BON SCOTT

To this day, there has not been a singer with a voice as AMAZING as that of BON SCOTT's. Nor has there been a Lyricist that can come close to his unique style of clever double-entendre song lyrics. And there never will be a frontman that can perform up to his standards. He is the ultimate ROCK AND ROLL Icon, Frontman, and Rebel. BON SCOTT Forever.

BON SCOTT 30TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE

It all started on July 9th, 1946, in Kirriemuir, Scotland- that Ronald Belford Scott was born to parents Isa and Chick Scott. Bon's parents were involved musically- Bon's father namely played drums for a Scottish pipe band, that Bon would soon participate with at a young age.

In 1952, the Scott family migrated to Australia (much as the YOUNG family had done, ironically from Scotland as well). The first located to Melbourne, and then moved on to the Adelaide suburb Sunshine.

In 1956 the Scott family once again relocated- this time to Fremantle.

Bon began developing his musical talents at an early age. He would first learn the recorder during his early school years, accordian, piano and bagpipes were other instruments Bon would learn to play. He finally learned the drums- inspired by his father, and would get to play alongside his Dad in the local Scottish pipe band he performed in.

Bon left school in 1961, at the age of 15 years. Since parting with school, Bon entered his way into the Australian work force- holding various positions at odd jobs- working driving a tractor, a fishing boat laborer and painter, and weighing machine mechanic. Bon also had his try in the military- but was found "socially maladjusted" by the Australian army. Bon would be seen walking the streets of Perth with a Boa constrictor around his neck.

Bon's earliest known band was called The Spektors. Bon was the drummer, but also switched off and doubled up on lead vocals. The Spektors set ranged mainly of cover songs such as "Gloria" and other popular songs of the time.

Bon Scott performing live with The Spektors(1966)

In 1967 Bon teamed up with his good friend Vince Lovegrove- and the band was called THE VALENTINES. The Valentines recorded and released their debut single on Clarion records- "Everyday I Have To Cry" (b/w-"I can't Dance With You") in May, 1967. The single charted well- reaching the top 5 on the local Australian charts.

Bon Scott with The Valentines (Bon 2nd from Right)

The Valentines second single was "She Said"(b/w "To Know You Is To Love You"), released in August, 1967. "She Said" was (ironically) originaly recorded by The Easybeats (ie. George Young and Harry Vanda). The band moved their home-base to Melbourne.

The Valentines Cira 1967 (Bon on right)

The next single came out on February, 1968, and was called "Why Me" (b/w- "I can Hear The Raindrops"). By this time, The Valentines had their ups and downs- but overall, were a pretty successful Pop-rock band in Australia. The next 2 singles, again were original EASYBEATS songs. The first "Peculiar Hole In The Sky" (b/w- "Love Makes Sweet Music") came out during June of 1968.

The Valentines (1968) Bon on Left

The Valentines next single "My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man"(b/w- "Ebeneezer") was released March, 1969. After a touring schedule and various TV appearances. This single was also released as a maxi-single (with picture sleeve and bonus track " Nick Nack Paddy Whack"). Their brand of Bubble-gum pop-rock seemed to be paying off. "My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man" charted at #23 on the Australian music charts during July of '69. "Nick Nack Paddy Whack" (b/w- "Getting Better") was the next release during August of 1969.

"My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man" EP (Bon center)

 

Unfortunately, on September 20, 1969, The Valentines were arrested for Drug possession. This offset the bands image, and more or less was the end of the band. Regardless- The Valentines came back with another single on March, 1970- "Juliette" (b/w- "hoochie Coochie Billy") Juliette reached the Australian Top 30. The band officially disbanded on August 1, 1970.

The Valentines never officially released any full length albums, but some compilations were released later on."The Valentines" LP in 1987 (most of their singles), "Bon Scott With The Valentines" LP (also featuring most of the Valentines singles) was released in 1988, and "Bon Scott The Early Years 1967-1972" was also released in 1988 (both in Australia). These were also re-issued on CD later on.

