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Bon Scott

From the Fremantle Cemetery tour guide:
Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott (1946-1980) was the lead singer with legendary Australian rock group AC/DC from 1974 until 1980. His death after a heavy drinking bout in London left him a tragic hero.
His memorial has become a cultural landmark and continues to be one of the most frequently visited sites at Fremantle Cemetery. It is listed with the National Trust of Australia as a historic site.
Bon Scott moved to Melbourne from the Scottish village of Kirriemuir. When he was six, the family moved to Fremantle. He attended John Curtin High School and began his musical education at 11 with the Fremantle Pipe Band. In the early 1970s Bon appeared on vocals and drums with Fremantle groups The Spektors and The Valentines, and with the band Fraternity in Adelaide.
In 1974 a motorcycle accident interrupted Scott’s musical career and he found casual work in the music industry working for Vince Lovegrove, his co-vocalist for The Valentines. Lovegrove introduced Scott to a small band called AC/DC who were looking for a new lead singer. Bon was able to persuade the band to take him on as their front man. His distinctive, hard-edged voice, rebellious presence on stage and song-writing skills helped to take the band to the top of the charts, gaining local and international success with iconic albums such as High VoltageLet There Be Rock, and Highway to Hell.
Each Christmas Bon would return to visit his parents, Chick and Isa Scott, at Spearwood to recuperate. The last time – in 1979 – it was apparent his health was suffering. When Bon died in 1980, the funeral at Fremantle Cemetery for one of the city’s favourite adopted sons was conducted in secret. [probably written by Ron Davidson for] MCB. Photos from Wikipedia.


Bon Scott's memorial in Fremantle Cemetery is a much-visited spot. It is so popular that a dedicated gate was constructed in the cemetery perimeter near the memorial so that fans need not go through other parts of the cemetery to get there. A successful feature film called Thunderstruck (Darren Ashton, 2003) tells the story of some Melbourne fans who drive to Perth so that their friend's ashes can be interred next to Bon Scott's. The film was partly shot in Fremantle Cemetery.

On 1 March 2020, a 'Highway to Hell' event had the Canning Highway closed one Sunday from Fremantle to South Perth so that bands could be trucked along the road playing AC/DC covers. The song may be about the 'hell' to which the band was travelling from Fremantle to their gigs at the Raffles Hotel near the Canning Bridge, or may be about the road itself, which has a very steep (and therefore relatively dangerous) drop into a valley to the corner of Point Walter Road, Bicton, where the Leopold Hotel stands.


This photo is from 'Lost Perth', a Facebook page, as usual without adequate information. It's said there to be a photograph of Bon Scott as a postman.

References and Links

Cheshire, Ben 2022, 'AC/DC frontman Bon Scott led a high-voltage life. But his friends say the singer's unglamorous death at age 33 was not a surprise', ABC News online, 9 May.

Garry Gillard | New: 26 June, 2015 | Now: 9 May, 2022