Aug. 2, 2021

AC/DC: Back in Black and Bon Scott

AC/DC: Back in Black and Bon Scott

Ryan interviews Jesse Fink, author of the book Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC's Back in Black. Jesse talks about Bon's life, the theories on his death, and if Bon Scott helped write songs that ended up on the massively popular album, Back in Black.

Buy Jesse's book Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC's Back in Black: https://www.amazon.com/Bon-Highway-Untold-Story-Scott/dp/1770414096 

Join Jesse's Bon Scott Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bonscottforum

Sign up for an exclusive Songs of Note episode and playlist here: https://mailchi.mp/5a4c0459fa02/songsofnotenewsletter

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Music  provided by Tyler Ramsey.  Find Tyler on Spotify, Apple Music, and his website

Transcript
Ryan Gregg:

Welcome to the songs of node Podcast, where we talk about the songs we love, and the stories behind them. I'm your host, Ryan Gregg. Hello, and welcome to the songs of no Podcast. I am so glad that you're here today. One of my favorite things about this podcast has been like, like, a story comes up or a song comes up. And I think what what's that song about? And actually getting to find out a really cool story about a song. Okay, so here's, here's what happened, give you in real time what happened. My family was going on a vacation to Colorado, we live in Texas, we were going to drive kids are in the back loaded up. I'm backing out. And I say you know what, we're gonna need a vacation kickoff song. And that kickoff song is going to be AC DC. Back in Black, you know, the song. And the cool riff which is difficult to play for guitar players, but it's a great riff. But full disclosure, AC DC is a band where I know the hits but I don't. I've never known the album's I certainly didn't know anything about the story of the band. So we're, we're jamming the song as correct pulling out the driveway, very domestic moment. Maybe minus the AC DC. But we're rocking out. And as we're as we're pulling out, I mean, we literally just still in the driveway and my wife goes, What's the song about? And I was like, it's just a rock song. Just I can black. It's just it sounds cool. And she's like, back in black. And then I'm like, I don't know. Yeah. Once you when you look it up. I'm trying to find directions on where we're going. So we're all still rocking out and she starts reading Oh, oh, is this this is the the album. This is from the song from the album Back in Black that was released after AC DC his lead singer Bon Scott died. And I was like, What I remember like I remember there being a thing with AC DC, but I cannot remember for the life of me what happened with this band. So rock people who are hearing this, I'm sure I just like lost all my credibility with you. So I, I try to have a lot of music knowledge in man, I failed on this one. I didn't remember that this even happened. And so if you you if you're listening this and you're probably like, hey, dummy. Everybody knows this happen. And I wrote my buddies who were who were all in music and they're like, hey, dummy, this happened. And so my, this is my bad. I missed this. I did not pay attention in guitar class for this one. But for those who don't know, AC DC, got huge, got really big, and continue to get bigger known as a killer live band. It's never been a group that I've gotten into like deep albums on but it's always like, the fun I like the back in black. I like just some of the songs that are just like killer rock songs, right, Greg guitars, huge vocals. So but, but I never do this story. So Bon Scott was the lead singer for the first handful of albums by this band, and then he died. And the last album that he sang on was Highway to Hell, which you probably have heard that song huge rock song in so he dies within a year of that album coming out. Right so this band is like on the way up. If this huge album out. The lead singer dies from a combination of some some substances that we'll talk about in the interview. And then they replace him with Brian Johnson the new singer. like five weeks later, they release back in black. So they announced the singer in April 1980. Back in Black is released on July 25 1980. In the barn Scott died in February so I mean, oh my gosh, I can't believe the timeline of of this thing of lead singer dies. singer is replaced in the AC DC story from the band, depending on the interview, is that Bon Scott did not write any of the songs. And so the band story Like I said, depending on what interview you're listening to, is that the songs were written without the old lead singer, that they're all written fresh. With this new singer who started with the band in April. They write one of the biggest rock albums of all time that is released in July. So you're talking to quick turnaround. And then they do not follow that up with any songs resembling the quality of rock songs that are on back in black, in my opinion. So anyway, that's how this all played out. And my mind was blown. I was like, What? This is a story. So it's a long drive to Colorado. And I was like, let's find let's find the book. Let's find a book on on what happens. So Jesse Fink wrote a he's an author, he wrote a book called bond, the Lost Highway, The Untold Story of bond, Scott, and ACDC is back in black. Start the book, right? I write him I'm like, you know, would you be willing to talk and so I timed the entire thing to, to listen to the book, finish the book. Right before we're able to talk and so it was really a very fascinating read on a character that I really did not obviously know much about. But there's there's so much stuff on YouTube of live performances of the band with bond and with replacement singer Brian Johnson, but especially with with bond Scott as a, as a lead man that it was, it was just really interesting. I love stepping into rock stories that that I missed that I hadn't heard of. And this is one for sure. So I'm excited to have the interview here. So this is me talking with Jesse Fink. He has a Facebook bond Scott forum with I think he said 14,000 people in it, include a link in the show notes. But you can also get his book, I'll put a link to that. It's on Amazon. I listened to it on Audible. But fascinating story. I hope you enjoy it. This is my interview with Jesse Fink. Hey, Jesse, thank you so much for taking time to come on the podcast today. No worries, Mike, good to be with it. Man, I have to tell you, it's been really awesome. reading your book. I just finished it this week. And I tried to line up our interview so that it would happen right as I finished the book. So all the info is fresh. I am embarrassed to admit as a huge rock fan that I didn't know this story. And I found this so compelling. So I guess my first question is for you. You know what, what made you want to write a book on on bond? Scott?

Jesse Fink:

Well, I mean, I had written a book called The Young's the brothers who built ACDC for St. Martin's Press back in 2014. That sort of came out of you know, like an epiphany I had one night about AC DC and the effect music had on me. So I wanted to write a book about sort of the fact that AC DC music has on its millions of fans around the world. Why is AC DC the biggest band in the world, there's got to be a reason. And it's because of the the magic that they create with the you know, typical riffs and just fantastic rock songwriting. So that was a very different book. And the Youngs was quite a successful book for me, it was published in dozens of countries, and I hit on my hands, you know, for the first time in my career as a writer. And so, you know, Penguin, who was my publisher here in Australia was was interested in maybe doing something in a similar vein, and I said, Well, you know, why not Bob Scott for Australians bond Scott is is like a sort of a folk hero is that he's up there with, you know, Ned Kelly. And so Donald Bradman is sort of a national hero, right. But he's his life was tragically cut short, with his death in London, in 1980. And there's a lot of mystery around how he died. There's also a lot of a lot of mystery around the issue of whether his lyrics appear on the back end blackout. But for most ACDC biographies that I you know, that I had, his books that I'd read, they seem to kind of avoid those two questions, those two sort of fundamental questions, because they're really bloody difficult. Right? How do you? How do you, you know, put all the pieces together to you know, solve these mysteries. I suggested to the penguin that we do a biography of Bon Scott one, none had been written since about the early 90s. So it was a long time between bios of bond. So you know, it was it was due well overdue. And what I wanted to do was I wanted to focus on bonds time in America. So you know, starting from the first concert in Texas, through to the end of 79 is last American concert in Ohio. And then for me, and for me, that was kind of like the blank part of the bottle Scott story, was his time on the road. And because I thought, well, you know, if he's dying in a car in London in February 1980, you know, there has to be a rode to that point, you know, things must have happened to him, you know, this, this, this wasn't an accident in isolation. And so that's really what the title is about last highway, obviously, it's an illusion to Highway to Hell, but it's about the road that bond took in America, you know, to that car in London in 1980. So So, you know, I wanted to focus on America, but then, you know, when I had finished the whole American part, I realized holy, you know, there's a whole other thing, which is, you know, right about his death. So all these deaths, you know, get into this question of whether his literature on black and black, and that part of the book alone, you know, ended up taking like a year and a half to write, oh, wow, there's the American part of the story. There's the lyrics, part of the story. And then there's the death part of the story. And the death part of the story sort of overtook everything, because it was such a mystery.

