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Night Prowler



Album: Highway To Hell      Released: 1979

Songfacts:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

California serial killer Richard Ramirez claimed this compelled him to murder. Ramirez, known as the "Night Stalker," often wore AC/DC T-shirts. Before he was captured, one of his AC/DC hats was discovered and put on the news as evidence.

The lyrics are about a man sneaking into a house. The media saw this as evidence that Ramirez used it as inspiration to kill. The band claims the song is about a young boy sneaking into his girlfriend's house while her parents are asleep.

As AC/DC became associated with Ramirez, rumors started that the their name stood for "Anti-Christ Devil's Children." It does not.

This was produced by Mutt Lange, who has worked with Def Leppard and The Boomtown Rats, among others. He is married to Shania Twain.

This was one of the last songs Bon Scott recorded before he died (his last was a cover of an earlier AC/DC song called "Ride On," recorded February 10, 1980 with the French rock band Trust). It also happened to be the last song on his last album, Highway to Hell. He was a fan of Robin Williams, and ends the song with Williams' famous catch phrase 'Shazbot, Nanu Nanu!' Which is what the character 'Mork' from Mork And Mindy used to end transmissions to his home planet with. It is rumored that this was the last take ever recorded of Bon Scott. (thanks, Joe - Kalamazoo, MI)

People who dig this song also like "Thunderstruck" "Touch Too Much" and "Stairway To Heaven"

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OK let's just staighten it all out guys are making my head spin! AC/DC means "alternating current/direct current" And now for the next fact...the answer came right from Agus Young himself...His older sister came up with the name for the band and she got the from the AC/DC symbol she saw on the side of the "sewing machine"! And last but not least, having studied serial killers for over 15 year! and yes Richard Ramirez was one of them and I can tell you NO NO NO AC/DC did NOT inspire him to kill!Just like most serial killers it is something VERY twisted inside THEM! I hope I've help you guys and you can stop spinning in circles!
- kerstin, lakewood, WA

"Night Prowler is an awesome song. Especially the guitars. My cousin and I used to play this. He would play the lead and I would play the rhythm. However the song fact by Joe-Kalamazoo, MI is wrong. "Ride On" is on the album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, which was original released in September 1976 in Australia. It was released in Europe in December 1976, but wasn't released in the US until April 1981 after Bon had died.

Scary, yet funny. Reminds me of Scooby Doo. That Robin Williams reference is priceless.
- austin, Bristow, VA

My mom got a kick out of the "Shazbot, Nanu Nanu" at the end of this song. I doubt she'd ever heard it before. She also started laughing when my sister and I were singing along to "Back in Black" . . . In the crowd she was with in the 80's, apparently, AC/DC was associated with low-lives. A band doesn't have to be sophisticated and play songs with deep meanings to be TOTALLY FREAKIN' AWESOME!!! (That's mostly to my dad, the one with about a million classical CD's stored around the house. "Why don't you listen to the music you play on the piano?" 'Cause it's boring and they didn't have electric guitars back then! I refuse to listen to Chopin voluntarily.)
- Bess, San Diego, CA

Very cool song from the "Highway to Hell" album.Menacing and scary even ...something all great rock should be.I always hated the 'Nanu Nanu' at the end,however,it ruined an other wise cool rock song by making me think of a guy I detest ,Robin Williams.
- Mark, byrdstown, TN

Night Prowler is such a cool imaginative song... It's got that creepy chill about it but also with a hint of's great and it lets your mind wander...even though it lead that serial killer guy to do what he did. And yeah I read somewhere that it was actually George's wife, Ang n Mal's sister in law, who's name was also Margeret, who had seen it on the back of a sewing machine, as it was either her or their actual sister, Margaret, who were in charge of their onstage costumes. But either way, it still has the same High Voltage meaning and power, and they played in gay bars, they'd play anywher, any gig, more fans ey
- selina, Perth, Australia

Oh yeah, was talkin abou the name by the way... And Mal said that the song is just about sneaking in to a couple of old girlfriend's bedrooms n having sex with them
- selina, Perth, Australia

I don't care how the band got their name. They are awesome. I always thought that "Night Prowler" was about a vampire or werewolf.
- Joel, Lawrence, KS

when Black Sabbath and AC/DC were touring together, the bassist from Sabbath pulled a knife on Malcolm. The cool thing is, Malcolm kicked his ass.
- david, Taylors Falls, MN

as much as i love this song, i love the version Lucid Nation does. People are critical against the lucid nation version because a woman is singing. But the reason why Tamra Spivey chose to sing the song is because she uses this song as a revenge song after being raped at the age of 16.
- chris, walnut creek, CA

Interesting story bout the whole AC/DC bisexual thing. One day Bon was in a bathroom, and a guy asked him whether he was AC or DC. Bon turned to him and said "I'm the lightning bolt down the middle!' Then he punched him out.
- Andrew, Marietta, GA

Actually, the fact saying that Night Prowler was Bon's last take is wrong. Bon's last take was a cover of an earlier AC/DC song, Ride On, recorded on February 10, 1980, with the French rock band Trust, it was never released officialy.
- John Dough, Toronto, Canada

I've heard both vacuum cleaner and sewing machine before, but after that I'm leaning more toward sewing machine. The whole AC/DC standing for bisexual started around the time gay pride surfaced, which i heard was in the early eighties, so that didn't influence them to play at gay bars. They were just willing to play anywhere.
- Josh, Las Vegas, NV

It was their sister Margaret who saw it on a sewing machine. She is the one that made all of Angus's school boy uniforms in the beginning as I do believe it was her idea. And yes someone informed the band that the term AC/DC is slang for bisexuality and that is why AC/DC played in gay bars when they were first starting out. I'm not entirely sure whether or not it was a cab driver however, and no Laura they did not almost beat him up.. cool down your imagination.
- Danielle, Swanton, OH

I don't know about the sister or how they originally thought of it, but I heard a story (probably a total legend, but amusing anyway) that they were discussing their newly decided name in a cab, and the cab driver was like "Uhh, you guys do realize that means bisexual, right?" And they almost beat him up, and then were like, "Wait, it does? Dangit!" But obviously decided to keep it anyway. Like Alex said, it also means alternating current/direct current, but as I was exposed to it as meaning bisexual before I knew the band, I always thought it was kind of amusing. (sorry for the horrible paraphrasing of that story!)
- Laura, New York, NY

Actually, I believe one of their sisters saw it on a vacuum cleaner. It of course stands for "Alternating Current / Direct Current", which you could translate as "high voltage". So it makes sense. Great song, "Night Prowler", it's one of those songs that grew on me after a while.
- Alec, Sewell, NJ

I saw behind the music and there name came from the ac dc adapter on a sewing machine so why they think it is related i dont know.
- jesse, tampa, FL

Why does HelterSkelter and Piggies by the Beatles get such a bad rap when AC/DC stuff went through the same thing?
- Sam, Cleveland, OH

I always think of this song when I'm walking somewhere unpopulated and spooky at night in the city.
- Mitch, Winnipeg, Canada

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