The rock ‘n’ roll life and unfortunate death of Bon Scott will be examined in a new ABC TV documentary, one that promises to share exclusive insights from his loved ones into his “vulnerabilities and state of mind” leading up to his passing.
“On The Brink” will air Monday (May 9) from 8 p.m. on Australian Story, the ABC’s long-running documentary series that profiles the extraordinary lives of Australians.
“In a world exclusive, for the first time, family and friends of AC/DC’s iconic lead singer Bon Scott reveal the man behind the myth,” reads a teaser from Australian Story.
Ahead of the premiere, producers confirm the episode will feature the first ever interviews with Scott’s younger brother Derek Scott, and with the driver of the car that almost killed the rocker in a motorbike accident in Adelaide back in 1974.
Also, Jimmy Barnes, John Brewster of The Angels, and Johnny Young of “Young Talent Time” will speak.
“He was the best rock and roll singer I’ve ever seen,” Barnes tells the program. “To this day, I don’t think there’s a singer in the world that can hold their own against him.”
The expose will air on ABC TV and the Corporation’s iView on-demand platform, and, for overseas viewers, on YouTube, where episodes are uploaded for posterity.
In a world exclusive, for the first time, family and friends of AC/DC’s iconic lead singer Bon Scott reveal the man behind the myth. ⚡️
— AustralianStory (@AustralianStory) May 5, 2022
The Scott doc will be essential viewing for fans of AC/DC and rock music in general.
Like the band’s Young brothers, Scott was born in Scotland, before settling in Fremantle as a youngster.
With his jail-breaker attitude and cheeky grin, Scott took the mic for several bands, most notably Fraternity and the Valentines, before the lead singer slot opened up with AC/DC.
Together, the band would make history and lay down tracks for what would confirm AC/DC as the biggest rock band of them all.
Scott performed on the band’s first seven studio albums, including the legendary 1979 effort “Highway to Hell”, which appears at No. 50 in the 2010 tome, The 100 Best Australian Albums, which recounts producer “Mutt” Lange had “pushed Scott to some of his best-ever performances.”
“Highway to Hell” would also prove to be the last of his performances.
Just six months following its release, in February 1980, Scott died in London, at the age of 33, from what the official coroner’s report described as “acute alcohol poisoning” and attributed to “death by misadventure.”
Bruce Howe, Scott’s housemate for five years and bass player in Fraternity, spotted a big change when he last saw the singer just prior to his passing. “He wasn’t bubbly and laughing,” he tells Australian Story. “Maybe he’d come to the state where he’d achieved his dream, he found his holy grail, but found that his holy grail might have looked like an empty goblet.”
Scott’s flame continues to burn bright with fans, and several posthumous books have been published on the singer. Alternative theories surrounding his demise persist to this day.
The surviving members of the band would regroup, with Novocastrian Brian Johnson taking vocal duties.
Just six months later, the iconic album “Back In Black” would arrive, its opening “Hells Bells” a tribute to the late singer. Back In Black came in at No. 1 in Rolling Stone Australia’s list of 200 Greatest Australian Albums Of All Time.
AC/DC was on its way to legend status, though Scott missed out on enjoying big league status in the U.S.
As a member of AC/DC, Scott was posthumously inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame (1988) and Rock And Roll Hall of Fame (in 2003).
Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott would have turned 75 years old on Friday, July 9, 2021. To mark the moment, Scott’s family launched the first ever official Bon Scott website.
According to the ABC, Johnson will introduce the forthcoming doc.