Although many artists are open to collaborating with others or working on side projects with musicians outside of their bands, some stick to their commitments and don’t want to be involved in other endeavors. For instance, Metallica has a very strict policy about this situation because engaging in a side project would negatively affect the strength of the band, and it would be equal to cheating on one’s wife. They took this to the extent that it caused Jason Newsted to leave the band.
In Angus Young’s case, the musician didn’t want to involve in projects requiring him to work with musicians other than his bandmates. He has stayed loyal to AC/DC for years and chose not to work with others. As it turns out, Young is not that strict in that decision. In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, the guitarist revealed that he’d love to work with the Rolling Stones icon Keith Richards, although he was hesitant to meet the musician in the first place.
AC/DC took the stage with the Rolling Stones at the 2003 Molson Canadian Rocks For Toronto. There were half a million fans at the concert to watch the two rock and roll legends perform on the same stage, and it unsurprisingly became the largest paid music event in the history of North America. That year, AC/DC also opened for the Stones during the band’s Licks Tour in Sydney, Leipzig, Hockenheim, and Oberhausen. Together, they delivered a breathtaking performance of the Stones’ classic ‘Rock Me Baby.’
Following the shows, the Young brothers gave an interview and revealed their thoughts about playing with the Stones. Malcolm said that Keith Richards asked their manager to meet Angus Young. However, Angus was pretty hesitant about meeting Richards. Although the guitarist’s sharp tongue and outspokenness might seem to be the cause, Angus revealed that he worried about the cameras that might surround them.
In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Angus Young was asked who he would like to collaborate with if he had the opportunity. “You’d have to resurrect many people from the dead, I think,” Angus said, laughing. “I’d sit down with Keith Richards, do something,” he added, revealing he would be eager to work with Keith Richards on a project if possible. “He’s a rhythm guy like Malcolm.”
A year after this interview, Angus Young stated that his brother Malcolm was a better guitarist than Keith Richards, as Richards’ sound was empty for not being supported by another guitarist in the band. Although it’s unknown whether Angus sides with Malcolm or Keith in their guitar playing, it seems he changed his mind about the media attention and opened the doors for a collaboration with the Stones guitarist.