Ronald Belford Scott (Forfar, Scotland, 9 July 1946 – London, 19 February 1980), better known as Bon Scott, was the lead singer of the well-known Australian hard rock band AC / DC.
Born in Forfar in Scotland, Ronnie (as his mother called him) moved with his family to Australia in 1952. Initially he lived in Sunshine, Melbourne but when his brother Graeme was diagnosed with asthma, the family moved to Fremantle (near Perth) , where the climate was more favorable.
In his youth he played the piano, was active in a Scottish Pipe Band and even learned to play the bagpipes. His classmates told him to measure the Australian accent very quickly, otherwise he would have serious problems. He did not allow this to happen. Because there was already a Ron in their class, they nicknamed him Bon (referring to the Bonny Scot). In the early 1960s he left school and became a postman. After that, he threatened to go off the rails and was arrested, including for stealing gasoline and giving a false name. After being sentenced to a few months in prison, he decided to improve his life and start a music career. In 1965 he became a drummer / singer in The Specters. (Not to be confused with The Specters of Great Britain, which was the predecessor of Status Quo). The group was not very successful. He got success when he met Vincent ‘Vince’ Lovegrove around 1967 and founded the band The Valentines with him. The group had several hits but eventually suffered a drug scandal.
In the early 70’s he joined the band Fraternity. This band recorded two albums and even toured England in 1973. That tour was not a great success. After Scott returned to Adelaide, he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Fraternity continued without him, but never achieved the success Scott achieved with his next band.
A year later, working as a part-time driver, Scott first met AC / DC members. At the time, the band was led by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. These two were the younger brothers of Scott’s friend George Young of the Easybeats. Scott was amazed at the energy of the band, while the naive band members, in turn, were quite taken by the experienced foreman. When vocalist Dave Evans was fired a few months later, the band hired Bon as the new vocalist after an audition.
Scott wrote the lyrics for the band and was widely appreciated for his charisma. His behavior as a party animal was notorious. He once warned Angus Young with the words: “Whatever I do, you don’t!” Eventually, life as a rock singer became so hectic that he became addicted to alcohol.
In February 1980, AC / DC in London was preparing to record a new album. On February 18, Scott went on a pub crawl in London with a friend. At 03:00 at night, Scott (who was quite drunk) was brought home by his friend but passed out on the way in the car. Once at Scott’s apartment, he was unable to wake up. The friend then drove to his own house and left Scott, still unconscious, covered with a blanket in the car. In the early evening of February 19th, the friend checked his car and saw that Scott had not moved. The friend then drove directly to King’s College Hospital but there was nothing more to do there. His death certificate literally says: death by misadventure.
Scott was cremated and buried on March 1, 1980 in Fremantle, Australia, the village where he grew up.