Why Bon Scott Is A Rock Legend
Vocalist Bon Scott (1946 - 1980) in concert with Australian rock band AC/DC in New York, August 1979. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Much has been said about Bon Scott and the way he lived life on the fast lane. Some say he’s gotten way too much credit than he deserved, others think he needs more recognition. Either way, he’s made a name for himself in the rock ‘n roll scene not just for his golden pipes but for his charisma and stage presence.
It’s been almost forty years since he passed away but even after all this time, no one will ever come close to him. Thus, we’re paying tribute to one of the greatest frontmen of all time.
It’s A Long Way To The Top
Unlike other rockstars, Bon Scott had a late start in terms of starting or joining a band although he began performing at a young age. One of his major influences especially with his vocal performance is Little Richard. Scott also already held several other day jobs like postman, bartender, and even truck packer before he founded The Spektors in 1966. At the time, he was already 20 years old. A year later, The Spektors merged with The Winstons to form The Valentines.
In 1970, he joined another group called Fraternity. It wasn’t long before he landed the gig for AC/DC to replace Dave Evans in 1974.
He Never Conformed To Rules
Even as a child, Scott already learned to live by his own rules.
“My new schoolmates threatened to kick the shit out of me when they heard my Scottish accent. I had one week to learn to speak like them if I wanted to remain intact. Course, I didn’t take any notice. No-one railroads me, and it made me all the more determined to speak my own way. That’s how I got my name, you know. The Bonny Scot, see?”
He never allowed anyone to dictate his actions which is basically why he went on to become a legendary frontman. At a time when not every rock ‘n roll band made it big, Scott became the rebellious and unpredictable singer who could hit high notes with ease.
He Knew How To Put On A Show
He didn’t need the shock factor or outrageous outfits to captivate the crowd. Scott brought his balls-to-the-wall attitude on stage and everyone loved it. AC/DC was hell-bent on taking the world by storm and who else was capable of leading them than this brash and devil-may-care rocker? His bandmates acknowledged the fact that enchanting the crowd came to him naturally.
“He’s the gold medalist, man. I’m biased, of course, because I knew what Bon was like. I knew the guy, you know? His lyrics are just second to none. He was a great frontman. When he was in AC/DC, he was very much the frontman. I think that once Brian Johnson took over, Brian is still the singer of the band, but I think the focus became that Angus was the frontman of the band, you know? When Bon was in, Bon was very much the frontman of the band and Angus was riding shotgun. Angus was his little mate on stage his little partner-in-crime. I think that says a lot about Bon’s stage presence and charisma that he was still very much the frontman.” – Mark Evans
When he performed, he always owned it. No audience member left disappointed. Scott delivered the goods.
More Than An Entertainer
While his stage presence is legendary, let’s not take away the fact that he was a brilliant lyricist too. He liked injecting double entendres and well, that was the thing back then. Besides, his voice alone already made him a legend. Gritty, whiskey-soaked vocals with an impressive range – he could be in the company of other great vocalists and still stand out.
AC/DC wasn’t about power ballads or emo pieces. They were straight-up rock ‘n roll which is what made Bon Scott perfect for them.
When we hear the name Bon Scott, we think of the man who elevated AC/DC songs into greater heights with his vocal performance. But to those who were close with him, they lost a comedian, a brilliant musician, and a brother. Bon Scott was gone too soon but his legacy will live on even decades from today.