Bon Scott

Ronald Belford 'Bon' Scott was born in 1946 in Falkirk (a large town in Scotland's 'central belt'), and moved to Melbourne with his family at the age of six. AC/DC was founded in 1973, and Scott replaced founder member Dave Evans as lead vocalist in 1974.

Highway to Hell, AC/DC's fifth album (not counting one that was only released in Australia) was released in 1979, and it made the Top Ten in the UK and Top 20 in the USA. It's consistently rated as one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time (although the band themselves have always rejected the 'heavy metal' tag, preferring to refer to their music simply as rock 'n' roll).

But on 19 February 1980 – less than seven months after the release of Highway to Hell – Bon Scott died after a heavy drinking session in London. He went in the classic rock 'n' roll fashion: choking on his own vomit, in his sleep. He was 33 years old.

AC/DC considered disbanding, but eventually they recruited vocalist Brian Johnson from the glam rock band Geordie, who'd had four Top 40 hit singles in 1973 (one of which, All Because Of You, made the Top Ten). The next AC/DC album, Back in Black, was dedicated to Bon Scott, and it went on to become the second best–selling album of all time – behind Michael Jackson's Thriller, and ahead of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

In 2004, Classic Rock magazine placed Bon Scott at number one in a list of the "100 Greatest Frontmen Of All Time", ahead of Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant.

© Haydn Thompson 2017