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AC/DC and their curious bond with Sicily

AC/DC High Voltage album cover

You may be wondering what the connection between Sicily and AC/DC is. I’ll tell you right away. One of the first session drummer for the Australian hard rock band was a Sicilian named Antonio Currenti, called Tony.

I’ve always been a music lover. Some time ago, during one of my night readings, I came across his curious story, and I want to share it with you.

The story of the Sicilian AC/DC

He was born in Fiumefreddo di Sicilia, a village in the province of Catania. In 1967 he left with his family to reach Australia to seek their fortune. He was 16, and he found his. It was 1974, and that evening Tony had just finished recording a single with his group, of which he was the drummer. He was about to leave when George Young stopped him. George was the older brother of the AC/DC musicians Angus and Malcolm. George asked him to record four tracks as the substitute of Peter Clack, the drummer of the time that they didn’t like so much. He accepted, and that was how a Sicilian found himself recording pieces for the debut album High Voltage of one of the most famous bands in the world.

Tony Currenti, session drummer for AC/DC, in a recent photo while playing the drums
Tony Currenti plays drums again more than 40 years later.

Opportunity only knocks once…

At the end of the recordings, they asked him to join the band. He declined the offer. There were two reasons. First, loyalty to his group (which broke up shortly after) and then mandatory military service. Yes, because the band would move to Britain very soon and he, Tony, was an Italian emigrant who had left his country at 16. If he had left Australia, he would have had to do the military because he still had the Italian passport.

Thus ends the adventure of Tony Currenti in AC/DC. He says he has no regrets, but I’m kicking myself for this story!!! And you??

Now and then, he comes back to Sicily and has been the owner of Tonino’s Penshurst Pizzeria for over forty years, so I know where to go to eat a pizza if I ever go to Sydney 🙂

I leave you with the link to one of the songs of the AC/DC that Currenti worked on, or High Voltage.

I must confess that my favorite piece is Back in Black, though 😀

Tony Currenti, however, is not the only Sicilian-born musician to have been part of a large international band. There are others, and maybe I’ll talk about it soon.


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