"He's in a good place, vibrationally. He has a message for Angus": In 1997 AC/DC bore witness to a seance during which contact with Bon Scott was attempted

Bon Scott wagging his finger, plus hands on a ouija board
(Image credit: Bon Scott: Fin Costello/Redferns |Seance: danilsnegmb |Both via Getty Images)

In the long and storied history of lousy music industry ideas, it's possible that a psychic event organised to celebrate the release of Bonfire, AC/DC's 1997 box set, might just be the lousiest of them all. 

Bonfire was released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bon Scott's birth. It contained the soundtrack to the band's Let There Be Rock concert movie, the brilliant Live At Atlantic Studios – originally released as a radio-only promo in 1978 – a disc of rarities, and, for some reason, a remastered version of Back In Black.

To drum up interest in what was, to be fair, a somewhat underwhelming release, a seance was organised – presumably in cohorts with the band's record company – during which contact with the late frontman would be attempted. 

To conduct the seance, which took place on Halloween during a live radio broadcast in the presence of AC/DC's Angus Young and Brian Johnson, the services of Peter James, full-time ghost hunter and psychic, were called upon. James claimed to have encountered his first ghost as a seven-year-old and spent several years as the resident psychic on the television show Sightings, so he was clearly the man for the job.  

"I was asked to participate in this show on this festive occasion in tribute to Bon Scott and, quite frankly, I've been tuning into his vibrations all day long," explains James. "I do feel sincerely that he's with us in spirit. He has a message for Angus, and that is that he's not the only dirty old man in the band now – whatever that means – and that he's driving the highways in the sky and he's having a ball. 

"He's also very, very pleased with the fact that the band is continuing in his absence, because he did in fact have a lot to say and a lot of music to write, and the band is indeed continuing on I'm pleased with that."

"Excellent," responds the incredulous host. "Do you do you feel or see anything else?"

"I feel like Bon is guiding the band," continues James, who is, we suspect, making this shit up as he goes along. "He's being a big influence on the band regarding the material that they're now writing, and I feel that he's travelled with them a lot and he's with them more than they realize."

"Bon is in a very good place vibrationally, he's very very pleased with what's going on," James continues, before remembering why he's presumably been paid a fee to take part in this debacle. "I'll make a prediction regarding Bonfire: it's gonna be a phenomenal success, so everybody get out there and buy it when it comes out."

Quite what the watching musicians make of this nonsense is unclear, although MTV News reported that Brian Johnson expressed doubts about whether contact with the other side had been successfully made.  

“If Bon was there he’d be too busy shaggin’ something," Johnson said. "He’d have all the good lookin’ women up there. He wouldn’t be bothered coming down here." 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.