Ryan Gregg:

Well, that you read that way. Really what? There were, there was a lot of it, it felt like investigative journalism on a lot of it. I want to get to that before we do for for people who, you know, know, a couple ACDC songs to talk about his life like what what would you say is the thing that really stands out? What what made bond great for the people who maybe just know, the highway to hell song, they just know, a couple songs like, what do you like, What stands out about him as a performer and a writer?

Jesse Fink:

Oh, I mean, on a number of levels, I think he was extraordinary, brilliant writer, above all else, read the lyrics of ACDC songs from the bond era, they're incredibly clever and funny, he's got a fantastic turn of phrase he wrote from his life. And I think that that's why those songs from that era kind of really resonate. And really find, you know, millions of fans, unlike, you know, sort of the hesitate to describe them as awful. There's, I mean, a lot of ACDC songs from more recent times, they're really horrible. Lyrically, they're horrible, yes. Whereas from the Bonnier, they're really fun to listen to, they're clever, they're making you laugh, you know, they punch you in the gut, because, you know, like, the songs on power rage are about, you know, human experience, you know, that not not having money, or about sort of being out of a relationship or, you know, just just normal things. So I think people connect to those songs in a very different way. And the other thing was, you know, Bond was an amazing singer. Obviously, he had a fantastic ride range. He also was a was an extraordinary performer on stage, just the way that he moved around the stage, if you're just watching Bon Scott, when Angus Young is playing his guitar, you just you just focus on born and the way he moves, he just is mesmerizing to watch. And then, you know, coupled with all that, and he was incredibly entertaining, fun man, to his friends, and to his girlfriends, and very popular, but he also had a dark side. And, obviously, the dark side is part of the story. And that was something that I needed to address. And, you know, I guess a lot of people get upset when you bring up these things about their heroes. But you know, that's, we're talking about the human being here. Everyone's got, you know, different sides of,

Ryan Gregg:

yeah, that's absolutely. Well, one, one part that I thought was interesting is is near the end of his life, you talk about how a little bit like whiskey, and maybe he was in a persona he couldn't get out of was did He create a situation that he was trapped in? And you talk about how he called his friend in Texas, and in talks about wanting to what get out and like, stop drinking alcohol or get off drugs or get off the road? quit the band was it was a combination of those things, I think. Is that is that right? Where he came to a breaking point? Kind of?

Jesse Fink:

Yeah, well, I mean, obviously, that that road that he had taken, you know, started in Texas and 77 and went through to the end of 79, and was incredibly brutal on him, you know, he was drinking every night. He was, you know, dabbling in drugs. I think he had got tired of this persona that he'd created, you know, around the band. He wasn't close, really to other members in the band. It wasn't like he was hanging out with them. After gigs, yeah. He was very much a kind of a lone wolf. And he had a heavier life away from the band. And so, you know, the story that's told in this book is, is obviously very different to, you know, the anointed narratives that you hear about ACDC in the, you know, the official documentaries and so on. It's a completely different story. And, you know, what's interesting is that, you know, I, you know, I wrote about, you know, font calling Roy Allen in Texas in 79. And when, you know, the book first came out, it was, you know, a lot of outcry about that, you know, how can you suggest that, you know, on was going to walk away from AC DC or or that he wanted to quit? You know, how dare you? And what's interesting is that since then, you know, I've come across interviews from bond with, with the French journalists from 1979, where he was talking about exactly the same thing. And, and there was an interview recently with a former band member of fraternity, which has bad valence band before AC DC, where the guy said, you know, he'd had enough, he wanted to quit, you know, it was the end of the road for him. He wanted to do different things with his life. So I think that's been confirmed, you know, but so this book has taken on a lot of myths about bone, Scott. And that's kind of painted a very different sort of picture of him. And for that, you know, a lot of people are up in arms about it.