Sydney based blues-rock band FRATERNITY had just recorded and released their first single "Why Did It Have To Be Me" during Feb., 1971. Bon would receive a phone call from Bruce Houwe (Fraternity's Bass player- and band leader), and soon enough Bon Scott was the Lead Singer of Fraternity.

FRATERNITY 1971 (Bon center)

The band was now based in Adelaide, and recorded and released their debut album in 1971 on the Sweet Peach label, titled "Livestock". Bon guested on BLACKFEATHER's album "Mountains of Madness" on recorder. This album also featured the song "Seasons of Change" (which was on "Livestock"). Blackfeathers version was out first, which more or less stumped Fraternity's versions success.

FRATERNITY 1971 (Bon Center)

Fraternity released "Season's of Change" (b/w- Sommerville) during May, 1971. The second single was "The Race" (part 1 and part 2) during October of 1971. This was not on the album. "If You Got It" (b/w "Raglan's Folly" and "You Have A God") would also be released October, 1971 (and featured a Picture sleeve). At this time, Fraternity would enjoy pretty good success in Australia, touring around Adelaide.

FRATERNITY 1971 (Bon 3rd from left)

Fraternity would be working on their next album during the earlier part of 1972. Bon would marry his girlfriend Irene around this time.

The first single would be "Welfare Boogie" (b/w- "Annabelle") released March, 1972, now on the RCA label. Fraternity's second album, titled "Flaming Galah" would be released April, 1972.

FRATERNITY (circa 1972) (Bon center)

Fraternity's brand of Progressive bluesey rock proved pretty successful in Australia. It was time to conquer other places. The band decided to give a try in Europe. The primarily toured throughout England and Germany during most of 1973. And most Ironically of all, supported the U.K. band GEORDIE in England. (the band that was fronted by BRIAN JOHNSON, who would eventually become Bon's replacement).

FRATERNITY on Tour, 1973 (Bon on right)

Fraternity did not achieve the stardom they hoped for in Europe, and ended up going back to Australia broke. The band was falling apart, and Bon's marriage wasn't too stable either. Bon would end up in a severe motorcycle accident after an argument, landing him in the hospital and in a coma for several months. This was the end of Fraternity.

After Bon's recovery, he was back to odd jobs for work, until he got together with Peter Head and recorded some new music. THE MOUNT LOFTY RANGERS would be the band- which also featured Bon's longtime friends Vince Lovegrove and Bruce Houwe. They would record 2 tracks ("Round and Round" and "Carey Gully"), but these songs would not be heard until they were released on CD in 1996. (in addition, the musically remastered "Round and Round and Round"). Peter Head's songs were just right for Bon- and Bon sounded just as great as ever on them.

By this time, Bon would soon find himself driving around the new rock band AC/DC. Bon would often jam with the band- filling in on Drums. AC/DC's current singer was DAVE EVANS at the time, whose membership in the band was dwindling. His "Gary Glitter" rock star image was something AC/DC could do without. Dave Evans didn't show up one night for a show- so Bon jumped at the opportunity. Dave Evans was fired, and Bon was now the new singer of AC/DC.

AC/DC with Dave Evans, 1973 ~AC/DC With Bon, 1974

AC/DC recorded their debut album, properly titled "High Voltage", which was released February, 1975 in Australia. The album's success soon achieved GOLD status in Australia. The bands next release would be T.N.T., also released during 1975- and also going GOLD.

Bon in 1976

AC/DC 1974

The next AC/DC album would be called "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", and was released in 1976. AC/DC were already enjoying huge success throughout Australia and parts of Europe- touring in support of their album "High Voltage" which was released in 1976 (basically a compilation of the 2 original Aussie albums).

