Last year filmmaker Eddie Martin announced plans to make a biopic of the life of the late Bon Scott. Not a bad call. As former lead singer of AC/DC, Scott’s fame was palpable at the time of his death in 1980 when, after a night of hard partying in the south of London, he fell into a drunken coma in the back seat of a friend’s car and never woke up. “Death by misadventure” was one of the coroner’s findings. Indeed — Scott suffocated on his own vomit. Just 33 at the time of his death, Scott never lived to see the AC/DC pile of gold; in 1980, Highway to Hell was just breaking the American top 20. Today, Bon’s final resting place is said to be the most-visited grave in Australia.
The AC/DC sound is now a fundament of rock: Gibson guitars played at amp-blowing power through a wall of Marshalls. As a band, AC/DC is as straightforward as they come, somehow counterbalancing Angus Young’s stage madness but with a tension and raw energy that separate them from the thud and fury of similar arena bands.
The album that AC/DC released five months after Bon Scott’s death would eventually find its place among the top ten best-selling albums of all time. Why? Because every song on Back in Black is iconic. After a San Diego appearance by the band, a friend of mine said this: “I got there late. I’m standing outside in line, and I can hear them start the show with ‘You Shook Me’ — an encore song. That’s the song you end the show with, not start it out with. How do you follow that?” But if you’re AC/DC, you can start at meltdown and go from there.
So, who to play the film version of Bon Scott? Possibly Scott’s only son Ben, who, at 35, expressed interest after Martin’s announcement.
AC/DC: San Diego Sports Arena, Sunday, September 6, 8 p.m. 619-224-4171. $93.50.