Best remembered as the original frontman of the legendary hard rock band AC/DC, singer Bon Scott was born Ronald Belford Scott in Kirriemuir, Scotland on July 9, 1946. As a child he began performing in his father’s pipe band, and following the family’s relocation to Australia in 1952 he quit school at age 15, later playing in a local rock outfit called the Spektors.
By 1967 Scott had joined the Melbourne-based group the Valentines, making his recorded debut with the single “Everyday I Have to Cry; ” the band soon emerged as one of the most popular on the Aussie circuit, in mid-1969 issuing an EP, My Old Man’s a Groovy Old Man.
A drug bust destroyed the Valentines’ public image, however, and after cracking the national Top 30 with their 1970 single “Juliette” the band dissolved; Scott soon joined the Sydney blues-rock unit Fraternity, issuing the LP Livestock in 1971. Flaming Galah followed a year later; in 1973, however, Scott was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him comatose for several months, during which time Fraternity disbanded.
After recovering he worked a series of odd jobs before recording a demo as a member of the short-lived Mount Lofty Rangers; finally, in 1974 Scott joined AC/DC, recording the group’s debut LP High Voltage a year later. AC/DC‘s ascent to international stardom culminated in 1979 when their LP Highway to Hell reached the U.S. Top 20.
Unfortunately, on February 19, 1980 Bon Scott died in the wake of an all-night drinking binge, with the surviving members of the band tapping new vocalist Brian Johnson to record the classic Back in Black just a few months later.
The 1997 AC/DC box set Bonfire celebrated Scott’s contributions to their legacy. – Jason Ankeny