AC/DC 1975(Before Mark Evans)

LET THERE BE ROCK was the album to really break AC/DC in Europe. Released in 1977- and definately one of AC/DC's finest recordings ever. AC/DC would go on to tour throughout Europe, and then to America.

AC/DC Live onstage, 1976

(Malcolm and Angus Young, Phil Rudd, Bon (in front), Mark Evans)

The next AC/DC album would be "Powerage", to be released in 1978. Followed by the great Live album "If You Want Blood You've Got It". AC/DC were on the move- building their fan base, and touring constantly.

AC/DC On Tour 1978

(L to R- Cliff, Phil, Angus, Bon, and Malcolm)

It was 1979 that the greatest album of all time would be recorded. HIGHWAY TO HELL was released, and AC/DC would go on to tour the world- now headlining many venues, and even supporting THE WHO at the Wembley. This would be the album to finally break AC/DC in America, and prove they were a driving force in Rock 'n Roll.

Bon Scott Live onstage, circa 1979

The Highway To Hell world tour was a great success and achievement for AC/DC. They would already be in pre-production for the next AC/DC album, when tragedy struck. Bon was always a heavy drinker. This was nothing unusual for him. After a heavy drinking binge, Bon was too heavy for his equally drunken friend- Allisdair Kinnear to move. He covered Bon in his car, and left him there to sleep it off. The next morning, Bon was found dead, in the card in front of his friends South London flat. February 19th, 1980 would be the end of the greatest singer of all time.

AC/DC promotional photo session, 1979

(Malcolm, Bon, Cliff, Angus, and Phil)

Bon Scott, age 33, was pronounced dead on arrival at Kings College Hospital in London. Apparantley, his neck had twisted in his sleep, causing him to asphixiate when vomiting from the alchohol. Approximately 7 double-whiskeys were consumed the night before his death. Bon was flown back to Australia, and now Lies there, in Fremantle Cemetary's Memorial Garden.

Bon Scott's Grave- In Fremantle, Australia

The world had lost a voice- a lyricist, a performer, and an entertainer. He was a man of Charisma, charm, and cheer. Bon Scott will always be remembered- through his voice, his words, and his legacy.

AC/DC were faced with a disasterous situation. Replacing Bon would be something they would not even consider at first, and once they actually did decide to continue, would be no easy task. No one out there could replace Bon. And the band did not want some cheap Bon Imitator. Brian Johnson was finally brought in for an audition- on the note that Bon himself thought Brian was such a great singer and performer when Fraternity and Geordie toured together. Bon was right. Brian Johnson would be the ONLY suitable replacement for Bon- and would allow AC/DC to carry on. The album BACK IN BLACK was recorded, and released during the summer of 1980, and dedicated to BON SCOTT.

Back In Black went on to become the best selling hard rock/ and-or/ Metal album of all time, and the rest is AC/DC history. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was released in the U.S., finally in 1981, which also proved to be mega-successful. In 1984, AC/DC released the EP '74 JAILBREAK, to commemorate 10 years as a band- and also another suitable dedication to Bon. Finally, in 1998- AC/DC released the long-awaited boxed set, entitled BONFIRE.

Bon himself came up with the title- once telling the band, if he ever became a bigshot, and did some sort of solo album or something, he's gonna call it BONFIRE.

This boxset was the best thing to come out in the past 15 years. What an excellent package! The unreleased songs were enough alone! I would like to thank AC/DC for such an excellent idea for us AC/DC fans!!! The ONLY disappointment was that there weren't too many unreleased songs.

 2007: AC/DC Releases PLUG ME IN DVD SET (3 DVD Collector's edition is the recommended one!) featuring tons of great, rare & yet unreleased video footage with the band from 1975-79 with Bon (and of course, lots of great stuff with Brian as well). This set is a MUST-HAVE for any true AC/DC Fan!

2008: Bon Scott was recently immortalized to an even further degree than he already is- in Perth Australia on Feb 24th, 2008 a life sized bronze statue of Bon was finally unveiled.