Kicked In The Teeth

In the early evening of Wednesday, February 20, 1980, Bon Scott was found dead in a car parked in Dulwich. The news, announced the following morning to a shocked media, sent AC/DC fans the world over into an immediate state of misery and depression that took years to lift, and in some cases still hasn’t.

Bon had spent the first week of February in London, working on lyrics for the next album. He took some time out to attend Angus’ wedding to Ellen, his long-time Dutch girlfriend. Then on Tuesday February 19, Bon went to tour manager Ian Jeffery’s house for dinner, leaving about 6:30 pm to go to the Music Machine, a venue in London. He was supposed to meet vocalist Phil Mogg and bassist Pete Way of UFO, who never showed up. Bon started drinking heavily till 3 am when the bar closed. He left the place with an old friend, namely Alisdair Kinnear. By the time he drove Bon back to his flat, the latter was deep asleep was impossible to move. So Kinnear drove to his own place in Dulwich. Finding that Bon was still asleep, he left the unfortunate singer in the car and covered him up with a blanket and then crashed out in his flat. Kinnear woke up fifteen hours later and went down to his car, only to find that Bon would still not stir. He started to panic and drove him to King’s College Hospital, where tragically the singer was pronounced dead.

At the investigation held on February 23rd, the coroner delivered a verdict of “death by misadventure”. Apparently Bon had downed at least seven double whiskies at the bar. He vomited in his sleep and because of his sleeping position the vomit went back to his throat and then choked the legendary singer to death.

Critics all over the world paid homage to the late singer by writing moving tributes. Bon also inspired tributes from bands that knew him well. Nantucket titled their next album “It’s A Long Way To The Top” and dedicated it to Bon, and Canadian trio Santers with their album “Shot Down In Flames”. Cheap Trick performed a version of “Highway To Hell” in Paris during their 1980 European tour. French metal punks Trust, who were close friends with Bon and with whom the late great documented “Ride On” which proved to be his last recording ever, dedicated their next album “Repression” to the dead singer. Even Ozzy Osbourne released a song called “Suicide Solution” that was also a tribute to Bon.

AC/DC, at that time, had made it clear that there was no chance of giving up. They would take time to get over the loss of Bon Scott, but would certainly and determinedly forge into the ‘80s.