GayC/DC Phoenix concert: LGBTQ+ cover band preview | Phoenix New Times

Dirty dudes done dirt cheap: LGBTQ+ cover band GayC/DC plays Phoenix

“No matter where we play, for that night, it’s a gay bar.”
Rock out to GayC/DC this weekend.
Rock out to GayC/DC this weekend. Alex Solca
Share this:
Life is glorious and should be celebrated.

Think about that for a minute. Sure, we all have bad days, but life can amaze and surprise you every so often, and when something comes along that provides the proverbial “Shit eating grin,” you have to embrace it. Otherwise, you might just find yourself on a ‘Highway to Hell.’

Luckily, GayC/DC from Los Angeles is coming to town on Friday to play The Rebel Lounge, and if you’ve never seen five gay men rip through some kickass AC/DC covers, you need to hear “Dirty Dudes Done Dirt Cheap” right now.

For the last 11 years, Brian Welch has been the Phil Rudd of GayC/DC, pounding the skins like a madman, and to hear him talk about it, the band is a labor of love.

“We genuinely love each other. We hang out when we’re not doing shows or rehearsals and we really are like a family,” says Welch over the phone from Colorado where the band played on the 21st and 22nd of June.

While all the members of GayC/DC have full-time jobs, the band enjoy getting to play around 20 to 30 shows a year, both in Los Angeles and in cities around the country.

Guitarist Steve McKnight plays a Gibson SG just like his AC/DC counterpart, the legendary Angus Young. McKnight has a different spin, though, on the naughty schoolboy look that Young has made famous over the years.

“I immediately went for a Britney Spears, 'Oops, I Did It Again' kind of look. It’s a naughty schoolgirl and a German beer maiden. That’s the image that immediately came to mind. I had to find some pretty kickass SGs like Angus (Young) plays. I found one and we were off and running,” McKnight says.

The band has developed a reputation for having a raucous live show replete with confetti, glitter, dildos and a sizeable blow-up penis. GayC/DC pride themselves on playing spot-on covers of AC/DC, although they do change the lyrics for some songs to make them their own. As the only all-gay AC/DC cover band in the world, they understand that some people will be skeptical.

“We have had some diehard AC/DC fans show up and come in with their arms folded and stand there in the back. They come in with the idea that we’re making a mockery of their favorite band until they get to the first song. By the fourth song, they’re up front, singing along, holding up the dildos and catching the big blow-up penis that comes out at the end,” Welch says.

McKnight adds, “We would never make a mockery of AC/DC. We worship them and it's in our DNA. We all grew up with it. We have fun with it and pretend the lyrics are the ones we would have heard growing up as gay kids.”

After speaking with the band members, who are also joined by ex-Pansy Division member Chris Freeman, it's apparent they're looking to make their shows inclusive for everyone, not just gay fans.
“We want to disarm people with our music, with the humor in the songs and with the stage show. People end up really getting into it. We’re just give guys who love playing the music and we happen to be gay. It doesn’t define who we are as people, but it does define us as a band,” Welch says.

Both McKnight and Welch discussed how the band have developed a unique ability to get even predominantly straight crowds on their side and that it doesn’t matter if the venue they are playing is a gay or straight establishment.

“No matter where we play, for that night, it’s a gay bar,” McKnight jokes.

GayC/DC. With The Pubes and The Maybe Next Years. 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, Friday, June 28. The Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road. Tickets are $15 plus fees.
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Phoenix New Times has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.