|Birth name||Ronald Belford Scott|
|Born||9 July 1946|
Forfar, Angus, Scotland
|Origin||Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia|
|Died||19 February 1980 33) (aged|
East Dulwich, London, England
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, songwriter|
Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott (9 July 1946 – 19 February 1980) was a Scottish-born Australian singer and songwriter, best known for being the lead vocalist and lyricist of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980.
Scott was born in Forfar in Angus, Scotland, and spent his early years in Kirriemuir. He moved to Australia with his family in 1952 at the age of six, living in Melbourne for four years before settling in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Scott formed his first band, the Spektors, in 1964 and became the band's drummer and occasional lead vocalist. He performed in several other bands, including the Valentines and Fraternity, before replacing Dave Evans as the lead singer of AC/DC in 1974.AC/DC's popularity grew throughout the 1970s, initially in Australia, and then internationally. Their 1979 album Highway to Hell reached the top 20 in the United States, and the band seemed on the verge of a commercial breakthrough. However, on 19 February 1980, Scott died after a night out in London. AC/DC briefly considered disbanding, but the group recruited vocalist Brian Johnson of the British glam rock band Geordie. AC/DC's subsequent album, Back in Black , was released only five months later, and was a tribute to Scott. It went on to become the second-best-selling album in history.
In the July 2004 issue of Classic Rock , Scott was rated as number one in a list of the "100 Greatest Frontmen of All Time".Hit Parader ranked Scott as fifth on their 2006 list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Vocalists of all time.
Scott was born on 9 July 1946 at Fyfe Jamieson Maternity Hospital in Forfar, Scotland, the son of Charles Belford "Chick" Scott (1917–1999) and Isabelle Cunningham "Isa" Mitchell (1917–2011). He grew up in Kirriemuir and was his parents' second child; the first-born was a boy, Sandy, who died shortly after birth.A third child, Derek, was born in 1949. The Scott family moved from Scotland to Australia in 1952. They initially lived in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine, Victoria, and Scott attended nearby Sunshine Primary School. The nickname "Bon" was acquired shortly after starting school; because there was another Ronald in the class, his classmates played on the phrase "Bonnie Scotland". A fourth child, Graeme, was born in 1953.
In 1956, the family moved to Fremantle. Scott joined the associated Fremantle Scots Pipe Band, learning the drums.He attended North Fremantle Primary School and later John Curtin College of the Arts until he dropped out at the age of 15. He subsequently worked as a farmhand and a crayfisherman, and was later a trainee weighing-machine mechanic. In 1963 he spent a short time in Fremantle Prison's assessment centre and nine months at the Riverbank Juvenile Institution, relating to charges of giving a false name and address to the police, having escaped legal custody, having unlawful carnal knowledge, and stealing 12 gallons of petrol. He attempted to join the Australian Army, but was rejected and deemed "socially maladjusted".
Scott's vocals were inspired by his idol, Little Richard.After working as a postman, bartender and truck packer, Scott started his first band, the Spektors, in 1964 as drummer and occasional lead singer. In 1966 merged with another local band, the Winstons, and formed the Valentines, in which Scott was co-lead singer with Vince Lovegrove. The Valentines recorded several songs written by George Young of the Easybeats. "Every Day I Have to Cry" (a song originally written and sung by Arthur Alexander) made the local record chart. In 1970, after gaining a place on the National Top 30 with their single "Juliette", the Valentines disbanded due to artistic differences after a much-publicised drug scandal.
Scott moved to Adelaide in 1970 and joined the progressive rock band Fraternity.Fraternity released the LPs Livestock and Flaming Galah before touring the UK in 1973, where they changed their name to Fang. During this time they played support slots for Status Quo and Geordie, whose front man Brian Johnson would eventually succeed Scott as the lead singer of AC/DC after his death. During this time, on 24 January 1972, Scott married Irene Thornton.