Ryan Gregg:

Well, one of the things that seemed to cause a lot of questions it in correct me if I'm wrong, it seems like the the, the, the company line, so to speak was that, you know, he, he had too much alcohol, he choked on his own vomit and died in a car. But you address how heroin could have been involved how he could have, I believe snorted air would have taken in some way. But why why was that such a lie? Why wouldn't they just fess up to that? Like, why was that such a huge thing? As far as like, if he did take care of one and do the drinking that he did? I'm not saying I'm not condoning drugs, but I'm just saying, was it a matter of like, why wouldn't they have just said it was it was alcohol and, and drugs? Do you know I'm saying?

Jesse Fink:

Yeah, but I mean, you know, even now, when I'm writing about bone, you know, possibly dying from snorting heroin. Immediately, you know, the word that springs into a lot of people's minds is junkie, right? I've never called bottle a junkie, but you, you read, you know, things on post on social media saying, you know, Jesse think is calling bond, a junkie, I've never called bond junkie in my life. You know, he just like many other musicians that were living in London at that time, were using heroin. You know, and it's not like, you know, born and heroin is, is something that's never been talked about before. When I did the Young's, you know, I spoke to mark Evans, who was the bass player in AC DC, and he said, you know, Vaughn almost got sacked in 1975 for taking heroin. So, you know, there's a history there. And then Michael browning, who was the manager of AC DC, did his own book and talked about it like a second incident. And, you know, the conclusion that I come to in the book is that, you know, it was the time I'm lucky for.

Ryan Gregg:

What about this, you tell the story in the book, and I'm just I'm gonna be flat out. Honest. On my initial reaction to it. You told the story about Bond was doing a concert, and please correct me if I mess up the details, but he was doing a concert. And I think he had had either too much drink or he had he had done something. He had some kind of substance. And he messed up the lines in one of the songs and afterward, he came to one of his friends. And I think you said, he said that they're going to hurt me. And I could be saying that wrong. My gut reaction was, Oh, my gosh, to the young brothers kill Bon Scott. And another stupid. That's where I went. I was like, Oh, no, is that where this is going? And I was like, that's so stupid. I can't even I can't even wrap my head around that. So I pulled out. But what did what were you alluded to on that story? Or what do you think? What happened there? I thought that was crazy. Well, that was that was actually in Texas, I believe. Yeah, yeah. That's where I'm calling you from? whereabouts are you in Texas? I'm in Dallas, and I think that was an Austin or so. Right?

Jesse Fink:

It might have been in might have been in Lubbock or somewhere like that. Yeah. I can't remember exactly. But, you know, it was Roy Allen, you know, talking about a concert that that he went to, and that Vaughn came offstage and said this to him, and but, you know, like, Roy was unsure exactly what Bob meant by that. And he didn't want to, you know, put too much importance on it, but he was just how he remembered what Bonnie said. But you know, a lot of people obviously reacted to that as well. There was an inference that you know, the, the band wanted to knock off or, you know, hurt him in some way. I just think he was probably, you know, completely strung out with, you know, booze and drugs at that point. And so, you know, part of part of what I did in the book was, you know, I would basically follow bond concert to concert state to state. And, and what I eventually discovered was that, you know, the further that he went on his journey through America, the more you know, alcohol and drugs took all of his life. And there was one there was one concert in, I think it was Rhode Island where basically, they couldn't continue because he was so smashed. Well,

Ryan Gregg:

okay, so let's talk, let's talk some specifics here. Because this, okay, this is, this is the part of the book that I couldn't believe. And I listened to it over and over and I and I was looking at clips online about it and looking for like band interviews. Alright, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna read some of the a couple of the quotes back. And then I want to talk about dates. Because the whole idea on what could bond Scott have written parts, or a lot of the Back in Black Album is fascinating to me. So the official band line, at least for the what I remember is that they had initially, I don't know if initially because I don't know if their story changed, but I thought it was that he was not included, because bond, Scott was not included as a writer, because he was not listed on any of the songs. But in 1991, there's a quote from Angus Young, who says, Bond wrote a little of the stuff. And in 1998, Angus was asked if he ever thought about quitting, and in his quote was, the only time was when bond died, we were in doubt about what to do. But we had songs that we had written and wanted to finish the songs, we thought it would be our tribute to bond, and that album became back in black. So what what was the, what was the what's the Young's stance, I guess, on if he participated in writing the songs?

