Rock

Bon Scott’s final show with AC/DC

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The narrative of Bon Scott is tragically steeped in a tale of excess and untimely demise. The charismatic frontman of AC/DC lived life on the edge, embracing a recklessness that eventually led to his tragic end in 1980. At the pinnacle of their success, AC/DC lost their iconic leader, casting a shadow over their triumphant breakthrough.

Before the fateful turn of events, AC/DC had concluded a series of dates in the United Kingdom and Europe in late 1979, extending into the new year. Rather than returning to Australia after the final scheduled show, Scott remained in the UK. Less than a month after his last electrifying performance, he met an untimely demise.

The details surrounding Scott’s death remain shrouded in mystery, adding to the intrigue and the collective sorrow felt by fans. Just four days before his passing, he had been in the studio with the Young brothers, working on the successor to “Highway to Hell” – an album that would later be known as “Back in Black.”

In an unexpected twist, Scott, known primarily as a vocalist, expressed an interest in playing the drums during the studio session. Earlier in the same month, he collaborated with the French group Trust, attempting to adapt one of their albums into English, a project left incomplete.

Amidst his loose work commitments, Scott devoted himself to a lifestyle of intense partying. After an extended drinking session, he found himself sleeping in a friend’s car parked in East Dulwich on the early hours of February 19th, 1980. Tragically, when he was discovered next, the charismatic singer had already passed away. At the young age of 33, Scott’s story was abruptly and heartbreakingly cut short, his death later attributed to “acute alcohol poisoning.”

The final public performance with AC/DC occurred on January 27th, 1980, at the Gaumont Theatre in Southampton. Originally part of their UK tour, postponed for unspecified reasons, this show proved to be Scott’s farewell. The setlist included iconic tracks like ‘Live Wire,’ ‘Sin City,’ ‘Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be,’ ‘Whole Lotta Rosie,’ ‘Highway to Hell,’ and concluded with ‘Let There Be Rock.’

The shock of Scott’s passing reverberated through the band and their fans. Angus Young, speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music, reflected on the profound impact: “It was like it put you in shock because you always kind of think the people around you, and being young, you have that thing of you’re almost kind of fearless and a little bit of… I don’t know what it is when you’re in your youth — you don’t think of dying.” AC/DC, despite the loss, continued their ascent to superstardom with “Back in Black,” aided by the inspired choice of Brian Johnson as Scott’s successor, ensuring the enduring legacy of the late Bon Scott.

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