After 42 years, Bon Scott’s brother finally talks about his death

Clouded in mystery and tragedy, Derek Scott has opened up about his brother, Bon Scott’s, untimely passing.

Bon Scott, born Ronald Scott, is without a doubt an Australian legend. Whether you like AC/DC or not, his name is synonymous with Rock N’ Roll and charisma. His voice was like no other and his command challenged the greats to be as captivating.

What led to the band’s magnum opus, Back in Black, in 1980, was Scott’s unfortunate passing at only 33 years old. After a night of partying and excessive drinking in London, Scott passed out in a car. However, he was found dead soon thereafter from alcohol intoxication.

Bon Scott
Credit: Richard McCaffrey

Speaking for the first time on his brother’s death, Derek Scott explains Bon’s alcohol use was a worry for both himself and close friends.

On an episode of ABC’s Australian Story that aired on Monday night, Derek said: “He did get bored very quickly. That was the biggest problem. When he got bored, he drank. He never worried about tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.”

Though it was his lifestyle that caused him to pay the highest cost. Derek explains that it was actually AC/DC guitarist, Malcolm Young, who called to give the tragic news. Adding to the tragedy, it was his mother’s birthday when they got the call.

“[Mum] thought, ‘Oh, Ron’s ringing me to say happy birthday,’ which he often did the next day because of the time difference,” Derek said.

“Malcolm didn‘t have time to explain because it was hitting the airwaves and he didn’t want them to hear it on the radio. So he just said, ‘Ron died.’”

Author of the book AC/DC Maximum Rock and Roll, Murray Engleheart said: “Bon’s passing as he did, on his own in a car in the freezing cold, after all his hard work and all his heartbreak getting there, was just an incredibly sad, lonely and unglamorous way to go out.”

Bon Scott’s short but electrified life is something we’ll continue to remember as we smile and bop our heads to those amazing chords.