Bon Scott’s Former Bandmate Discusses Early Years As Documentary and Biopic Loom
Before Bon Scott joined AC/DC in 1974, he sang in several other bands, among them the Mount Lofty Rangers. With two new movies about the late rocker on the horizon, Scott's former Rangers bandmate Peter Head sat down for an interview with Billboard to talk about Scott.
“He’s just the most popular singer ever to come out of Australia," he said. "I don’t think America really appreciates how much he’s held in high regard in Australia.”
The documentary, 'Looking for Bon,' will look at Scott's pre-AC/DC years -- from 1970-74. Its purpose, according to executive producer Shemori BoShae, is to "chronicle what was a very creative period for Bon ... and give the viewer an insight into a very creative period of Bon’s life and to enlighten all on just how great a singer he was before he joined AC/DC.”
The biopic, which will follow the documentary's 2015 release, will pick up the story after Scott joined AC/DC. The band itself has objected to the movie, reportedly asking people close to them to not talk to the film's producer. The script was written by the late Vince Lovegrove, who sang with Scott in another pre-AC/DC band, the Valentines.
In the new Billboard interview, Head shares some handwritten letters and photos from Scott, and said that he thinks Scott -- who died on Feb. 15, 1980, after a night of drinking -- "would've been making an album of the great American songbook by now."
Head also notes that Scott's musical tastes were larger and more diverse than what fans would expect from one of hard rock's all-time popular singers. "The Bon Scott I knew enjoyed listening to jazz, people like Ray Charles, all the black singers," he recalled. "He loved black music. And also the Band, Robbie Robertson and all those people. He had quite a wide variety of tastes."
Also surprising: Scott was an avid reader and an art fan. "He used to read books quite prolifically," Head said. "We were exposed to high art in the sense that Hamish Henry, who was our manager with both Fraternity and Headband, also ran an art gallery, so we were mixing with the top artists in Australia."
Still, Head points out that Scott's reputation as someone who loved the ladies was pretty much accurate. Apparently in between all the page turning and gallery hopping he found time to pursue less-academic interests. "On his last day in Australia, Bon went to visit two women in the Melbourne maternity ward," Head recalled. "They both had children, and he accepted them both as being his children. On the day he went to visit the women, they were unknown to each other, he kept it secret. But there are at least two kids in Melbourne that are his sons. I’m sure there are gonna be others that pop up claiming to be his kids, and they might be, who knows. He was pretty prolific in that department."
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