Greg Prato is a regular contributor to Heavy Consequence and an author of several rock books. His latest book is titled A Rockin’ Rollin’ Man: Bon Scott Remembered, a look at the life and career of the late AC/DC singer. Here, Prato remembers Scott in an exclusive piece for Heavy Consequence using quotes from the newly released book.
It’s hard to believe that the great Bon Scott passed away so long ago — probably due to the fact that the “Bon-era” of AC/DC is possibly more popular than it’s ever been. Case in point, attend a sporting event and it is only a matter of time until you will hear “TNT”, “Highway to Hell” or another oldie but goodie by the band.
Another hint that this Bon Scott’s music is as relevant as ever is that four of the 10 most listened to AC/DC songs on Spotify at the time of this article’s writing are indeed Bon-sung (“Highway to Hell” sitting at No. 1, while “TNT”, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, and “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock n’ Roll)” are also all represented). But the sad fact is that on February 19, 1980, Scott died at the age of 33 (both “acute alcoholic poisoning” and “death by misadventure” are listed on the death certificate).
As a long-time AC/DC fanatic, I started interviewing renowned rockers who I knew were admirers of the Bon-era. The quotes you see in this article are taken from my book, A Rockin’ Rollin’ Man: Bon Scott Remembered.
Many fans still remember the first time they were exposed to the Bon-era of AC/DC, including AC/DC’s drummer from 1983 through 1989, Simon Wright. “It must have been ‘78/’79. There was a radio program on in England every Friday, called The Friday Rock Show — and the DJ was Tommy Vance. And he played I think ‘Let There Be Rock.’ I’d never heard it before, and I thought, ‘What the hell is this? This is cool — I’m having some of this!’”
Wright added, “And then I think a couple of weeks after that, they had this new thing on television, too — Sight and Sound. It was a first, because you had your TV, and then you could tune in to a channel on the radio, and have it coming out of your speakers, as well as on the TV — which was quite revolutionary back then. But I remember sitting there with my dad. Nazareth were going to be on it. But all of a sudden, it wasn’t Nazareth — they had to cancel for some reason. And it was AC/DC. We just sat there, gobsmacked. It was incredible — we’d never seen anything like it.”