Late AC/DC icon Bon Scott has been recalled as a hard worker with strong ethics by close friend Peter Head.
The pair knew each other for five years in the 1970s. They toured Australia as members of separate bands, then worked together in the Mount Lofty Rangers, before Scott became frontman of Malcolm and Angus Young’s outfit.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of his death after a drinking session in London.
Head tells Classic Rock’s Rod Yates: “The very first time I met Bon he was a worker, mowing lawns and picking up rubbish. He’d work really hard, fast and efficiently – I thought, ‘Wow, this guy has got direction in his life.’
“You could see he wasn’t your average person, no matter what he did. He also had a sense of humour. He’d be cracking jokes and doing funny things. He worked hard, he was funny and he had a good sense of ethics.”
Head remembers how Scott went out of his way to find unusual ways of doing things. “If there was as staircase he wouldn’t walk down the stairs, he’d slide down the bannister. That sense of being a clown stayed with him – it’s one of the main things about AC/DC.
“He did outrageous things. He was on Countdown dressed as a girl smoking a huge cigarette which looked suspiciously like a joint. Other people would think about it but they wouldn’t do it.”
Offstage, Scott spent time thinking about religion and philosophy, Head recalls – but accepts that the frontman’s legendary drinking wasn’t exaggerated. “He always had a flask of red, or more often, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s on him. It was pretty intense. As soon as he got off from work he started drinking. He used to ride a motorbike around and he’d be out of his head all the time.”
And when his moment came to front AC/DC, Head says Scott was more than ready. “He got more and more focused and tired of waiting for success. You ask almost anybody in the music game, ‘What’s the worst thing?’ They’ll say all the waiting.”
The full interview is available to TeamRock+ members. Scott is the cover star of the latest edition of Classic Rock, on sale now in print, digital and via TeamRock+.