In 1973, just after returning to Australia from the tour of the UK, Fraternity went on hiatus. Scott took a day job at the Wallaroo fertiliser plant and began singing with the Mount Lofty Rangers, a loose collective of musicians helmed by Peter Head (né Beagley) from Headband, who explained, "Headband and Fraternity were in the same management stable and we both split about the same time so the logical thing was to take members from both bands and create a new one ... the purpose of the band was for songwriters to relate to each other and experiment with songs, so it was a hotbed of creativity". Other ex-Fraternity members also played with the band as did Glenn Shorrock pre Little River Band. During this time, Head also helped Scott with his original compositions.
Vince Lovegrove said, "Bon would go to Peter's home after a day of (literally) shovelling shit, and show him musical ideas he had had during his day's work. Bon's knowledge of the guitar was limited, so Peter began teaching him how to bridge chords and construct a song. One of the songs from these sessions was a ballad called 'Clarissa', about a local Adelaide girl. Another was the country-tinged Bin Up in the Hills Too Long, which for me was a sign of things to come with Bon's lyrics; simple, clever, sardonic, tongue-in-cheek ..."
In return, Scott recorded vocals for Mount Lofty Rangers songs "Round & Round" and "Carey Gully".Head released these original recordings in 1996, also teaming up with producer Ted Yanni, another old friend of Scott's, to create an entirely new backing for Round & Round & Round that more accurately reflected the original intentions Head had. Long out of print, and massively bootlegged, this EP finally got an official digital release in June 2010. Unrecorded original compositions of Scott's, "Been up in the Hills Too Long" and "Clarissa" have been recorded by Head on his Peter Head & the Mount Lofty Rangers Lofty album, also released in digital format only in 2011.
About 11 pm on 3 May 1974, at the Old Lion Hotel in North Adelaide, during a rehearsal with the Mount Lofty Rangers, a very drunk, distressed and belligerent Scott had a raging argument with a member of the band. Scott stormed out of the venue, threw a bottle of Jack Daniel's on to the ground, then sped off on his Suzuki GT550 motorbike. Scott suffered serious injuries from the ensuing motorcycle accident, spending three days in a coma and a further 18 days in hospital. Vince Lovegrove and his wife, by then running a booking/management agency, gave Scott odd jobs, such as putting up posters and painting the office during his recovery, and shortly after introduced him to AC/DC who were on the lookout for a new lead singer.
"There was a young, dinky little glam band from Sydney that we both loved called AC/DC ... Before another AC/DC visit, George Young phoned me and said the band was looking for a new singer. I immediately told him that the best guy for the job was Bon. George responded by saying Bon's accident would not allow him to perform, and that maybe he was too old. Nevertheless I had a meeting with Malcolm and Angus, and suggested Bon as their new singer. They asked me to bring him out to the Pooraka Hotel that night, and to come backstage after the show. When he watched the band, Bon was impressed, and he immediately wanted to join them, but thought they may be a bit too inexperienced and too young. After the show, backstage, Bon expressed his doubts about them being "able to rock". The two Young brothers told Bon he was "too old to rock". The upshot was that they had a jam session that night in the home of Bon's former mentor, Bruce Howe, and at the end of the session, at dawn, it was obvious that AC/DC had found a new singer. And Bon had found a new band."
Like Scott, Malcolm Young and his younger brother Angus Young of AC/DC were born in Scotland before emigrating to Australia in their childhood with their family. Fraternity later reformed and replaced Scott with Jimmy Barnes.
Scott's wife, Irene Thornton, later wrote, "The first time Bon saw AC/DC was in August 1974. They came through Adelaide with the Lou Reed and Stevie Wright tour, and played their own show at the Pooraka Hotel ... The first time I saw AC/DC was at the Pooraka Hotel in September. 'Get up there, Bon,' Vince kept saying. The band didn't have a singer that night; they were playing instrumental versions of old rock 'n' roll standards. The boys ripped through all these classic numbers and then finally, with enough pressure from Vince, Bon climbed onto the stage. I didn't realise that AC/DC had just sacked Dave Evans and they wanted Bon to replace him. Like Bon, the Youngs were Scottish, so there was an instant bond."
