That Time Rick Astley Played AC/DC; No, Really!

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Can Rick count on your vote?

Rick Astley for President: Can he count on your vote?

No, you are not being “Rick-Rolled.” This actually happened! Rick Astley, the British pop singer whose #1 late-’80s hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” just about defines the phrase viral video with over 645 million YouTube views (and has a long history as something of a good-natured punchline), sang AC/DC’s signature hit “Highway to Hell” at West Hollywood’s Troubadour in Los Angeles on August 11, 2016—while playing the drums! (Watch it below.)

Astley has been undergoing something of a comeback in recent years. His 2016 album, titled 50—his first new studio effort in a decade—reached #1 in the U.K., and Astley recently spent time creating a new buzz in the U.S. He performed his first live concert in the States in the U.S. in August 2016 in New York before hopping across the country for the L.A. gig.

Prepping the Troubadour audience for his unexpected encore, Astley told the crowd, “One of the best feelings in the absolute world is to count down the song we’re about to play. Do you want to rock?” Then, with self-deprecation in his voice, he continued, “Yes, I know. Hearing me say that sounds a bit weird, but in an alternate universe this is what could be, We’re all allowed to dream, aren’t we?”

Astley continues to tour and occasionally includes “Highway to Hell” and other covers in his setlist. (Tickets are available here and here.)

Astley was born on February 6, 1966. His 1987 debut, Whenever You Need Somebody, for RCA Records, via the Stock-Aitken-Waterman production team, was perfectly timed for radio audiences at the time. “Never Gonna Give You Up” and the follow-up single, “Together Forever,” were each #1 pop hits.

And just in case you haven’t seen the classic video his debut smash in a while (unlikely as that is!), let us remind you of just how completely awesome it is.

Decades later, a phenomenon known as “Rickrolling” began in which Internet users clicking on a link unwittingly were shown the “Never Gonna Give You Up” video when they expected to see something else.

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