Bon Scott and Vince Lovegrove, co-vocalists of the Valentines
The term “bubblegum music” came to be sometime back in the early 1960s with help from Brooklyn music producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz. Known as Super K Productions, the duo helped bring “bubblegum” bands such as the Ohio Express (of “Yummy Yummy Yummy” fame), and Crazy Elephant (“Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’” from 1969) large but short-lived fame. The Australian group, the Valentines—whose lineup included a 23-year-old Bon Scott, also rode the bubblegum music train back in the late ‘60s.
The Valentines (Bon Scott, second from right)
The Valentines got together after Scott parted ways with the popular Perth band the Spektors in 1966, and enjoyed a rather successful run down under until they called it quits in 1970. The Valentines kind of had it all—great hair, cool matchy-matchy clothes, and two good-looking vocalists who shared the spotlight in Scott and Vince Lovegrove. Lovegrove, who remained friends with Scott until his death in 1980, would go on to become respected journalist and manager of the Divinyls before passing away in a tragic car accident in 2012.
If you’ve never seen the band performing, then you are in for a treat. The footage of the Valentines performing “Nick Nack Paddy Whack” (a riff on the nursery rhyme “This Old Man”) from the Australian music television show, Hit Scene (below) was shot on July 12th, 1969, just after Scott’s 23rd birthday. And the man who would soon front AC/DC looks like he never stopped celebrating. Whenever the camera catches Scott in action (the one on the left without an instrument, he gets his big close-up at about 01:25), he’s either laughing, hilariously and barely mouthing the words to the song, or is grooving out of time with the music while his massive bell bottom sleeve top flops around. In other words, it is two minutes plus of pure, vintage, must-watch awesomeness.
The Valentines performing “Nick Nack Paddy Whack” on the Australian music TV show Hit Scene, July 12th, 1969