Ronald Belford Scott was born on July 9, 1946 in Kirriemuir,
Scotland. He spent the first six years of his life in the small town of
Kirriemuir. Bon's parents hailed from musical families; his father,
Charles, known to friends and relations as Chick, played drums in the
Kirriemuir Pipe Band and performed with the local light-opera company.
In 1952, the Scott family relocated to Australia. The Scotts first
resided in Melbourne before settling in the Adelaide suburb of Sunshine.
In 1956, Bon's brother Graeme was diagnosed with asthma and the Scott
family relocated to Fremantle.
As early as grade school, Bon had shown an affinity for music, first
playing recorder in school; he would subsequently have brief flirtations
with piano and accordion, before settling on drums. Bon took his first
as a performer at the age of twelve,
playing a recorder duet with a classmate at a school concert and
banging the drums alongside his father in the local Caledonian
Society's Scots pipe band.
Bon's lifelong distaste for authority led him to quit his
studies at the age of fifteen. After leaving school, he held a
series of odd jobs, driving a tractor, laboring on fishing boats
and working as an apprentice weighing-machine mechanic.
Bon's earliest bands found him doubling up on vocals and drums.
In Perth during 1966 he played with The Spektors. Then he moved
on to The Valentines. In May 1967 The Valentines released a
debut single entitled 'Every Day I Have To Cry' on the Clarion
label. Despite its lack of originality, the single reached the
Top 5 of the local charts. But their next three singles flopped
and they decided to move to Melbourne for a change of luck.
The Valentines recorded three Easybeats songs, 'She Said',
'Peculiar Hole In The Sky' and 'My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man'.
The latter reached No. 23 in the Australian charts in July 1969.
On September 20, 1969 The Valentines were arrested for dope
possession which shattered their clean-cut image beyond repair.
Nevertheless The Valentines released another single, 'Julliette'
in April 1970 that barely reached the Australian Top 30. The
band officially called it quits on August 1, 1970.
Within six months of The Valentine's dissolution, Bon received a
call from Bruce Houwe, leader of a new blues-rock band called
Fraternity, inviting him to join his group. By the time Bon
joined Fraternity, the band had already recorded a single, 'Why
Did It Have To Be Me', and begun gigging around Adelaide, where
it had relocated from its original base of Sydney. After two
albums for RCA Australia, 'Live Stock' in 1971 and 'Flaming
Galah' in 1972, Fraternity decided to try their luck in Europe.
For most of 1973 they toured the Continent, principally Britain
and Germany. They even got to support a band called Geordie,
fronted by one Brian Johnson, in the UK. The European trip was
largely fruitless for Fraternity and they returned to Australia
slightly disillusioned. After returning home, Bon was involved
in a motorbike accident that left him in a coma for three days
and in the hospital for several months, ending his association
Now based in Adelaide, Bon was reduced to taking on casual work
until the day he was offered the chance to drive this new band
called AC/DC around. Bon lost little time in telling the band he
could play drums, and before long he'd successfully auditioned
for Peter Clack's position in the band. He also recommended as
bass player his old friend from Fraternity, Bruce Houwe. But Bon
harboured ambitions to front the band. He persuaded the Young
brothers that the band needed a better frontman and he suggested
himself as the ideal replacement. And when Dave Evans failed to
turn up for a show, Bon seized his chance.
Bon Scott was the man who brought AC/DC into sharp focus. He was
a unique personality, a man of such charisma that he could make
every single fan in an audience of thousands feel like he was
performing just for them, whilst also having the ability to make
the local pub seem like an arena. He enjoyed life and loved
nothing better than giving pleasure to others.
Yet Bon Scott was also an excessive drinker and this would
ultimately lead to tragedy. After a night of heavy drinking, Bon
died in a car parked outside a friend's flat in South London
sometime on February 19, 1980. He was prononced dead on arrival
at Kings College Hospital. Bon Scott lies in the Fremantle
Cemetery's Memorial Garden in Australia.