There are two types of AC/DC fans - those that prefer the Bon Scott Era and those that are wrong.
Ronald "Bon" Scott died today in London in 1980. He was born in Scotland in 1946 and moved to Australia at the age of six. He learned to play bagpipes and guitar before dropping put of high school. After run-ins with the law and a failed attempt to join the army, Bon moved back to Scotland.
He was 20 years old by the time he formed his first band. He had some local success in Scotland but by 1970 he was back in Australia where he joined a band called Fraternity. Fraternity toured Australia and in 1973 toured the UK. While in England they opened for a band called Geordie, which was fronted by Bon's future replacement, Brian Johnson.
Upon returning from the UK tour Fraternity disbanded. Bon found a regular job but continued to work on his music and play locally. In May of 1974 he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident which put him in a coma in addition to broken bones and a throat injury. According to his wife at the time, the throat injury changed his voice quite a bit.
Bon would not be deterred and in October of 1974 he auditioned for AC/DC's open lead singer position. Despite the band's reservations about Bon's age, he was roughly 8-10 years older than the other members, Bon joined AC/DC and they began down the long way to the top with the release of their debut album only four months later.
AC/DC steadily gained fans and focus over the 5 years Bon was with them. Each album built upon the one before and there never really was a sophomore slump or misstep, rather a determined, relentless charge forward. Bon's last album, "Highway to Hell", was AC/DC's first album to crack the top 100 in America, reaching as high as #17. He died only seven months after its release.
There have been a number of rumors surrounding Bon's death, the most famous being that he choked on his vomit after a night of drinking. This is not true. The coroner listed "acute alcohol poisoning" and "death by misadventure" on his death certificate. The circumstances surrounding the misadventure are truly heartbreaking. From Metal Hammer magazine:
"On the night of February 18, 1980 Bon Scott went out to a party in Camden Town and was drinking with an acquaintance/friend, Alistair Kinnear. At the party they both had quite a bit to drink. Kinnear offered Bon a lift to his home at Ashley Court in Westminster and Bon accepted.
On February 19 at about 3:00 a.m. on the ride home Kinnear realized that Bon had slipped into unconsciousness. Kinnear tried to rouse Bon, but couldn’t and he took Bon’s keys let himself into his apartment. Kinnear telephoned Bon’s current girlfriend but didn’t reach her. So, Kinnear called his girlfriend Silver Smith, who happened to be a former girlfriend of Bon’s. She advised Kinnear that Bon passed out frequently and she gave him fatal advice to let Bon “sleep it off.”
“I then drove to my flat on Overhill Road and tried to lift him out of the car, but he was too heavy for me to carry in my intoxicated state, so I put the front passenger seat back so that he could lie flat, covered him with a blanket, left a note with my address and phone number on it, and staggered upstairs to bed. It must have been 4 or 5 a.m. by that time, and I slept until about 11.”
“When I was awakened by a friend, Leslie Loads. I was so hungover that I asked Leslie to do me a favor of checking on Bon. He did so, and returned to tell me my car was empty, so I went back to sleep, assuming that Bon had awoken and taken a taxi home. At about 7:30 that evening I went down to my car intending to pay a visit to my girlfriend who was in hospital, and was shocked to find Bon still lying flat in the front seat, obviously in a very bad way, and not breathing. I immediately drove him to King’s College Hospital, where Bon was pronounced dead on arrival. The Lambeth coroner’s report cited acute alcohol poisoning, and death by misadventure.”
According to Kinnear there is no truth that Bon choked on his own vomit or was found wrapped around the gearstick as many reports had stated."
Fuck all that. Let's remember Bon in his own words instead: