, wisdom and hindsight. M/f & I thought we were really clever scoring an invite over to Phil's, Cliff's & Plug's unit the following morning for breakfast. You see Cliff was a bit pissed that we were bailing so early on his birthday(we knew why but obviously couldn't tell him). But knowing what I have learnt over the years I don't think I was very clever at all. Only that it was the day after Cliff's birthday, I would have sworn it was Friday the 13th. What could have gone wrong did. Remember one very important fact. This was in the era before mobile phones. Anyway back to the story- m/f & I arrive at about 7.30am at their place-do you believe it, we took them at their word literally for breakfast and rocked up at 7.30am. Plus the fact I couldn't tell my folks where I was going- don't forget I was only 16- so I told them m/f was driving us to work(we both actually had RDOs) and we were going out after work being that it was Friday. So we knock at the door-no answer, go round to the back door, still no answer-don't forget it's only 7.30 so we drive round to the local phone booth & ring them. Cliff answers-no, no-one's being knocking at the door so we tell him-yes that's right we tell the bassist of one of the biggest rock 'n' roll bands in the WORLD-only he wasn't at the time-to stand at the front door & hold it open til we get there. So we go to jump in the car and guess what-m/f had locked the keys in the car. So about half an hour later and some considerable help from some passerbys, we're back in the car & back to their place and guess what? Cliff's not waiting-no surprise there. So we knock at the front then the back and then go to climb in a window of the house but think better of it and go back to the phone booth where m/f promptly locks the keys in the car again This time we get the keys out first-I have to admit we're cracking breaking into a car in under 5 minutes now which would come in handy as summer progressed as m/f would do numerous times over the coming months-not to say of the money we raised betting with innocent bystanders whether we could even get into the car-Boy, did we prove them wrong.
So Cliff says where the hell are you so we run thru the story and he says what house we live in a unit, and it was only then Yves that we realize we had been in the wrong street all along. How lucky were we , that the people in the house didn't call the cops.
So FINALLY we get to the boys' UNIT and the rest of the day passed quite uneventfully except when the boys announced they're were going into Alberts to get their paychecks. So m/f & I start to say our goodbyes as we gathered they wanted us to go and they say no, you can stay here while we go, we won't be long and m/f & I are floored that they'd trust us with all their gear so m/f says take my car & they say they would rather get a cab so off they go, giving us $20 to go to the butcher & buy some scotch fillet steak for tea. As I've said before m/f & I have no idea whatsoever, so we trot off to the butcher & buy $20 of steak, that's what Phil said right- WRONG! Phil only wanted us to buy enough for all of us for tea, but he didn't know m/f & I had crossed over to where reality didn't meet real life- you know what I mean but then again maybe you don't-we were totally awestruck and couldn't eat. So did Phil shit a brick when they got back, found we had bought about 5 kilo of steak and to add salt to his wounds< m/f & I weren't eating it. Anyway, we never did live that one down and but eleven o'clock that nite, we were exhausted from our days highjinks, said our goodbyes and made our way home. We lived about 40 minutes away.
Another funny story was one time m/f & I were in the studios(as you are) and Angus start going on about getting his hair cut-it was quite long at this point-if I remember correctly. Anyway m/f & I both saying no don't, it looks really good long and this conversation went back and forth for about five minutes and we didn't think anyone else was paying attention-how wrong we were!
So we stroll into Alberts a few days later & as it is after hours , we have to press that goddamn awful buzzer to get let in. We wait a few minutes and this person that has Bon's body and face but certainly not his hair comes strolling towards us. He -or some dickhead had- dyed his hair a bright shade of reddy/orangey/burgundy and it stood out like you wouldn't believe. So m/f & I are cracking up inside but just talking nonsense to Bon- not making any mention of his hair and you would have thought he was a supermodel. He was flicking it this way and that way trying his damnest to get us to comment but we held firm> We couldn't look at each other for fear of cracking up but we didn't give in. All the way up in the lift -with a flick here a flick there here a flick there a flick everywhere a flick flick. It must have got the better of him and he finally said what do you think of my hair. So we umed & arged and said Oh- in definite surprise, we hadn't noticed. So we pretended to have a good look and said very diplomatically it's very nice and shiny but we prefer it black and guess what? the next time we saw him, it was black(well, with a few hints of red) again. How careful we had to be in future when discussing potential haircuts/ colours with the boys. We didn't realize we had so much influence! lol
M/f & I rocked up one afternoon and to be honest with you, I can't even remember what day of the week it was, only that m/f drove in. So we lob in to the studios without a care in the world and we stopped dead with shock> There was a strange man where George should be. A very cranky strange man, I might add. So the boys all said hi, no-one bothered to introduce us to the strange man so we set about putting the kettle on and even went to the trouble of making the SM one as well> Things were not going to plan, the SM was very, very angry and you could have cut the tension with a knife. There was only one problem well, two actually. Can you guess who or what? I hope you guessed those brothers Young- yeap that's right Malcolm and Angus. They were absolutely hilarious that afternoon , I knew they could be imbeciles but never ever had I see this side to them and probably would have appreciated it a bit more if the following never happened. Well, the very SM only seemed to have a very limited vocabulary and we worked out very quickly he had no idea how to work the mixing desk and quite obviously none of the band were offering their services-now I wonder why that was. Things were getting worse & worse and not one thing had been recorded so we had a bunch of very angry men. So m/f & I take all their orders and of course none of the band was allowed to go.......they were working too hard..................woops, forgot there for a minute about the angry sm who didn't have a clue what he was doing................M/f and i were going to offer to show him where to go, sorry I just did a typo, should have read what to do but we didn't want to interfere with greatness so we let him figure it out on his own but surely to goodness the band would start working soon, wouldn't they??
