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Bon Scott

1946 – 1980

Ronald 'Bon' Scott (1946-1980) had come to Australia with his family in 1952, aged six, had lived in Melbourne and Fremantle, where he joined a pipe band; had dropped out of school at fifteen; and had spent some time in custody. By 1974, Scott was working at a fertiliser plant by day and writing songs that he would try out with other musicians at night. Artistic differences had arisen between AC/DC and their lead singer, Dave Evans, and Scott had had a terminal falling-out with his own loose group, the Mount Lofty rangers. He liked AC/DC but thought they were too young to rock; they thought he was too old to rock; but their first jam session was enough to seal the first AC/DC lineup. The following year, with two albums and four huge singles in Australia, the band was signed to an international deal, but American success did not come until Highway to Hell reached number 17 on the US charts in 1979. Two years later he was dead, having inhaled his own vomit while 'sleeping off' a bender in a parked car in London. His grave in Fremantle is the most-visited grave in Australia. In mid- 2004 UK magazine Classic Rock rated Scott as number one in a list of the 100 Greatest Frontmen. Significantly, however, largely thanks to Angus Young's star status, the band weathered the loss of Scott and his replacement by Brian Johnston. AC/DC's Back in Black, issued five months after Scott's death, is said to be the second-highest-selling album of all time worldwide, after Michael Jackson's Thriller; it is the fifth-highest selling album in the USA alone.

Updated 2018