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metal talk
31 October 2013

Sometimes it seems as if all the shocking rock and roll stories have been told, but today there was a revelation that has genuinely raised eyebrows and opened mouths.

Mark Evans, bassist in AC/DC until 1977, confirmed that Bon Scott overdosed on heroin in 1975 and was almost sacked from the band, a moment which would have changed the course of rock history.

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Evans spoke in an interview with The Australian on the eve of the publication of Jesse Fink's book 'The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC', published by Random House.

He said that the incident happened in Melbourne and confirmed that it was a heroin overdose. "There were some doubts about Bon at that stage. He'd had a problem or he'd had an OD very early on. It was just a dabble . . . Bon just made a bad decision. It was only one bad decision.

"From what I was led to believe and came to believe, it was a very, very isolated incident. I never saw any evidence of anything remotely like heavy drugs (when I was in AC/DC).

"I remember when it happened. It was all very in-house. That was it."

This matter emphasises that the Young brothers held all of the power and called the shots in the band, and would have seriously considered changing their soon to be iconic frontman, no matter that they were on the verge of massive success.

Speaking of the possibility, Evans said "There was a moment of madness. That's all I can put it down to. There was disquiet. I have to put this into perspective here: in any decision like that I had absolutely fuck-all influence. It was just something that filtered through the band: that things weren't looking good (for Bon). There was mention of another singer. But it never got to that point. There wasn't a lot said at the time. It was (a case of), 'There may well be a change coming.' "

Of course, Bon's main poison of choice was alcohol, and it was only five years later that he died of alcohol poisoning in a car in East Dulwich, London. By this time he had performed on first seven AC/DC albums and his legacy was assured.

With this taster, Jesse Fink's book sounds like essential reading.


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