Bon Scott was born on July 9, 1946 in Kirriemuir, Scotland. He spent the first six years of his life in the small town of Kirriemuir. Bon's parents hailed from musical families; his father, Charles, known to friends and relations as Chick, played drums in the Kirriemuir Pipe Band and performed with the local light-opera company. In 1952, the Scott family relocated to Australia. The Scotts first resided in Melbourne before settling in the Adelaide suburb of Sunshine. In 1956, Bon's brother Graeme was diagnosed with asthma and the Scott family relocated to Fremantle.
As early as grade school, Bon had shown an affinity for music, first playing recorder in school; he would subsequently have brief flirtations with piano and accordion, before settling on drums. Bon took his first tentative steps as a performer at the age of twelve, playing a recorder duet with a classmate at a school concert and banging the drums alongside his father in the local Caledonian Society's Scots pipe band.
Bon's lifelong distaste for authority led him to quit his studies at the age of fifteen. After leaving school, he held a series of odd jobs, driving a tractor, laboring on fishing boats and working
as an apprentice weighing-machine mechanic.
Bon's earliest bands found him doubling up on vocals and drums. In Perth during 1966 he played with The Spectors. Then he moved on to The Valentines. In May 1967 The Valentines released a debut single entitled 'Every Day I Have To Cry' on the Clarion label. Despite its lack of originality, the single reached the Top 5 of the local charts. But their next three singles flopped and they decided to move to Melbourne for a change of luck.
The Valentines recorded three Easybeats songs, 'She Said', 'Pelicular Hole In The Sky' and 'My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man'. The latter reached No. 23 in the Australian charts in July 1969. On September 20, 1969 The Valentines were arrested for dope possession which shattered their clean-cut image beyond repair. Nevertheless The Valentines released another single, 'Juliette' in April 1970 that barely reached the Australian Top 30. The band officially called it quits on August 1, 1970.
Within six months of The Valentine's dissolution, Bon received a call from Bruce Howe, leader of a new blues-rock band called Fraternity, inviting him to join his group. By the time Bon joined Fraternity, the band had already recorded a single, 'Why Did It Have To Be Me', and begun gigging around Adelaide, where it had relocated from its original base of Sydney. After two albums for RCA Australia, 'Live Stock' in 1971 and 'Flaming Galah' in 1972, Fraternity decided to try their luck in Europe. For the most of 1973 they toured the Continent, principally Britain and Germany. They even got to support a band called Geordie, fronted by one Brian Johnson, in the UK. The European trip was largely fruitless for Fraternity and they returned to Australia slightly disillusioned. After returning home, Bon was involved in a motorbike accident that left him in a coma for three days and in hospital for several months, ending his association with Fraternity.
Now based in Adelaide, Bon was reduced to taking on casual work until the day he was offered the chance to drive this new band called AC/DC around. Bon lost little time in telling the band he could play drums, and before long he'd successfully auditioned for Peter Clark's position in the band. He also recommended as bass player his old friend from Fraternity, Bruce Houwe. But Bon harboured ambitions to front the band. He persuaded the Young Brothers that the band needed a better frontman and he suggested himself as the ideal replacement. And when Dave Evans failed to turn up for a show, Bon seized his chance.
Bon Scott was the man who brought AC/DC into sharp focus. He was a unique personality, a man of such charisma that he could make every single fan in an audience of thousands feel like he was performing just for them, whilst also having the ability to make the local pub seem like an arena. He enjoyed life and loved nothing better than giving pleasure to others.
Yet Bon Scott was also an excessive and this would ultimately lead to tragedy. After a night of heavy drinking, Bon died in a car parked outside a friend's flat in South London sometime on February 19, 1980. He was prononced dead on arrival at Kings College Hospital. Bon Scott lies in the Fremantle Cemetery's Memorial Garden in Perth, Australia.