Monthly Archive for March, 2008

Best Roadie Ever

darcy and gabby
[Darcy and Gabby at home in Warburton, Victoria…]

Our last port of call in Victoria was Warburton, out in the Yarra Valley. Katie and I hired a car. We hacked our way through a lot of seriously un-picturesque suburbs before bursting into the lush valley. It was a great relief after the heat and the endless din of the Melbourne Grand Prix to feel a light breeze, to hear cicadas in the trees.

But we didn’t really hear any cicadas til after we arrived. For the drive, I’d brought a few AC/DC albums to get us in the mood. I put on “Let There Be Rock” and we drummed on the dashboard (Katie) and the steering wheel (me) all the way to Warburton. We were going to meet a real rock-n-roll roadie…
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Bon’s Web Walk

I’ve got one more story to post from Melbourne – about a trip to visit Bon’s loyal roadie Darcy in the Yarra Valley. It’s just in with the experts for “fact checking” before it goes live, but while we wait, lets think a little about writing technologies, shall we?

Bon wrote a shitload of letters. We must remember, kiddies, that in the 1970s there was no internet. There was no email. There were no blogs. If Bon were travelling the world playing gigs today, would he still send letters?

Would he run his own blog? (Now THAT would be something.) Would he, perchance, have his own webcam TV show, or a whacky Alice Cooper or Bob Dylan style radio broadcast? Or be the star of his own Osbournes reality TV show?

Speaking of reality TV …over at the Bon Scott Club (a yahoo group dedicated to keeping Bon’s hell-raising spirit alive forever), the fans are playing a game inspired by those “vote em off” shows, called “AC/DC Song Survivor”.
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More radio shenanigans…

Last week Sydney DJ Philippe Perez invited me to join him on Radio 2SER to talk about the Bon Scott Blog. In a rambling interview, we discuss AC/DC fandom, the bronze statue in Fremantle, and my own blogging process.

At the end of the interview, I get all frothed up about Let There Be Rock and we play that song on air… I wish you could have seen us air guitaring in the studio…

(In this version of the interview, the song fades out just after the opening chords. I’ll try to get a longer version online soon which includes the whole song for your listening pleasure!)

Anyway, the mp3 file is here. It goes for about 15minutes, and is 15mb in size…

Doodles on Envelopes

mary with stained shirt
[Mary, one of Bon’s closest friends, shows us a shirt he posted her in the late 1970s, complete with perfectly preserved stain running down the front…]

It was forty degrees in Melbourne and the Grand Prix was on. The Formula One racing cars sounded like angry flies. I guess they were “warming up” for the big race on Sunday. We couldn’t see them, but the noise cut through the thick air. Katie and I hopped off the tram at the wrong stop. In this heat, the prospect of walking four blocks to Mary’s house in St Kilda seemed a bit much. We were still dragging our suitcases behind us. Why didn’t we just take a cab?

Mary is one of Bon’s oldest and most loyal friends. They first met when he was still playing with The Valentines, in the late 1960s. Apparently, at one Valentines gig, Bon invented some pretext to speak with her. (I am coming to understand he was good at inventing pretexts to speak with girls.)
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Let There Be Cherry Rock

cherry rock sign
[Sign displayed on the wall at Cherry Rock…]

Have I mentioned how amazing this job of mine is? The people I get to meet!!

On the weekend Katie and I went to Melbourne to chase down some of Bon’s old old friends. And, in a way, to meet Bon himself.

Katie is curating an exhibition of letters written by Bon Scott, which will be displayed in Fremantle in May. The rest of the Bon Scott Project will contain interpretations of the life and work and culture and mythology surrounding Bon. It’ll be interpretations by artists, who (like me) you can pretty much rely on to put their own spin on things.

But this letters exhibition is important. When you enter the room filled with his letters, it will no longer be Bon “as seen by others”. It won’t even be pictures of Bon, taken by others. It will be Bon himself, speaking to you in his own words.

We jumped off the plane and took a cab straight to Cherry Rock. Cherry is a marketing, branding, PR and rockband management company run by a fellow called James Young (no relation to Malcolm and Angus). James’ claim to fame (at least from our point of view) was that he bought a whole swag of Bon’s letters when they went to auction two years ago. These things are pretty valuable, so we weren’t sure if James would be willing to part with them.
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Would you travel across the Nullabor with this man?

ben scott

Exciting news on the blog today. Ben Scott, the yet-to-be-officially-ratified Love Child of Bon Scott, has been in touch via the guest book. Ben has announced his willingness to be my travelling companion for a second pilgrimage to Bon’s final resting place! BON OR BUST is back on!

I first met Ben at the cemetery on the 19th of February at Bon Scott’s graveside. Since that time, Ben has followed the Bon Scott Blog closely, posting comments rather loudly in CAPITAL LETTERS on a regular basis. He emailed me a few weeks back to say he’d just raced across from Perth to Melbourne to buy a late-model Falcon he fell in love with through the Auto Trader. Now he’s enrolled in a course in Metalliferous Mining (Open Cut) at TAFE, which will increase his income greatly when he returns to that great open cut mine, WA.

So… fingers crossed… if the dates all work out, it could be me and the Love Child on the road together. Who would have thought?

– – –

UPDATE: (19 March 2008)
Sorry to get your hopes up folks. Ben just shot me another email. It seems there’s been a change in the dates of his mining course, which will now be happening precisely at the time we wanted to travel, and he can’t get out of it… Bummer.
So it’s back to the drawing board again…

LED Sign is GO!

LED sign
[Click on the photo to see it larger…]

I’m happy to report that the LED sign is all systems go!

Marisa from Fremantle Arts Centre went down to the spot where the old bridge comes into Freo and took this snap for me. (Thanks to Pic Lee and John from the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce for punching the message into the system.)

Right now I am in Melbourne with Katie, the curator of the Bon Scott Letters exhibition. We’ve been meeting some amazing old friends of Bon’s from the 1960s and 1970s. Some of them have kindly agreed to let her display some of Bon’s letters, postcards and Christmas cards in the exhibition in May.

The letters are funny, insightful, cheeky and sometimes a bit sad. Stay tuned for the full story.

Authentic Value

stevo from gosnells
[Stevo with his “mint condition” voucher for a special AC/DC songbook. Bec the photographer is in the background. Read about my first encounter with Stevo here…]

Stevo from Gosnells is a one heckuva collector.

I got his number from Robi at the Fremantle Arts Centre. As is often the case with the Bon Scott tragics I’ve been meeting lately, my tentative phone call, which is supposedly just “to work out if you might be up for a visit”, results in an avalanche of information being transmitted right then and there on the phone.

“I’m the biggest collector I know!” Steve said, and then he launched into a big list of the AC/DC items he owns. I had to rein him in – a lot of the stuff he was saying didn’t make any sense to me at all. Blue labels? Certificates of authenticity?? Souvenir songbooks??? Bon’s face on a dollar bill????
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Bon Radio Shenanigans…

billie weston pool hall fans
[Ardent fans pose for a photo by Bec Dagnell in the Billie Weston Pool Hall, Scarborough Beach, WA…]

Word just in… tomorrow morning (Tuesday the 11th of March) I’ll be speaking on the JJJ breakfast show about the life and legacy of Bon, his bronze statue, and my own “relationship” with Bon.

Rumour has it that the Mayor of Fremantle Himself will also be shooting the breeze with Robbie, Marieke & The Doctor.

It should all happen at 8:30am or thereabouts.

Should you perchance listen in and then come over to this humble blog to pay me a visit – you might be able to participate!

I am looking to meet up with Bon Scott fans in the greater Sydney area (which is where I will be blogging from now until the middle of April).

Crazy collectors? Shrine in the shed? Tribute bands playing only 1974-80 Acca Dacca? Long lost love child?…

Get in touch and be featured in the blog!


– – –


you can listen to the interview online here (7 minutes, 6mb, mp3 file). Thanks Josh for taping it! There’s a brief description of the interview in this comment below. I didn’t get to say as much as I would have liked about Bon and me, but that’s breakfast radio for you I guess. Big on high paced laffs and short on thoughtful pauses!

Going out Laughing…

lucas with angus guitar
[me with Wombat‘s Angus guitar…]

Loyal readers, I’m taking a few days break as I head back to good ole Sydney town.

I’ll be updating next Wednesday with the following exciting episodes:

*BRAINY Musos from Bridge Music take me through the musicological perspective: just why is AC/DC so damn catchy?;
*NOT-SURFIES, BOGANS from the Scarborough Beach crew pose with black candles at Billie Weston’s pool hall;
*DON’T MISS Stevo the mad collector from Gosnells, and his lovely wife Veronica;
*PLUS! I get the perspective of The Mayor Himself;
*AND I meet the descendent of an old old Freo family;
and last but not least:
*I go on a walk of Fremantle to see just how many damn bronze sculptures you’ve already got here (it’s a LOT!)

For all this and more, tune in next week to Bon Scott Blog.

In my absence, feel free to think up pithy slogans for the Big Red Electronic Signboard, or visit the guestbook

Thanks Freo, it’s been terrific. I’ve had a lotta laffs, I’ve met a lotta cool bogans, I’ve eaten my fair share of gelati…