Rick Astley Covers AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”—While Drumming!

This would be the perfect opportunity to Rickroll a few unsuspecting readers, but as it happens this story makes good on its headline.

Pop singer Rick Astley delivered his encore set at the Troubadour in Los Angeles last Thursday by performing AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” The “Never Gonna Give You Up” singer not only sang the tune—he did it while playing drums.

Astute Astley fans—and we know you’re out there—will note that he has had “Highway to Hell” in his repertoire for several years now. What’s more, the singer started his career as a drummer, so as surprising as his performance seems, it’s not quite as odd as it might appear.Astley is currently on tour in support of his recent self-performed, self-penned album, 50. His trek included a pair of U.S. stops in New York and L.A. 50 was released earlier this year and peaked at Number One in the U.K., making it his first chart-topping released in almost 30 years.

We’re sad to say 50 does not include Astley’s version of “Highway to Hell,” but the album will arrive in the U.S. on October 7.So who do you think would have been a better replacement for AC/DC singer Brian Johnson: Astley or Axl Rose? See below and tell us what you think.

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.