Scott replaced Dave Evans as the lead singer of AC/DC on 24 October 1974,when it became obvious the band and Evans were heading in different directions, with Evans having personal clashes with band members and management. Scott's appointment coincided with him working as a chauffeur for the band at the time until an audition promoted him to lead singer.
With the Young brothers as lead and rhythm guitarists, session drummer Tony Currenti (see AC/DC line-ups) and George Young as a temporary bassist, AC/DC released High Voltage , their first LP in Australia, in February 1975.Within a few months Currenti was replaced by Phil Rudd and Mark Evans was hired as a permanent bassist, and AC/DC began recording their second album T.N.T. , which was released in Australia in December 1975. The first AC/DC album to gain international distribution however was a compilation of tracks from the first two albums, also entitled High Voltage , which was released in May 1976. Another studio album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap , was released in September of the same year, but only in Australia; the international version of the album was released in December with a different track listing. The album was not released in the US until March 1981.
In the following years, AC/DC gained further success with their albums Let There Be Rock and Powerage . The 1978 release of Powerage marked the debut of bassist Cliff Williams (who had replaced Mark Evans), and with its harder riffs, followed the blueprint set by Let There Be Rock. Only one single was released from Powerage—"Rock 'n' Roll Damnation"—which gave AC/DC their highest chart position at the time, reaching #24. An appearance at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow during the Powerage tour was recorded and released as If You Want Blood You've Got It .
The band's sixth album, Highway To Hell , was produced by Robert "Mutt" Lange and was released in 1979. It became AC/DC's first LP to break the US top 100, eventually reaching #17, and it propelled AC/DC into the top ranks of hard rock acts.
Scott met Irene Thornton, from Adelaide, in 1971 while he was the lead singer for Fraternity. They married in 1972.After two years of marriage, they separated before divorcing in 1977 but remained friends until his death.
Michael Browning, who managed AC/DC in their early years, stated in his book on managing AC/DC, Dog Eat Dog, that he visited Scott in hospital in Melbourne in 1975 after Scott had overdosed on drugs. Browning claimed "Bon was bragging to me the last time he was in that hospital he was visiting two separate girls, both unknown to each other, who were both giving birth to his kids at the same time. So there's at least two of Bon Scott's children out there, or at least two I can vouch for."
There is, however, no documentation that Scott had any children.
On 15 February 1980, Scott attended a session where Malcolm and Angus Young were working on the beginnings of two songs that would later be recorded on the Back in Black album: "Have a Drink On Me" and "Let Me Put My Love Into You" with Scott accompanying on drums rather than singing or writing lyrics.
Days earlier, Scott had gone with Mick Cocks to visit their friends the French group Trust in the Scorpio Sound studio in London where they recorded the album Répression ; Scott was working on the English adaptation of texts by Bernie Bonvoisin for the English version of the album. During this visit, the musicians did a jam session of "Ride On". This improvised session was Scott's last recording.
Some time during the late evening of 18 February and early morning of 19 February, Scott passed out and died at the age of 33. He had just visited a London club called the Music Machine (currently known as KOKO). He was left to sleep in a Renault 5 owned by a friend of Scott's, Alistair Kinnear, at 67 Overhill Road in East Dulwich.Later that day, Kinnear found Scott lifeless, and alerted the authorities. Scott was taken to King's College Hospital in Camberwell, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The official report of the coroner concluded that Scott had died of "acute alcohol poisoning" and classified it as "death by misadventure".
The chronology of events on 19 February and when exactly Scott was found dead has been challenged by Jesse Fink's 2017 book Bon: The Last Highway, which quotes late UFO guitarist Paul Chapman as having been informed early that morning by Scott's friend Joe Fury that Scott was dead. Kinnear said he found Scott in the evening. Chapman claims Scott and Fury were with him the previous evening of 18 February and Scott left his apartment to buy heroin, never to return.
Fink's book also reveals Scott and Kinnear were not alone in East Dulwich but with a third person, Zena Kakoulli, who stayed over at Kinnear's apartment while Scott remained in the parked Renault. An updated edition of Fink's book released in 2018 produces new evidence that a fourth individual, Kakoulli's husband the rock musician Peter Perrett, was also with Scott, Kinnear and Kakoulli.Fink contends that pulmonary aspiration of vomit was the cause of Scott's death via a suspected heroin overdose, but the official cause was listed on the death certificate as "acute alcohol poisoning" and classified as "death by misadventure".
As part of the funeral arrangements, Scott's body was embalmed by Desmond Henley;it was later cremated and Scott's ashes were interred by his family at Fremantle Cemetery in Fremantle .
Shortly after Scott's death, the remaining members of AC/DC briefly considered quitting; however, it was eventually decided that Scott would have wanted them to continue and with the Scott family's encouragement, the band hired Brian Johnson as their new vocalist.Five months after Scott's death, AC/DC finished the work they began with Scott and released Back in Black as a tribute to him. The issue of whether Scott's lyrics were used, uncredited, on the album remains an enduring topic of debate. In Fink's Bon: The Last Highway, Scott's girlfriends Silver Smith (now deceased) and "Holly X" (a pseudonym) both claim Scott wrote the song "You Shook Me All Night Long".
His grave site has become a cultural landmark; more than 28 years after Scott's death, the National Trust of Australia declared his grave important enough to be included on the list of classified heritage places.It is reportedly the most visited grave in Australia. On 7 July 2006, to mark his 60th birthday, the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board completed refurbishments on the Bon Scott Grave Area. This consisted of a Bon Scott Arch and Memorial Entrance gate off Carrington Street in the north-west corner of Fremantle Cemetery. On 9 July 2006, sixty years to the day from Scott's birth, the bronze plaque was stolen from the site.
A bronze statue of Scott was unveiled at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour in Western Australia on 24 February 2008.The statue portrays Scott atop a Marshall amplifier.
ACDC Lane is a street in the central business district of Melbourne. It was renamed on 1 October 2004 as a tribute to AC/DC. The trademark lightning bolt or slash ("/") used to separate the AC and the DC in the band's name contravened the naming policy of the Office of the Registrar of Geographic Names, so the punctuation was omitted on the street sign. Melbourne's Lord Mayor John So launched ACDC Lane with the words, "As the song says, there is a highway to hell, but this is a laneway to heaven. Let us rock." Bagpipers then played "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)." Those were all songs from Bon Scott era. The lane contains a rock 'n' roll nightclub called the Cherry Bar.
On 6 May 2006, the town of Kirriemuir in Scotland held a service and unveiled a Caithness stone slab commemorating the singer.A message was read from long-time friend and fellow member of the Valentines, Vince Lovegrove in which he said:
The thing I loved most about Bon Scott, was his almost unique self honesty. What you saw was what you got, he was a real person and as honest as the day is long. To my mind he was the street poet of my generations and of the generations that followed.
A life-sized bronze statue of Scott was unveiled by former AC/DC bass player Mark Evans in Bellies Brae Car Park in Kirriemuir on 30 April 2016, during the 10th anniversary of the Bonfest music festival. Kirriemuir hosts an annual festival known as "Bonfest" as a tribute to Bon Scott and AC/DC. It was originally held in July on the weekend closest to his birthday but moved to May because of other events in the local area during July. The statue was commissioned by local community group DD8 Music and created by John McKenna.
AC/DC released a box set entitled Bonfire as a tribute to Scott on 18 November 1997. It contains four albums; a remastered version of Back in Black ; a "rarities" album with alternate takes, outtakes, and stray live cuts, Volts ; and two live albums, Live from the Atlantic Studios and Let There Be Rock: The Movie . Live from the Atlantic Studios was recorded on 7 December 1977 at the Atlantic Studios in New York City. Let There Be Rock: The Movie is a double album which was recorded on 9 December 1979 at the Pavillon de Paris in Paris, and was the soundtrack of the motion picture, AC/DC: Let There Be Rock .
AC/DC's seventh studio album Back In Black was released as a dedication and tribute to Scott. In 2003, Scott was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of AC/DCwith his nephews present to accept the honour in his place.
In 2003, Scott's final studio album with AC/DC, 1979's Highway to Hell ranked 199 on Rolling Stone 's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2004, the song "Highway to Hell" that Scott co-wrote with Malcolm and Angus Young ranked 254 on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
In the July 2004 issue of UK magazine Classic Rock , Scott was rated as number one in a list of the "100 Greatest Frontmen," ahead of Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant. [ page needed ]
The French rock band Trust wrote their hit song "Ton dernier acte" ("Your Last Act") in memory of Scott in 1980. German hard rock band Kingdom Come wrote and recorded a song titled "Bon Scott" for their album, Ain't Crying for the Moon, as a tribute to the former AC/DC frontman. Romanian hard rock group Iris recorded the song "Ultimul mic dejun al lui Bon" ("Bon's Last Breakfast") as a tribute to Scott, released on their 1997 album Lună plină .
Many artists perform live covers of songs that Scott wrote with AC/DC as a tribute to him. On 19 February 2005, the 25th anniversary of Scott's death, thrash metal band Megadeth performed a cover of "Problem Child" as a tribute. Singer and guitarist Dave Mustaine talked about how much Scott had influenced him. Hard rock band Guns N' Roses frequently perform "Whole Lotta Rosie" in concert and covered it in 1987. AC/DC performed their song "Ride On" only one time in 2001 as a tribute to Scott.[ citation needed ]
Scott is the subject of five books including two standalone biographies: Clinton Walker's biography Highway to Hell (1994 and updated in 2015), his ex-wife Irene Thornton's memoir My Bon Scott (2014, retitled outside Australia as Have a Drink on Me), the variously authored tribute Live Wire (2015), J.P. Quinton's "historical fiction" Bad Boy Boogie (2016), and Jesse Fink's biography Bon: The Last Highway (2017 and updated in 2018). Fink's book claims that Scott died of a heroin overdose, while Walker backs the coroner's finding of alcohol poisoning. The controversial point that he and Walker both agree on is that many of Bon's lyrics were co-opted, uncredited, into Back in Black.
The West Australian Music Industry Awards are annual awards celebrating achievements for Western Australian music. They commenced in 1985.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2005||Bon Scott||Hall of Fame||inductee|
AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal, but the band themselves call it simply "rock and roll".
Highway to Hell is the sixth studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, released on 27 July 1979. It was the band's fifth studio album released internationally and the sixth to be released in Australia. It was the last album featuring lead singer Bon Scott, who would die early the following year on 19 February 1980.
"Whole Lotta Rosie" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is the eighth and final track on the band's fourth Australian album, Let There Be Rock, released in Australia in March 1977, and was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott. It is also the eighth and final track on the international version of the album, released in June the same year.
"You Shook Me All Night Long" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, from the album Back in Black. The song also reappeared on their later album Who Made Who. It is AC/DC's first single with Brian Johnson as the lead singer, replacing Bon Scott who officially died of alcohol poisoning in February 1980, though there have been allegations he succumbed to a drug overdose combined with alcohol. It reached number 35 on the USA's Hot 100 pop singles chart in 1980. The single was re-released internationally in 1986, following the release of the album Who Made Who. The re-released single in 1986 contains the B-side(s): B1. "She's Got Balls" ; B2. "You Shook Me All Night Long".
T.N.T. is the second studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, released only in Australia, on 1 December 1975.
Powerage is the fifth studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It was the band's fourth studio album released internationally and the fifth to be released in Australia. It was the first AC/DC album to feature Cliff Williams on bass, and it was also the first AC/DC album not to have a title track and the first one worldwide to be released with the same album cover. Powerage was re-released in 2003 as part of the AC/DC Remasters series.
If You Want Blood You've Got It is the first live album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, and their only live album with Bon Scott as lead vocalist. It was originally released in the UK and Europe on 13 October 1978, in the US on 21 November 1978, and in Australia on 27 November 1978. The album was re-released in 1994 on Atco Records and in 2003 as part of the AC/DC Remasters series.
Clifford Williams is an English musician, best known as the bassist and backing vocalist of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. He started his professional music career in 1967 and had previously been in the English groups Home and Bandit. His first studio album with AC/DC was Powerage in 1978. Williams was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of AC/DC in 2003. Williams announced his retirement from AC/DC in 2016, but returned for their 2020 comeback album Power Up along with band mates Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd. His side projects include benefit concerts.
David Evans is an Australian singer. He briefly sang for the hard rock band AC/DC in 1973–1974, appearing on their debut single before being replaced by Bon Scott. Evans then went on to join the band Rabbit who were active into the early 1980s. He resumed a solo career shortly after the year 2000.
"Highway to Hell" is a song by Australian rock band AC/DC. It is the opening track of their 1979 album Highway to Hell. It was initially released as a single in 1979.
Vincent James Lovegrove was an Australian journalist, music manager, television producer, AIDS awareness pioneer and musician. He was a member of 1960s rock 'n' roll band The Valentines, sharing vocals with Bon Scott whom he later introduced to heavy rock group AC/DC. As a journalist, he wrote for Australia's teen music newspaper Go-Set from 1971, and was based in London for Immedia! from 1994 for over eight years. As a manager, his former clients include pub rock singer Jimmy Barnes and rock group Divinyls.
The Spektors were an Australian beat, pop and rock 'n' roll band active in Perth from 1964 to mid-1966. Their co-drummer and part-time lead singer, Bon Scott, was later lead vocalist with hard rockers, AC/DC.
AC/DC: Let There Be Rock is a live concert motion picture featuring the Australian Hard Rock band AC/DC, released theatrically in September 1980 and on videotape the same year.
"Rock 'n' Roll Damnation" is a single by the Australian rock band AC/DC, and the first track on their Powerage album, released in 1978. The single version is an abbreviated version of the album track, with a time of 3:05, as opposed to the album track's length of 3:37. The album track "Sin City" was the B-side in the UK, Germany, Belgium, and Japan. In the US, Canada, and the Netherlands, it was "Kicked in the Teeth," also from the album. In Australia, however, the B-side was "Cold Hearted Man," which appeared on initial UK and European pressings of the album, and was eventually removed when "Rock 'n' Roll Damnation" was added.
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap is the third studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It was the band's third LP released in Australia and second in Europe in 1976 but was not released in the United States until 1981, more than one year after lead singer Bon Scott's death.
Tony Currenti is an Australian drummer of Italian descent, best known as a session drummer for Australian hard rock band AC/DC and various Vanda & Young projects – including Stevie Wright and John Paul Young.
High Voltage is the first internationally released studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It contains tracks from their first two previous Australia-only issued albums: High Voltage and T.N.T..
High Voltage is the debut studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, released only in Australia, on 17 February 1975. Their first international release in 1976 would also be named High Voltage, though with a radically different track list.
Peter Head is an Australian rock music pianist and singer-songwriter. He came to prominence with Adelaide progressive rock band Headband (from February 1971 to 1974. He then formed The Mount Lofty Rangers, which included Bon Scott on lead vocals. Head also has a solo career.
The Valentines were an Australian pop band active from 1966–1970, chiefly noted for their lead singers, Bon Scott, who later went on to great success as lead vocalist with AC/DC; and Vince Lovegrove, who subsequently became a successful music journalist and manager of Divinyls.
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