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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Backstage on the way to the top

‘By the way he carried himself, you really thought that Bon Scott was immortal’, AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young recalled in a 1998 interview with Guitar World.

When he joined AC/DC in 1974, Bon Scott wanted to play drums, but the band needed a vocalist. ‘He had no airs and graces about him, probably because he was a drummer at heart’, Angus Young remembered of his close friend, lead singer and frontman. Photographer Rennie Ellis took this relaxed portrait of the pair backstage at Symphony Hall in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on AC/DC’s 1978 international tour. With the band climbing the charts and courting international stardom, Scott told Ellis that he could see no end to the rollicking adventure. Only two years later, Scott’s hard-partying lifestyle caught up with him – officially he died of ‘acute alcohol poisoning’ – and the world lost one of the most talented and adored rock musicians of all time.

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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
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ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.