Long Way to the Top

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Long Way to the Top was a six-part weekly Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) documentary film series on the history of Australian rock and roll, from 1956 to the modern era, it was initially broadcast from 8 August to 12 September 2001.[1]


The series took its name from the AC/DC song, "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)". The series was produced by Paul Clarke (Recovery) and directed by Greg Appel. It was narrated by the former radio presenter Chris Winter (one of the original members of the on-air team at the ABC's 24-hour rock radio station, Double Jay) and featured interviews with many of the best known Australasian singers and instrumentalists of the rock era. Most of the nearly 200 interviews were conducted by noted music critic Clinton Walker, who also co-wrote the series.

The original series was well received for the ABC when shown in 2001:[1] a national concert tour in 2002 followed.[1]

Episode list[edit]


In 2002, the promoters Michael Chugg and Kevin Jacobsen decided to build on the popularity of the show, by sending a package tour of artists featured in the program on a national concert tour of Australia. Jacobsen's brother, Col Joye, was on the Long Way To The Top tour, as well as Lucky Starr, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Little Pattie, The Masters Apprentices, Stevie Wright, Daddy Cool, Normie Rowe, The Atlantics, John Paul Young, Dinah Lee and Marcia Hines. The tour proved to be successful, taking receipts of $10 million with a budget of $4.5 million.[2] The ABC broadcast,[3] highlights of the tour and subsequent CD and DVD packages[4] went on sale.

The concert tour was a unique event, in that the line-up had not toured together before, and would not do so again. Ross Wilson said: "It was personally a buzz for me, meeting up with some of those '50s guys like Col Joye. Backstage everyone knew they were part of something momentous, because that entire lineup would never come together again. I think the audience got that vibe, too.".[2]


  1. ^ a b c unstated (2002-11-22). "ABC Online - Long Way To The Top". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  2. ^ a b Billboard 10 May 2002, Vol. 114 Issue 40, p20
  3. ^ unstated (n.d.). "ABC TV - Long Way To The Top". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  4. ^ unstated (n.d.). "ABC Shop - Long Way". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2008-01-17.