DOUG THORNCROFT says when he first proposed a Bon Scott statue in Fremantle, the powers that be shrugged their shoulders.
“They thought we were a bunch of cashed-up bogans and nobody was really interested,” he says.
“It took me eight years of campaigning, but we finally got it installed and now it’s a landmark down these parts.”
Thorncroft, who runs the Bon Scott fan club and was behind the now-defunct Bon Scott tram tour, is still on a mission to honour the AC/DC frontman’s legacy.
The 50-year-old has just persuaded the producers of a Scott tribute to bring the show to Fremantle on July 9, celebrating what would have been his 70th birthday.
“A lot of people don’t know that Bon was originally a folk singer, but he damaged his throat in a bad motorbike accident, and was forced to adopt a more rock’n’roll growl,” he says.
“This show will feature songs he sang in some of his other early bands, like The Valentines, plus all the ‘DC classics.
Hell Ain’t a bad Place To Be: The Story of Bon Scott will feature live music and a narrator, with Aussie singer-songwriter Nick Barker fronting a four-piece band.
Thorncroft says he was beguiled by Scott when he first saw him on Countdown in 1974.
“I used to play drums in the Salvation Army, but a couple of hours before the Sunday night service, I would go down to the hall, turn up my cassette player and thrash the drums to AC/DC,” he laughs.
“A few hours later I was singing Onward, Christian Soldiers.”
In May, a statue of Scott was unveiled in his Scottish home town of Kirriemuir and Thorncroft says he’s lobbying Fremantle council to install a video link.
“It would be great if there was a video screen at both statues where people could talk with each other and interact,” he says.
“And I would like some kind of bluetooth technology which would tell you about Bon on your phone.
Lead guitarist Angus Young is the only original AC/DC band member left and Axl Rose is currently standing in at live shows for Brian Johnson, who is suffering hearing loss, but Thorncroft says he would like to see the band continue after their current world tour.
“I reckon they’ve got another 10 years left in ‘em, and someone like Jimmy Barnes would be a good replacement singer,” he says.
The Story of Bon Scott will be on at the Fly by Night Club on High Street, on July 8, 9 and 10.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK