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Deb at the Bus Stop Disco

valentines signed card

The following message from Deb came through to the Bon Scott Blog mailbag recently:

From: Deb
Subject: Bon Scott Photo – rare…

Hello fellow Bon Scott fan,

I just saw your Blog today. It is a fun site. I have a rare signed photo from Bon Scott when he was in the band The Valentines. He played at my father’s disco in Newcastle in 1969 (The Bus Stop) and signed the photo for me – “To Debbie, Your Valentine, Bon xxxx”.

It is an original black and white fan club photo and I am thinking about selling it because I am going on an around the world holiday. I am selling off all my possessions because I don’t know when I will be back. Do you know anybody that may be interested in buying the photo? I can send a scanned picture of it thru if required.

Many thanks and keep up the good work.

Deb.

Here was my reply:

Hi Deb

Well, if you like, we can feature the photo and your story on the blog? Then people could get in touch with you directly if they wanted to buy it (or, if you like, they could contact me and I can pass their details to you).

It makes a great story! I’d love to hear more about THE BUS STOP! How interesting to grow up with a father who ran a disco! How old were you when you met Bon?

And where will you travel on your big trip?
Cheers
Lucas from Bon Scott Blog

finally, Deb’s reply, with a great story about her Dad’s Disco…

Hi Lucas!

Gosh…thanks for the reply! I am going to send through a scanned copy of the photo and you can tell me what you think.

I would be happy for you to feature it on your Blog…I think people would really enjoy the story.

My Dad owned The Bus Stop Disco for several years in the late 60’s. All the big bands played there. They mostly used to stay at our house because there was not a lot of money back then. Mum used to cook them dinner and I have vivid memories of sitting around the dinner table with all sorts of celebrities.

I was 13 years old when The Valentines played at Dad’s disco. Dad is still alive and I am going to get some more details off him and get back to you. I will write a blurb about that time and send it to you.

I think this photo would look fantastic framed with some other Valentines memorabilla. I think that would really increase it’s value. I am not sure what my photo would be worth. I would love it to go to a dedicated fan who would appreciate it.

You will notice one of the faces has been coloured in with green texta. You can thank for 5 year old sister at the time for that. I am sure that with the modern technology today that somebody would be able to repair it.

Anyway…let me know what you think. Kind Regards. Deb.

[I personally LOVE the green texta scribbled on the photo… Cheers, Lucas]

“Not knowing who else to speak to about this”…

the bon scotts oddernity album art

Some amusing messages have been trickling into the mailroom of the Bon Scott Blog lately. Here’s one – from Damien in Melbourne, who plays with a band called “The Bon Scotts”. I love the honesty of Damien’s introduction. Although named after the great frontman, Damien writes that the band sounds “almost nothing like AC/DC.” Brave move, Damien! I wonder what happens when die-hard rock fans come along to your gigs expecting (what? an accadacca Bon Scott era tribute band?) and instead are faced with your finely modulated sensitive pop melodies!

One can only imagine.

Anyway, dear readers, decide for yourselves! Let a thousand flowers bloom, I say!

Here’s Damien’s email:

Hi Lucas

I am a Melbourne musician and about four years ago we put together a group called The Bon Scotts. We sound almost nothing like AC/DC.

However, when we called ourselves The Bon Scotts, it was around the time of the The band craze, The Von Bondies, The Vines, The Hives and The Strokes… Anyway, you get my point. My band and I felt that these bands were stealing something from rock, forgetting about the fun, cheeky side of rock n’roll. Something I think Bon Scott personified, from his humour in his lyrics and the way he would smile at the camera during film clips and live footage.

In our opinion, Bon Scott was one of, if not the single most iconic Australian rock star, I grew up in a county town where almost everyone listened to AC/DC, my first high school band used to cover a few songs. The were independent of major labels, cared little for the trends of the time and wrote damn catchy songs, with clever hooks and fantastic rhythms.

Not knowing who else to speak to about this, I thought, you being the Bon Scott blogger might want to know that we mean absolutely no offence, or dishonour the great man.

We are going to put a blog up about the idea behind the name. I can send you a link when it is up…

Cheers.
Damien

THE BON SCOTTS
www.thebonscotts.com
www.myspace.com/thebonscotts

Happy Birthday Bon!

bon scott tram tour

Just in time for Bon’s 63rd birthday, a new “Bon Scott heritage tram tour” has been launched in Fremantle.

My brother sent through the above article from the West Australian Newspaper. There’s an online version here.

The tour will no doubt be a “must-do” for fans who visit the great singer’s dirty ole town. I imagine these tours might get a bit raucous at times…

Anyway, all the best to you old man. I hope if accadacca are gigging tonight they raise a glass for you.

x x

A Bon Memorial in Dulwich?

This turned up on Facebook recently: a campaign to get a heritage icon plaque placed outside the house where Bon died on that cold morning back in 1980. Sounds like a good idea, read on to see how you can help the Londoners’ cause…

On 19 February 1980 Bon died outside 67 Overhill Road, East Dulwich. Help us persuade the London Borough Council of Southwark to create a plaque as a lasting tribute to Bon’s life.

Mission:
We want to get a blue plaque placed at 67 Overhill Rd, Dulwich. To mark the deathplace of Bon Scott.
http://www.southwark.gov.uk/DiscoverSouthwark/heritageandhistory/BluePlaquesSection//

Here’s a pre-written request if you find you’re stuck with something fitting to write:

“Dear Sir/Madam

It is my understanding that Southwark Council are requesting votes for icons deserving of a blue plaque to be placed in their honour within the borough.

I and others like me would request that you consider a plaque for the legendary lead singer and lyricist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC who tragically died outside 67 Overhill Road in East Dulwich on 19 February 1980.

We feel Bon is deserving of this reward due to his outstanding contribution to music and is dearly loved and missed by his many fans around the world. This would be a fitting tribute to the life he led.

Yours sincerely

Then email that to>>>

vote4icons@southwark.gov.uk

Eyeline Review of Bon Scott Project

Darren Jorgensen has written a review of last year’s Bon Scott Project exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre. Here’s a snippet:

The respectful air of AC/DC fans who were streaming through the Fremantle Arts Centre testifies to a show that endeared itself to the spirit and not the surfaces of rock-and-roll. This was also Bon’s distinctive contribution to the 1970s, to produce something real in the face of disco and glam, to ‘give the public what they want’, in his own words. Such a real and lived quality is not so far from the best of visual art, which also speaks with heart. This show’s interest lies in the correspondences that it creates between music, culture and art, raising questions about what it is that speaks to us through all of them.

I’ve uploaded the full review in PDF form here. (From page 63 of Eyeline Magazine, issue #67, Jan-Feb 2009)

Stevie Let your Hair Hang Down

stevie wright atop a lion
[Stevie Wright astride a bronze lion in Trafalgar Sq., London, 1975. Photo entitled “Portrait of Stevie Wright, London, 1975” by Gary Ede, originally published here.]

One of the most significant non-Bon discoveries I made while working on the Bon Scott Blog was the music of Stevie Wright. By chance, I found Stevie’s album Hard Road at a flea market. I had a vague notion that Stevie had something to do with Bon, so I bought it for a mere seven bucks. Since then (my girlfriend gave me a record player for my birthday) and Hard Road has been on high rotation. It is brilliant.

Stevie really shines on this album – the writing, the voice, the guitar work, the production values (rough enough but still polished). Vanda and Young did really well here.

When I first heard the album, the similarity between Stevie and Bon stood out. Stevie’s infectious trick of inserting little asides at the end of verses “My mum and pop they told me, son, you know you’re just a fool (yes they did) / when I told them I was leaving home, I was leaving school (yes I was)” is something Bon picked up on. And even in the narrative of the album – about being on a hard road with just my dog and my guitar and so on, there is something pretty similar to Bon’s later “Long way to the top” and “showbusiness” line of song writing about the struggles of being an aspiring rock star.

Stevie was mooted by some to take over as singer in AC/DC when Bon died, but it never happened. Apparently Alberts (the record company) and the Youngs were pretty hardline in their no drugs policy, which ruled out Stevie. In fact, it seems he went off the rails not long after Hard Road. In 2004, he released an autobiography, which I am yet to discover (details here); and in 1999 Jack Marx wrote a book about him called Sorry: The Wretched Tale of Little Stevie Wright, which is pretty rare – there’s a good review of that book here, although it seems that Stevie does not endorse Marx’s version of events, which have been described as “one of the most morally clouded rock’n’roll biographies you will read anywhere“.

black eyed bruiser stevie wright poster
[poster image from here]

I note that wikipedia says he put out an album called Black-eyed Bruiser in 1975 (and the above image would support that idea!), but when I searched for Black-eyed Bruiser, I mostly found reference to an album by Rose Tattoo. Does anyone have any more info on that album?

Anyway, the point of this blog entry is to say I’m excited to discover that Stevie is headlining the Legends of Rock day at Byron Bay and Perth very soon. If anyone goes along, I’d love to hear how Stevie performs. Here’s his feature page on the concert website. And the concert will also feature Dave Tice and Mark Evans, who I saw performing their excellent blues at the Sando in Sydney a few months back.

– –

oh, I just stumbled across some very thorough Wright-ology here.

Bon in the Top End

bon scott graffiti

I love this photo, sent by Justin, an artist from Perth doing a project in Darwin, to Jasmin from the Fremantle Arts Centre. The Bon Scott Project sure has sensitised a lot of people to sightings of Bon stuff!

Here is Justin’s message to Jasmin:

Hi Jasmin

Ten minutes after arriving in Darwin I saw a stencil of Mr Bon Scott
in the Smith St Mall.

It is attached for your pleasure/horror

All best

Justin

Choice Cuts from the Guest Book

bsp exhibition page

…not MY guest book – the guest book from the exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre! Some great stuff there: see some more scanned pages

(thanks to Marisa from the Arts Centre for sending them thru…)

New AC/DC Album On Its Way

Enrique, my Bon Scott source from southern Spain, just tipped me off about the potential release date of the new acca dacca album. See below for details hot off the press:

According to Billboard.com, The first AC/DC album in eight years is due to drop this August with production from Brendan O’Brien. The album will be sold exclusively through Wal-Mart in the US with Australian retailers tp be confirmed…
AC/DC’s next studio album will be exclusively sold at Wal-Mart stores in the United States, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The as-yet-untitled Columbia album, which, as previously reported, was produced by Brendan O’Brien, is expected in the fall.

The new AC/DC album is the legendary hard rock act’s first since 2000’s “Stiff Upper Lip,” which has shifted more than 930,000 copies. A tour is expected to follow its release.

AC/DC is one of the only major acts yet to make its music available via Apple’s iTunes Music Store. In August 2007, Verizon Wireless snagged the exclusive rights to sell the band’s entire back catalog through March 2008, becoming the first and only digital music store to offer AC/DC’s content. However, the deal was limited to full-album downloads, one of the reason’s AC/DC’s music has not appeared in digital form to date.

Check out Billboard.com for full details.

A message from Argentina to Fremantle

pablo message

It’s taken longer than I would have liked, but the messages have started to flow from the LED Welcome Sign in Fremantle!

First cab off the rank is Pablo, our tireless Argentinian correspondent. His message, translated into English, goes something like this:

GREETINGS FROM
ARGENTINA–MY
HEART IS
WITH YOU ALL
LET THERE BE BON!

Thanks Pablo. If you want to download a larger version of the file for your own collection, click here.

Keep the messages coming in folks! If you don’t know what this is all about, read more about the TXT BON NOW! project.