AC/DC Lane To Officially Get Its Lightning Bolt
From Wednesday October 1, ACDC Lane officially becomes AC/DC Lane – an appropriate gesture as it celebrates its tenth anniversary on the day.
When the lane was renamed in 2004, the Office of the Registrar of Geographic Names refused to include the slash between the AC and the DC. It is the Office’s strict policy that street names do not have lightning bolts.
This omission was a greater cultural calamity to AC/DC fans than can be imagined. In the band’s early days, a journalist defied death by asking singer Bon Scott if he was AC or DC. The great man cackled, “Neither – I’m the lightning bolt in between!”
In true rock'n'roll fashion, a lightning bolt was illegally hammer-drilled into the concrete in the middle of a rainy spring night, a month later. That defiant act made news sites and social media, including acdc.com, with even the National Collection in Canberra asking for a photo. Also in true rock'n'roll fashion, the lightning was promptly stolen by a fan.
Now the City of Melbourne and street artist Knifey (aka Jayszun Vanderwerff) are working together to re-install the lightning bolt as part of Melbourne’s Love Your Lane-way campaign. Knifey said, “Melbourne City Council has demonstrated time and again its commitment to showcase both the city’s laneways, and the street art that brings so many to visit the City of Melbourne. They have seen the benefit of encouraging legal street art in the city, and have been incredibly supportive of this project.”
After the lightning bolt’s unveiling on Wednesday, Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane has a free entry night to celebrate the official bolt and the arrival of the Agent of Change law in Victoria.
The idea for an AC/DC Lane started out as a drunken conversation between Cherry Bar’s James Young and Patrick Donovan, then main entertainment writer for The Age and now CEO of Music Victoria.
After much lobbying, the short laneway between Exhibition and Russell Streets, then called Corporation Lane, was changed. At the launch, Melbourne Lord Mayor John So declared, “There is a highway to hell, but this is a laneway to heaven. Let us rock!" and bagpipers played It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock And Roll).