AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott showing us all what it’s like to be a real rock and roll singer back in the day.
Though it wouldn’t start out that way, February of 1980 was almost the beginning of the end for Austrailian juggernauts, AC/DC. The band had started the year laying the groundwork for their next studio album, Back in Black. But as we all know, the hard-partying antics of vocalist Bon Scott would catch up with the 33-year-old, and after yet another night of blackout boozing (as well as possibly dabbling in heroin), Scott was found dead inside his Renault 5 in the street by his South London residence on February 19th, 1980. There has always been a fair amount of speculation regarding Bon’s death, new details of which have been painstakingly researched by author Jesse Fink in his 2017 book about Scott, Bon: The Last Highway.
Bon would perform his final live gig with AC/DC on January 27th, 1980 in Southampton, U.K. The band was no longer just a sensation in their native Australia but was finally breaking through to U.S. audiences after the Mutt Lange-produced smash, Highway to Hell penetrated the Billboard Top 200. The record would eventually smash through to the top twenty where it would peak at #17. Following the Southampton gig, AC/DC would appear on Top of the Pop’s on February 7th lipsynching to “Touch Too Much.” Three days later the band was in Madrid for an appearance on Aplauso, a popular Spanish television music program. This time AC/DC ripped through “Beating Around the Bush” (whose opening lick borrows a bit of fire from Fleetwood Mac’s 1969 single, “Oh Well”), with an unbridled lipsynching fury so hot that it’s hard to tell they aren’t actually playing “live” at times. Here’s a rough translation of the Spanish host introducing AC/DC for what would be the band’s very first show of any kind in Spain, and their final appearance with Bon:
“Today on TV Aplauso we receive a new group in Spain: AC/DC. They’re Australian and are considered as one of the best rock bands of the last generation without submitting themselves to the New-Wave or Punk. They’ve got a lot of fans in England and today for the first time in Spain, AC/DC!”
The studio audience in attendance for Aplauso is comprised of people who look like they about get a free car from Oprah—not a balls-out riff-fest from a bunch of long-haired Aussies who, by very definition, are rock and fucking roll. Without further delay, check out Bon Scott’s Spanish swansong with AC/DC below and blow out your speakers while doing so. I mean, you don’t really like that job of yours that much, do you?
Bon Scott’s last appearance with AC/DC on Spanish television program ‘Aplauso,’ February 10th, 1980. Angus Young FTW.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘How Should We End This?’: Hilarious supercut of AC/DC song endings
AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson’s balls out metal vocals for a Hoover vacuum commercial in 1980
Big Balls: Rarely seen, intimate photos of AC/DC taken back in the 70s
Blistering footage of a young AC/DC blowing the roof off the sucker in 1978
Glamtastic footage of AC/DC *before* Bon Scott