MENU

Music

This Is What Bon Scott Looked Like [20 Pictures]

Bon Scott

Bon Scott signing an autograph in Sydney, Australia, November 1976

Bon Scott, the original vocalist for AC/DC, died 35 years ago. We all know his voice, that miraculous screech that makes classics like “Highway to Hell” and “T.N.T.” pop even now, but we don’t often see pictures of him. There aren’t a ton of them available.

Bon Scott died under mysterious circumstances; after a night of hard drinking, he was left sitting in a car on a London street, and found dead there the next day. Depending whom you ask, he died of asphyxiation, alcohol poisoning, or hypothermia. In an astonishingly smooth transition, Scott was replaced by British singer Brian Johnson, and Back in Black, the group’s all-time best selling album, was released five months after Scott’s death.

Bon Scott

Bon Scott, August 1979

The Brian Johnson-era AC/DC — 35 years and counting — is a kickass band with a great vocalist, but without Bon Scott it’s a different beast. It’s not a dangerous band. For all his energy and schoolboy shtick, Angus Young is famous for his sobriety and is often described as shy or reclusive. Johnson, meanwhile, comes off almost like a hard rock Tom Jones. He’s a showman, not a loose cannon.

The post-Scott AC/DC is built for longevity; AC/DC ’74-’80, not so much

Bon Scott

Bon Scott on stage in Hollywood, August 1979.

Bon Scott, though, was a rock star, and a dangerous one at that. According to a recent account, he found his bandmates boring. He drank heavily, he cavorted with groupies, he performed bare-chested in tight jeans that were strangely jacked up to his navel — or maybe not so strangely, considering the apparently giant package he was obviously showing off. (We’re not ruling out a Nigel St. Hubbins-style pickle trick; in some pictures the bulge is simply ludicrous.)

Here are a whole bunch of pictures of a natural-born rock god who died 35 years ago in February, aged 33, and who would have turned 69 this month.

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott with groupies.

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott, photo shoot in London, August 1979

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott on stage in Hollywood, August 1979.

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott with Angus Young

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

AC/DC publicity photo with Bon Scott

Bon Scott

Bon Scott with Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia, 1978

These last two pictures come from Irene Thornton’s book My Bon Scott. Thornton and Scott were married in 1972 — two years before Scott joined AC/DC. In Thornton’s account of their marriage, Scott essentially falls out of love with her as he is falling in love with AC/DC and the rock ‘n roll lifestyle. The two broke up as AC/DC was taking off, but did not divorce until 1978, and remained close friends up to Scott’s death. For more of Irene’s story, see articles at the Daily Mail and Adelaide Now.

Bon Scott

Bon Scott with future wife Irene Thornton. Photo from Thornton’s book “My Bon Scott,” via DailyMail.co.uk

Bon Scott

Bon Scott and Irene Thornton on their wedding day. Photo from Thornton’s book “My Bon Scott,” via DailyMail.co.uk

Read More
Metalachi

Does This Work? “Crazy Train” by Metal Mariachi Group Metalachi

July 23, 2015 • Music, News

This isn’t our first weird-ass mixed-up music rodeo, and it won’t be our last, so we’ll give you the moral of the story first: “Crazy Train” is a transcendently brilliant song. You could cram three guys with didgeridoos into a Toyota Prius and instruct them to play

The Industrialist

Fear Factory’s “The Industrialist” Becomes a Graphic Novel

July 17, 2015 • Music, News

Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell has collaborated with artis Noel Guard on a graphic novel based on the group’s 2012 album The Industrialist. “As far as I can remember I have been a a fan of science fiction,” Bell says in a description of the project on his website.

Ladybaby

Ladybaby’s Death Metal/J-Pop Is Your Daily Dose of WTF

July 6, 2015 • Music, News

Ladybaby consists of a white guy and two Japanese girls. The Japanese girls (as is the rule) wear schoolgirl outfits; so does the white guy. He has a beard, and goes by the name Ladybeard. The girls sing happy Japanese lyrics over a galloping metal riff, while Ladybeard delivers lists of random

Chris Holmes of WASP in Decline of Western Civilization II

Finally! All 3 “Decline of Western Civilization” Films Come to DVD

July 2, 2015 • Music, News

It’s hard to believe that Penelope Spheeris’ three documentaries about the grime and glamor of the hard-rocking lifestyle in L.A. have never been available on DVD. Hell, they were barely even available on VHS back in the day. But now, at last, the Decline of Western Civilization

Christopher Lee sings Heavy Metal

Listen to Christopher Lee’s Metal Ode to Shedding Saxon Blood

June 30, 2015 • Music, News

In our brief tribute to the late Christopher Lee, we mentioned that he began a sideline as a heavy metal singer late in life. Rolling Stone fleshes it out a bit more: By the time of his collaboration with Manowar on “Dark Avenger” Lee was already a bona fide metal recording artist in

Skinner Mastodon Asleep in the Deep

Mastodon’s New Video, Directed by Skinner, Is a Cat-aclysmic Nightmare

June 19, 2015 • Music, News

Mastodon has just released their latest video, a dark puppet-show journey into the secret world cats might very well inhabit. The clip is directed by Skinner, an artist you’ll be seeing in a future issue of Heavy Metal. Skinner on the concept, from an extensive post at The Art of Skinner: One

Gener8ion with M.I.A. video

26,000 Kung-Fu Fighting Chinese Kids and M.I.A.

June 15, 2015 • Music, News

The music video for “The New International Sound Part II” by Gener8ion with M.I.A. shows scenes from Shaolin Tagou, China’s biggest Kung Fu School. According to the award-winning 2012 documentary Dragon Girls, the school is home to 26,000 students. Dragon Girls was directed by German

Sex Pistols Virgin Money

A Sex Pistols MasterCard: Ever Get the Feeling You’ve Been Swindled…?

June 12, 2015 • Music, News

We imagine the anti-consumerist, anti-everything anarchist Johnny Rotten circa 1977 peering into his future and vomiting just a little bit at this development. (We imagine the current John Lydon just thinks it’s funny.) Virgin Money, a tentacle of the Virgin empire headed by Richard Branson,

Ghost Cirice

Ghost Rocks a School Talent Show in ’70s Horror-style Video

June 8, 2015 • Music, News

If you follow the Swedish Satanic metal band Ghost (operating as Ghost B.C. in the States), you know they’ve had some big news: Frontman Papa Emeritus II was given the boot and replaced by Papa Emeritus III. This was announced last month in a strange clip that ran during a late-night airing