It a Long way to the Top If…………..

You Want to Rock & Roll.

Ridin’ down the highway
Goin’ to a show
Stop in all the by-ways
Playin’ rock ‘n’ roll
Gettin’ robbed
Gettin’ stoned
Gettin’ beat up
Broken boned
Gettin’ had
Gettin’ took
I tell you folks
It’s harder than it looks

February 19th is the 32nd Anniversary of the Passing of one of the all time great front men in rock & roll.

Ronald Belford Scott was born on  July 9th 1946 at the Fyfe Jamieson Maternity Hospital, Scotland to Charles Belford  and Isabelle Scott.  – The Scott Family emigrated to Australia in 1952 and it was there while in elementary school,  Ronald Scott acquired the Nickname “Bon” that became the moniker that the world would one day know him as – Mr. Bon Scott – Lead Singer for the group AC/DC.

Bon formed his first band in 1964 but had little success and drifted around through several bands and many odd jobs over the next 10 years.  Short of stature and with a slightly crooked face, Bon certainly did not have the “look” of a charismatic  lead singer.  And his voice could best be described as a raspy scream at times.

Bon’s unsuccessful music career hit  a particular bad spell in 1974  when he crashed his motorcycle in a most spectacular way.  Bon spent the next 20 days in a hospital (3 of those days he was in a coma).  More so than at any other time it appeared that  Bon’s music career was never going to materialize and there was no reason for anyone to think otherwise.

When Bon was released from the hospital he went to work as an office clerk for a local band promoter named Vince Lovegrove.  Filing papers, emptying garbage cans and hanging posters for Vince Lovegrove was the only kind of work that his body was capable of as Bon was still recovering  from the injuries he suffered from the motorcycle accident.   Bon  was grateful to Vince for the work but still hung on  his dream of playing in a Rock & Roll Band.

It’s a long way to the top
If you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
It’s a long way to the top
If you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
If you think it’s easy doin’ one night stands
Try playin’ in a rock roll band
It’s a long way to the top
If you wanna rock ‘n’ roll

One morning while Bon was still working for him Vince Lovegrove received a phone call – – two brothers by the name of Angus & Malcolm Young were looking for a singer for their glam style rock band.    Vince immediately thought of Bon Scott.

Vince arranged a meeting between Bon and the two brothers.  Upon meeting each other the three were not impressed.   First all three noted the age difference between Bon and  Angus & Malcolm Young.  Both Malcolm & Angus thought that Bon was “too Old to rock”.  Bon thought that the brothers were “too Glam to rock”.   Luckily,  the three decided to set aside their initial impressions of each other and  after an initial all night drinking and jam session they discovered  that perhaps there was something here and the following morning  AC/DC was born.


Hotel, motel
Make you wanna cry
Lady do the hard sell
Know the reason why
Gettin’ old
Gettin’ grey
Gettin’ ripped off
Gettin’ sold
Second hand
That’s how it goes
Playin’ in a band

And the rest ( well after another 5 years of hard work developing their style and touring the world in relative obscurity)  as they say is history.

Bon passed away tragically in 1980 – right at the time when he and the band were finally receiving their long sought after public acknowledgement of the groups work to date.  Like so many other rock musicians such as Hendrix, Morrison & Cobain – Bon died much too young and while at the peak of his career.  In Bon’s case, he died after a night of heavy drinking while in London preparing for what would become the band most successful album – Back in Black.

Listening to Bon’s version of AC/DC  I think that the world at that time was not quite ready for their emerging style of Rock & Roll – but once people grew accustomed to their unique style – they came to acknowledge it’s greatness.


It’s a long way to the top
If you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
It’s a long way to the top
If you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
If you wanna be a star on stage and scream
Look out it’s rough and mean
It’s a long way to the top
If you wanna rock ‘n’ roll

Interestingly, the message that Bon & the group are  communicating in “It’s a Long way to the Top if you want to Rock & Roll” is how Hard Work, Persistence and Resiliency  are the three key universal factors that leads to anyone’s success.  As this article states, these three factors are much more important than talent in the success equation.  I think Bon is a great example of this message  – No one who had ever listened to Bon would have thought he had a voice that was of an excellent sound.  But for 15 years Bon  would not quit on his dream  and when he encountered failure he continued to perservere until he realized his dream of being a lead singer in a successful band.



Bon’s authentic approach still sounds fresh all these years later – RIP – we still remember.


One Response to “It a Long way to the Top If…………..”
  1. Nice post about the legendary Bon Scott. Brian Johnson has always said you could never replace a talent like Bon’s and he never tried to be another Bon Scott the best he could do was to try and do justice tot he songs Bon had performed and whilst his renditions are unlike Bon’s ‘originals’ they still have the qualities that Bon imbued them with. They still exude that special AC/DC brand of hard rocking cheeky irreverence, sex, rock & roll and good times although with a different aroma.

    The net result is that AC/DC first through the presence and charisma of Bon Scott and subsequently through the raw power and energy of Brian Johnson have achieved what few others can claim to have achieved. They reign supreme and they define the genre and have done so now for a considerable time. They are an act that cannot be followed. They are Rock!

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