Jesse Fink:

Well, their story changes all the time, this is the thing. So if you're looking at, you know, their interviews that they've given over the years about back and black, their stories change all the time. So, you know, there's got to be a truth there. Right. And, and if, if the story keeps on changing, then I would, you know, I have serious doubts whether, you know, the, the official story is true. Now. You know, remember, you know, I talked to David Krebs, who was the, you know, the manager of AC DC. At that time, you know, from from Highway to Hell, through the back in black. And for those about to rock, you know, LIBOR cramps was ACDC, his management company. Now, if David Krebs says to me, I believe, you know, Bond write songs up back in black. I mean, that's coming from the horse's mouth. Yeah. You know, I mean, David Krebs gets money for back in black, you know, he was a manager at the time. So, you know, I guess it's, it was a sort of a detective exercise. It was like, you know, me going through all the interviews, sort of piecing all these things together, finding the sort of the discrepancies, and, but not actually, you know, making a judgment call. What I'm doing is I'm going to do the readers of the book, and I'm saying, Okay, look, here's what happened. You make up your own mind, right? You like that? Yes. So I've no, I've not gone and call it a cold anyone a liar. Yeah, ever. Yeah. But I will present you know, things that have been said and say, Hey, you know, that's a bit odd, isn't it?

Ryan Gregg:

There's a lot there's a lot odd. So when it comes down to like, I run out the dates. I was like, what let's look at the timeline here. Highway to Hell is released. July 29 1979. Bond dies the following February February 19 1980. Brian Johnson is announced as the new lead singer on April 1 1980, like five and a half weeks later, one that by itself stunned me because you would think with a band that was that big that was on the brink of humongous things I my thought would be we probably need to go like road test this guy we need to go like test it out. But it was flat out announced. So that's a now announced on April 1 Back in Black comes out on July 25 1980. I mean, how, how does a band lose, lose the key person in the band, bring on a new person, and then release one of the most popular albums of all time in write all the songs and record them in that amount of time like that, that screams all kinds of like files. I mean, it's Whereas like if they did it all without help from other writings,

Jesse Fink:

or doesn't make it right doesn't like it doesn't make any sense at all right. So, so if you, you know, you look back at Brian Johnson's songwriting career in his previous band Jordy he had the right any songs at all. And then all of a sudden, you know, it was like three songs or something. And then all of a sudden, you know, he gets catapulted into AC DC and sort of right off the bat, right, you should be all night long. No way. Like, yeah, in back in black, and it was like, right. That that's some some of the best sort of rock pop riding ever, ever. Wow, Brian, you're amazing.

Unknown:

Wow. Okay, so

Ryan Gregg:

like, let's pretend he did, then what else did he do? What was the next bag? What was back in black? Two? What was the follow up? They were so killer. I feel like they this was it. I mean, they had no songs and thunderstruck. And they have some other songs but like,

Jesse Fink:

well, exactly. So you know, you look at back in black, which I, you know, I regard as sort of, you know, ACDC is probably fourth best record. Right. Definitely. It's most successful, but probably, in terms of the songs, I would say fourth best. And then from that point on, it was all downhill. And so by 1985, which is, you know, it's only what, five years later, you've got a piece of shit, like, fly on the wall, which is one of the worst albums of all time. I seriously, it's like it's recorded underwater. Oh, no, Have you listened to it, it's, it's just shocking. It's like it was recorded in the bathtub. And, you know, this is this is ACDC. So you've gone from back and black to fly on the wall, you know, in the space of five years. That that, that that drop off, cannot really be explained. Other than that, I think, you know, bonds. songs, or ideas for songs were somehow incorporated into back and black. And I certainly get a heavy strong vibe. For bond from songs like, you know, you shouldn't be all that long. Yes. Back in Black. You can just hear bond singing. And so if you've ever listened to an episode of bond, you're ACDC you kind of just know, you know, bonds tricks, he's lyrical tricks. And it's just, it's just all over that. Right. I'm not saying that he he wrote the entire thing. But I do think that there are traces of bond on that record. And, you know, I think you know, as I said to you earlier in the interview, you know, Bond wrote from his life, you know, so you look at songs like that around albums, like Powerade and Harvard health. He's writing about people that he knew. And so, you know, you've got a song like a shoe, shouldn't you shouldn't be all that long, you know, with this, you know, American size. Okay, Bond, I mean, I, Brian, and even been to America. Well, you know, the story about who he was writing about this sort of change over time, and, you know, but I'm down in Miami, you know, researching this book, and I made a woman that I'm convinced is American sighs there was one a bomb adulterants. Right. And she tells me the backstory to, you know, that song, their relationship with with bond, and it all comes together perfectly. Man, you know, so it's no proof. Yeah, there's no proof at all. But all I'm doing is I'm presenting an argument and I'm saying to the readers. Hey, this is pretty compelling, don't you think? You know, for a guy who was writing about his life and putting in any songs and then you've got, you know, a standout track like you shook me all night long on back end black, which sounds like born which which has the zip and the cadence of bond? Totally. And you you know, you're trying to tell me that this all came from Brian Johnson. I'm not just don't believe that at all. So there there are people there are people that I spoke to, you know, who knew bond you know, like Doug sailor who was you know, ACDC. Booker, you know, for his, for their for their American tours. You know, he booked all their American tours and he was close to bond and he said, there's no absolutely no way in the world that that isn't the bond Scott, so he just knows. Man.

Ryan Gregg:

Do you think like years from now after the young son passed away? Do you think we're gonna have like a kid Set rollout and some basically find a demo of Bon Scott. You know, sing it sing in these some of these lines is like a melody idea like do you think those are floating around? Or if they were Do you think they would have been destroyed? This is just speculation at this point. But I just wonder about

Jesse Fink:

I have heard I have heard you know that there are types there's certainly nothing on YouTube. So, you know, I can say this 100% for all your listeners, there is nothing on YouTube or Bon Scott singing anything from back and black despite, you know, many videos pretending to be otherwise it just hasn't come out. But you know, you do hear you know, anecdotes from Australian musicians who might have heard demo types of bond thing back and black songs and but there's no evidence. So it's not like they can put it in a book now, sir. You

Ryan Gregg:

got to think that if it's out there that maybe one day it'll get heard. Who knows? What's the kitty kitty tell the chartreuse lines. story or not lines the chartreuse eyes line? The little story about that?

Jesse Fink:

Yeah, so so the girlfriend that Bond had in in Miami they were you know, there were at the hotel in Miami sort of, you know, late lounging out by the by the by the pool. When he turns to her in the sand. He says, you know, you chartreuse eyes? What do you mean shatter. So you know, green. You're like, they like the alcohol. And she said that basically, that line was was used in the song and it was modified for use with me on that long on the album. And it became cyclists eyes. Now what the hell does thoughtless eyes mean? What does that mean? She's blonde. You know, you read it. And it's like, that's just doesn't make any sense that line jobs with me. It's like it, you know, it's not quite right. But you know, chartreuse is Yeah, I get that. You know, that's bond being poetic. But, you know, the way that, you know, silver Smith, who was was bonds are the girlfriend, the heroin user in London. She knew the Youngs quite well. And she just, you know, described the the songwriting process, and that was that, you know, Bond would come up in lyrics for songs, and then he would send them off to the youngers and the Youngs would sort of edit them down or dumb them down. And that was the process. So I do I do strongly believe that.

Unknown:

bonds,

Jesse Fink:

notebooks which have taken taken on mythical proportions now came into the possession of someone. And my belief is that, you know, his lyrics are on there somewhere. And so, you know, you've got a couple of interesting quotes from Angus, that sort of added some history to it.