So off we toddle to Maccas and get all their orders....everyone had paid us in advance except one person and no, you don't get any prizes for guessing who.........it's too bleedin obvious. Well, isn't there that old saying "Food soothes the savage beast" but no, I think it is something else but we were sure hoping this would apply. And just when we thought things couldn't get any worse Bon just ups and leaves. Well, if you thought the cranky SM was angry before, you ain't seen nothing yet. So while m/f & I are trying to sit very, very quietly in the background+I don't why really, we weren't missing anything as nothing was happening but we didn't take into account those pesky Young bros. Boy, can they be extremely NAUGHTY- They were SOOOOOO funny they had us in stitches with their antics., you name it they were doing it-pulling faces at us ad just being very very childish. But as m/f & I had never seen this side to them, we had a hell of a time controlling our laughter and I truly lost count of the times we would have to bolt into the kitchen for fear of upsetting the great one. But alas those young bros just didn't know when to quit and despite several warnings from the very , cranky sm - he decided to vent his anger at m/f and I and screamed at us to get out. Well you could of heard a pin drop. What disappointed us most, was not one of the band stood up for us-especially when they were the cause of it and they all suddenly found great interest in their shoes and not one of the bastards would even look at us. So next came the dilemma- as I've explained to you before,to get into Alberts you had to ring a bell and wait for someone to come down and buzz you in, the same applied when leaving. Someone would have to accompany you downstairs in order for you to get out. This was going to prove rather difficult when no one would even look at us, and our normally very vocal spokeswoman had also lost her tongue. So we stood at the mixer desk for about five very long minutes and still no one would look at us and I ended up saying in a rather loud voice"well, would somebody let us the FUCK out of here and I 've never seen so many heads turn as one as though to say 'who said that=the quiet & shy one doesn't speak-well, not normally anyway. But still no-one stood up. So eventually Michael Browning got up and unlocked all the doors so we could leave and not one of the boys said Boo. Chickens!! Michael couldn't apologise enough and even offered to pay for the SM's tea but we refused to take his money. I'll make it brief from here on in, as I don't know how big your inbox is. So here goes
when we left Alberts, we headed to the Bondi Lifesaver and found Bon who wanted to know why we weren't still in the studios, when we told him the SM had kicked us out, he was absolutely furious and wanted to go back and bash the shit out of him. M/f & I rather quickly talked him out of this idea as he was very very drunk and it was not a good idea for him to be riding his bike and we didn't want to be responsible for any "issues" with their new producer. Malcolm and Angus and Plugs turned up a bit later on with both the young bros extremely apologetic. We all kicked on to another pub where they would let the band in for free but not m/f & I . So Plugs stepped in and paid the cover charge for us. We assured him we would pay him back,it was just as we were only expecting to be at the studio and buying tea for the SM, we had no cash left We returned to Alberts the next day to return Plugs money to him only to find none of the guys there. So we went up to see the girls in the office and ask them to give Plugs the money back next time they saw him as we weren't exactly sure if we would be ever welcome again in those hallowed walls again: and one of the girls said didn't you hear, the SM aka new record producer had left on a plane first thing this morning and is on his way back home right this minute. WE were shocked say the least. We never clarified whether the SM quit or was fired but we didn't really care as long as he was gone.
Not long after that the boys went o/s(again) to work with some bloke called Mutt Lange and as they say the rest is history.
I know the one big question you and everyone will be asking is why didn't you take photos-and I think I've said it before-we were living the dream and didn't want to do anything at ALL to jeopardize our positions of trust plus little did we know how big they would become.