A friend and colleague of late AC/DC icon Bon Scott has recalled the singer’s early 70s attempt to find fame with prog rock band Fraternity.
And he’s outlined the range of artistic interests Scott might have shown the world if he hadn’t died in 1980, just before the band went global with replacement Brian Johnson and classic album Back In Black.
Peter Head’s memories are among those set to fuel documentary movie Looking For Bon, planned for release next year – the 35th anniversary of Scott’s death. It’s to be followed by a second film that will focus on his time with AC/DC.
Head, who worked with him in Mount Lofty Rangers and Headband, tells Billboard: “When I first met him in Adelaide he was with Fraternity, and the sort of music they play, you’d only call progressive rock. It was highly artistic – they wouldn’t use Bon’s lyrics, but his voice was fantastic. It was far more musical than AC/DC, but AC/DC were more entertaining on a gut level.”
He’s kept some of Scott’s letters, in which he wrote of the struggle to capture general audiences with Fraternity’s prog rock – although the band secured the interest of several big names from the art world.
“He used to read books prolifically and we were exposed to high art,” Head recalls. “Our manager ran an art gallery. We were mixing with musicians, artists and writers so we felt like we were part of a vanguard of intellectuals. It felt like more than just rock ’n’ roll in the pub. We were trying to push the envelope.
“Bon and I worked hard for years in our various bands, and sometimes together. But eventually we had to say, ‘There’s got to be another way.’ And along came AC/DC for him. He knew this was his chance for the big time, and he grabbed it with both hands.”
Asked what Scott might have achieved had he lived, Head responds: “He would have gone on to do a whole lot more. He did some outrageous things with AC/DC that served his sense of humour – but he was a very serious singer as well, and you don’t see a lot of that.”
The current lineup of the Aussie giants released 17th album Rock Or Bust earlier this month, and they’ve begun revealing dates of what’s thought to be their final world tour. The band are the cover stars of the latest edition of Classic Rock Magazine, on sale now.