Ryan Gregg:

Well, in if I remember, I didn't didn't you say that his lyrical notebook went missing, like immediately and that the Youngs had had access to his his house or his apartment at some point that that that was not an uncommon thing for him to have with them to have access or that or that somebody went and cleaned it up? Maybe your wasn't that some

Jesse Fink:

Yeah, so the story goes that that you know, after bonds death that people who were working for, I guess the management company of AC DC, at that time, had access to the apartment and that they cleaned out the apartment and things that were in that apartment were taken, and were never returned to the family. Now I've I believe Angus has said in an interview that, you know, things were returned to the Scott family. But like, for instance, at the time of bonds death, he was in the studio with a French band called trust. We were recording an album in London. And Bond was actually adapting lot of their songs into English like for an English language release. And he had been working on those songs and after bonds a death, the lead singer of trust, tried to get that paperwork of the bone to be working on and could never recover. So you know, a lot of things went missing after His death. And that has never really been adequately explained, you know, where those things ended up. So, you know, like I said, that whole story of these deaths ended up taking, you know, one and a half to two years just sort of putting it all together because there's just so many contradictions in various testimonies around you know, that final 24 hours. Man Well, the the

Ryan Gregg:

thing that that's the smoking gun for me was like, I'm hearing all the evidence. I'm here and listen to the evidence, and I'm deciding on what you know what I think happens. And then you it's like, near the very end, the smoking gun is that the bond Scott family is still getting royalties off of back and black. Why would they pay out all this money? Unless it? I don't? I don't see it being done in a sense of homage. I mean, you're talking about a lot like, I think millions of dollars, I'm guessing at this point. That money that's been paid out, unless he was credited on uncredited songwriter, I mean, that, to me, that was a smoking gun of the family is getting paid royalties on the album that they're saying he didn't, right. Yeah, which reesy, which comes from

Jesse Fink:

an article that was written by Vince Lovegrove. Winslow Grove was a bandmate of bond Scott in a band called the Valentine's. Vince Lovegrove died, died about 10 years ago in a car accident. But he wrote a number of stories about on and he said that one of bonds brothers had said that they receive royalties for the back end blackout. And as you say, that doesn't really kind of make any sense. Because in terms of their business reputation in terms of, you know, their track record, the Youngs aren't renowned for being a particularly altruistic sort of family. Or generous. I'm very good friends with a guy called Tony currenty, who was the session drummer on their first album, you know, he was only ever paid $35 an hour for his sessions. He never made $1 you know, he's, he's running a pizza parlor in Sydney. And he's only been trying to, you know, meet Angus Young, you're just to say hello. And he can't even do that. So, you know, the idea that, you know, an album, that Bond had nothing to do with his earning quite a lot of money for the on Scott family. That just doesn't make sense to me. You know, if the story is true, as we reported it in his article, then, you know, that's very odd. No kidding.

Ryan Gregg:

I can't believe that. Well, if you would, at the end of the book, I liked how you gave a couple different scenarios on what might have happened the night that he died, would you would you mind, like summarizing the on the version that you think was most likely just kind of high level of what you think actually went on that night, rather than what people have said happen?

Jesse Fink:

