3 Things You Didn’t Know About Bon Scott
Most people know Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott as the original lead singer for AC/DC. Except he wasn’t. When the Young boys put AC/DC together back in November of 1973, their lead singer was a guy named Dave Evans. However, when the Youngs decided to switch from glam rock to hard rock/blues, they also decided Evans wasn’t their go-forward guy. Details are sketchy, but they must’ve been in a hurry to dump of Evans, because they didn’t have a replacement lined up.
The other band members must’ve had pretty crappy voices. One night in August of 1974 during a gig at the Pooraka Hotel in Adelaide, South Australia, the band, with no lead singer, just played instrumental versions of various rock songs. In the audience was Bon Scott and his longtime friend and bandmate Vince Lovegrove. Bon was an experienced singer, but the extent of his involvement with AC/DC to that point had been that of a driver. At Lovegrove’s urging, Bon finally took the stage and started singing with the band. Everyone apparently hit it off, because by October, Bon Scott was the official lead singer for AC/DC.
Incidentally, Dave Evans went on to do nothing you’ve ever heard of.
Bon was a hard partier. In fact, in May of 1974, drunk on Jack Daniel’s, he got into a motorcycle wreck that put him in a coma for three days. His questionable health, not to mention the fact that he was seven years older than Malcom and nine years older than Angus, almost kept the Youngs from hiring him.
The hard partying did him in. At some point the night of February 18 or the morning of February 19, 1980, Bon passed out in his car and never woke up. The official cause of death was alcohol poisoning. Yet in a very real sense, he was able to choose Brian Johnson as his successor.
When Bon passed away, the Youngs decided it was time to call it quits. It was Bon’s parents who convinced them that, no, Bon would want the band to continue. But what were they going to do about a singer?
Then Malcom and Angus remembered Bon talking about a singer he had seen years earlier while touring in England. His name was Brian Johnson and Bon likened him to Little Richard – one of Bon’s all-time favorites. Except the Youngs weren’t sure where to find Johnson.
The band auditioned a number of other singers, but finally tracked Johnson down. They were sure he was the one after the first audition, but called him back for a second just to be positive. And the rest, as they say, is rock ‘n’ roll history.