As part of a recent interview in Rock Candy magazine, editor Howard Johnson asked Steve Burton about how he almost ended up in AC / DC after the death of Bon Scott:
“I went to London to audition for a band. I got along well with everyone and thought I was doing well, but for some reason I didn’t get the contract and it went to Brian Johnson. But I made an impression on the band, because soon after that I got a call asking if I would be interested in working with Angus and Malcolm Young’s nephew, Stevie. He was creating a new band in Birmingham, and Malcolm told him to call me.”
Stevie and Burtie eventually formed the STARFIGHTERS and within three months the band was offered a support slot on the UK leg of AC/DC’s “Back In Black” tour. Malcolm was so impressed with the band that he ended up working with the STARFIGHTERS on a demo that allowed the band to sign with Jive Records.
“We played the last show of the tour at the Victoria Apollo Theatre in London, and as soon as AC/DC finished performing, Malcolm came down from the stage, toweled himself off, threw on his jacket, and jumped into the van with us. We went straight to Morgan Studios in Willesden, and from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. the next day, we were recording, with Malcolm helping us out. We recorded two songs – “Alley Cat Blues” and “Rock’ Em Dead” – and those two songs allowed us to sign with Jive.”
The STARFIGHTERS recorded two albums, ” Starfighters” in 1981 and “In-Flight Movie” in 1982, but failed to achieve success, and the band soon disbanded.
“I gave up everything for the band. Because you know how it is. You’re on your way to the stars, you’re going to settle in America, and all that sort of thing. I ended up working at a friend’s cafe in Birmingham for two years, flipping burgers.”
The singer has no regrets about the incident, despite the fact that his former colleague replaced Malcolm in AC / DC in 2014.
“I have never envied anyone’s success. No matter what happens in your life, you have to keep playing in a band or shovel shit all day.”