Well, you know, my, my, my feeling is that bond, had some heroin that died, suddenly, that the group of people that he was with, you know, panicked, didn't know what to do, they didn't want to get arrested for supplying, you know, the heroine that killed him. And they sort of hatched a plan to kind of leave his body for as long as possible before they took his his body to the hospital, hoping that whatever he had taken was not traceable, or detectable in his body by the time that they actually took him to the hospital. So it goes against the, you know, the, the story that he died of alcohol poisoning that he fell asleep in a car and that he died some some time during the night that he was left in that car. That's a completely different story. So it was it was more of a it's more a story of concealment, rather than you know, sort of accidentally discovering the bonds body. And so and so the, you know, the people who are with bond that night, were all were either heroin dealers or heroin users, and he was certainly in the orbit of the whole heroin taking musician community of London at that time, and I find it very hard to believe that, you know, born who had who had already taken heroin who had a problem with drugs, who is his girlfriend's, you know, will told me that, you know, when he took drugs So he or he, he drank to access, he, you know, became problematic, you know that he's, he was a bad drunk that he had a he had a history of overdoses, you know, and he writes about that, you know the song overdoses about overdosing. I just think, you know, his luck ran out. But you know that the conclusion I came through is that you can't really blame anyone else for bonds death other than both, because he, he chose to take those risks, you know, he chose to live that life, he chose to put those drugs into his body. And he chose to hang out with those people. So, you know, and it's a complaint of mine that, you know, the bond that you sort of see celebrated in things like bond Fest, and Scotland, you know, on television, and in sort of, you know, the official documentaries and so on, it's like this sort of Peter Pan figure, you know, it's rock and roll Danny Kaye, he is not that at all, you know, Bond being quite a dark, they get to know, he had a dark personality. And, you know, there was a lot of white, there was a lot of humor, but there was also a lot of darkness. And, and so, you know, all I wanted to do was kind of just present, you know, the different sides to his character. And do it in an honest way. And, you know, just present him as a human being rather than the sort of cartoon figure that you, you see sort of celebrated in, you know, sort of annoying official documentaries and festivals and so on, you'd like bond fest bond Fest in Scotland, you know, to them, I'm public enemy number one. Because I've written a book that sort of completely undermines the image of the image of bond that they want to preserve. Yeah. Yeah. You know, that's fine. That's fine. You know, and I know that, you know, that I've done everything that I can do and, and the people that that I respect and that new bond, have told me that I've done as good a job as I can. And, you know, I think there's, there's also more to the bond story, you know, you know, I have been contemplating possibly doing a sequel. In my in my lockdown, reverie. Yeah. We're, we're in our, you know, sort of what is the sixth sixth week of lockdown here in Sydney? I've been staring at Bond thinking, is there more to this story? Interesting. Because, you know, people love reading the back. Yeah. As I said, you know, we've got 13,000 people on Facebook, you know, in the bond, Scott forum, talking about bond every day, you know, it's like, it's just how many years later, it's like, almost 42 years later, people still want to talk about Bon Scott every day. that's saying something. There's a lot of interest there for sure. Absolutely. And, you know, when you think of, you know, other sort of rock figures, that whole that fascination for people, there were very few.

Ryan Gregg:

Well, had he lives. What do you think would have been different for AC DC? It sounds like you and I both think that AC DC post post Bond was was nowhere near as good as when he was with him. What? What do you think the 80s would have looked like if he had lived? To see them?

Jesse Fink:

I think I've said this before, I think he would have been a David Lee Roth kind of figure and done California girls or some sort of funny MTV Video. Yeah. Because he has. He had that sort of that cheekiness and that Lera constrict and that kind of, you know, larger than life kind of David Lee Roth kind of personality. Yeah. And I think he would have had jack of many, I know that he had jack of vices, he decided he, you know, kind of wanted to do something different with his life. But, you know, bon bon was a guy who, you know, recreated himself all the time. So you know, that that character that he was an AC DC was, you know, the true bone. He had also been a hippie as well, you know, it's been in a, in a in a bubblegum pop band. So, he, he was a bit of a chameleon. And I think, you know, the 80s was, was changing everything for everybody in the music business. And I don't think that you know, Bond would have been immune from that. I think he would have had a maybe, you know, had a solo album, done some sort of starship like kind of bell curve junkie. And probably decided, hey, I want to do something different. I might have been, you know, but then he probably would have heard turned to AC DC done with a couple of reunion tours will fit for all it's worth a lot of money and made a lot of money. Anybody living in Florida right now? Yeah. Yeah,

Ryan Gregg:

man. Well, Jesse, I really appreciate you coming on the show, be willing to talk about your book. I'm gonna put a link to the book in the show notes and a link to the Facebook group, the been Scott forum. A great, great pleasure. I really enjoyed your book and really enjoyed getting to chat with you tonight. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Thanks so much, Ron. Cheers. Thanks for listening to the songs of no podcast. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. leave a rating and review so others can find the podcast as well. Music provided by Tyler Ramsey.