AC/DC fan in bid to crack ‘Da Vinci Code of rock’

Bon Scott fronts the band in their 1970s heyday. Picture: Rex Features
Bon Scott fronts the band in their 1970s heyday. Picture: Rex Features
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New light will be shed on the mysterious death of original AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, the author of a new book about the Kirriemuir-born rocker has promised.

Jessie Fink, who has already written about the two Scottish brothers in the band, Malcolm and Angus Young, said it had been a “passion project” to establish what happened to Scott.

The lead singer was found dead in a car in southeast London in 1980, aged 33.

He is said to have choked on his own vomit following a night’s heavy drinking in a London nightclub, just months after the release of the group’s seminal album Highway To Hell.

His death was officially recorded as acute alcohol poisoning, but there have been claims that he took a drug overdose.

Fink’s new book, Bon: The Last Highway – The Untold Story Of Bon Scott And AC/DC’s Back In Black will be published in November by Edinburgh-based Black and White Publishing.

He previously wrote The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, about its Glasgow-born guitarists Angus and Malcolm, who emigrated to Sydney aged eight and ten.

The London-born author, who now lives in the Australian city, said: “It’s the biggest book I’ve ever written and it was the hardest to write.

“There are so many unanswered questions around the death of Bon Scott and the three years leading up to it – when Bon and AC/DC were trying to make it big in America – that it became a passion project for me to try to get to the bottom of what happened to him.

“Just how did the frontman of the best rock and roll band in the world end up dead in a car in East Dulwich?

“None of the pieces of information that were already available made any sense to me when you put them all together. Something in the story was missing. For me it’s the Da Vinci Code of rock.”

Fink said the book would provide new information about Scott’s “mysterious” friend Alistair Kinnear, owner of the Renault 5 in which he was found dead and one of the last people to see him alive.

Fink said the book also contained the first interviews with “all three of Scott’s major lovers”, two of whom, he said, were previously unknown. The author also claims to be the last person to have interviewed Scott’s reclusive “longtime lover and muse”, Silver Smith, who died last year.

The book also investigates claims Scott had a hand in writing Back In Black, the world’s second-highest selling album after Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Graham Galloway, organiser of Bonfest, the annual rock music festival in Kirriemuir to celebrate Scott, said he was keen to see whether the book clarified how the singer met his death.

“There have certainly always been questions around the circumstances of his death.

“I’ll be interested in hearing his take on what happened that tragic night,” said Galloway.

He described the latest book on Scott as “another testament to his legacy”, which was also reflected in the popularity of Bonfest.

“This year we had people from 27 countries including Australia, Chile and Peru coming together in celebration of his memory. And since last year, when we finally unveiled our bronze statue of Bon, Kirriemuir now sees fans coming year-round to pay their respects.

“He’s a genuine rock legend, and I’m really interested to see if the new book sheds any new light on his life.”