Bon Scott - Pre AC/DC and beyond.
Bon Scott Seasons Of Change 1967-1972
P.O. Box 92
1) To Know You Is To Love You [Spector]
2) She Said [Young] (George Young of Easybeat, older bro' of Angus & Malc)
3) Everyday I Have To Cry [Alexander]
4) I Can't Dance With You [Marriott-Lane]
5) Peculiar Hole In The Sky [Vanda-Young]
6) Love Makes Sweet Music [Ayers]
7) I Can Hear The Raindrops [Lovegrove-Ward]
8) Why Me? [Lovegrove-Ward]
9) Sooky Sooky [D. Covey]
10) Getting Better [Scott-Milsom]
11) Ebeneezer [Price-Taylor]
12) Hoochie Coochie Billy [Lovegrove-Ward-Milsom]
13) My Old Man's A Groovy Man [Vanda-Young]
14) Nick Nack Paddy Wack [Lovegrove-Scott-Junko-Cooksey-Beach-Milsom]
15) Julliette [Milsom-Ward-Scott]
16) Annabelle [Jurd-Bisset]
17) Welfare Boogie [Fraternity]
18) Hemming's Farm [Fraternity]
19) Sommerville R.I.P. [Howe-See]
20) Getting Off [Jurd]
21) If You Got It [Fraternity]
22) Seasons Of Change [Robinson-Johns]
23) interview with David Day of 5Ka in Adelaide
Bon Scott The Early Years 1968-1972
Tracks 1-15 The Valentines 1967-1970
Tracks 16-22 Fraternity 1970-1972
Tracks 1-9 produced by Martin Clarke
Tracks 10-22 produced by Image Records & Hamish Henry
Original Sound Recordings made by Clarion Records/Raven Records (Australia)
Copyright 1988 See-For-Miles Records LTD.
(I don't know if the label is owned by Sam See, a former member of Fraternity. I wouldn't put it past someone to cash in on their relationship w/ Bon though)
Bon Scott- Vocals
Vince Lovegrove- Vocals
John Cooksey- Bass
Wyn Milsom- Lead Guitar
Ted Ward- Rythym Guitar
Doug Lavery- Drums*
(* replaced by Paddy Beach, 1969)
Bon Scott- Vocals
Bruce Howe- Bass
Mick Jurd- Lead Guitar
John Bisset- Keyboards
John Freeman- Drums
'Uncle' John Ayres- Harmonica
Sam See- Slide Guitar, Piano
Ask the average Australian to name some famous people who have come from Perth and the chances are that they'll name either sports stars or business tycoons. Yet one of Perth's adopted sons was for a while in the late '70s every bit as much a crowd puller as those sports stars. As lead singer of AC/DC Bon Scott would regularly perform to thousands of people each night in the stadiums and concert halls of America and Europe. But it's a long way to the top in the world of rock and roll and Bon Scott's road to the top began with the Perth band the Valentines in 1966.
The Valentines got together around the middle of 1966. Their initial linup was Bon Scott and Vince Lovegrove sharing vocal duties, Ted Ward on rythym guitar, Bruce Abbott on bass guitar, Wyn Milson on lead guitar, and drummer Warrick Findlay. In Scott and Lovegrove they had two dynamic focal points and within just weeks of their live debut they had crowds flocking to their shows at such venues as Canterbury Court and the Swanbourne Surf Livesaving Club (affectionately known as the Swanbourne Stomp).
It didn't take long for their popularity to come to the notice of Martin Clarke who operated Perth's only record label in the 1960's, Clarion. The Valentines were duly signed to Clarion in March 1967 and released their first single a couple of months later, still less than a year since they formed. That single comprised of Arthur Alexander's "Everyday I Have To Cry" backed with "I Can't Dance With You", a song from one of England's fastest rising groups of the time, the Small Faces. The record, naturally enough, sold very well in Perth, reaching the Top 5.
Single No.2 was released in August 1967. The top side was a Stevie Wright/George Young (Easybeats) composition entitled "She Said". Although similar in some ways to areas that the Beatles were then exploring, the single failed to capture the record buying public's imagination and only made the lower end of the Perth charts.
Nevertheless the 3rd single for Clarion was released in February 1968. "I Can Hear The Raindrops" and "Why Me?" were both Lovegrove/Ward compositions. Promoted as a double A side release the record made number 30 on the Perth charts but once again failed to chart elsewhere.
Despite a report in April 1968 that the Valentines were to join the Sunshine label, this move never eventuated. Their fourth and final single for Clarion was released some three months later, and once again it was a composition from the Easybeats camp. "Peculiar Hole In The Sky" was written by Harry Vanda and George Young and produced on Martin Clarke's behalf by Paul Aulton. The flip side "Love Makes Sweet Music" was origially the only single ever released by avant-guarde British The Soft Machine. It was brought to the Valentine's attention by Stan Rofe, the doyed of Melbourne disk jockeys in the latter half of the 1960's.
Represented on this disc are those four singles as well as a previously unreleased track, "Sooky, Sooky". In 1970 they broke up. After changes in line-up Bon went on to Fraternity and later to AC/DC. Vince worked as a writer for pop music weekly before moving on to become a contributor to a current affairs television programme. More recently he was manager of the Divinyls before parting company with them in 1986.
In their heyday the Valentines were dismissed as being blatantly "Bubblegum", a label they were quick to dismiss. Listen to this album, judge for yourselves. Hopefully the next time someone metions the word Valentine you won't think of February 14th but you will think of some fine music from the late 1960's [sic].
I ran across a CD recently titled "Bon Scott- The early Years 1968-1972" and of course I had to buy it. This is a CD, not vinyl (more info about it below)
I don't know how many of you hear stuff from The Valentines, Bon Scott's first big band in Australia, but it sounds NOTHING like AC/DC. The music is categorized as "bubble-gum" 60s music, which is right about on mark. Stumbling across the music on this CD is like digging up old pictures of your parents wearing hideous clothing when they were younger. The music from Fraternity is better though.
The CD contains two written pieces, the second posted by Steve Rhoads here a while ago. It also has an interview of Bon Scott by David Day from 5KA in Adelaide, Australia (any Oz natives know if that station still exists?); Bon was pretty drunk and it wasn't a long interview anyway.
Liner notes by Glenn A. Baker
I encountered Bon Scott a number of times during the 70's and each meeting served to increase my incredulity that performer's public image could be so at odds with his real personality. Bon really was a sweet man. He was warm, friendly and uncommonly funny. He did not breathe fire, pluck wings off flies or eat children whole. And while his daunting stage persona of lacivious leers and blood curdling howls was by no means fraudulent, it was most certainly a professional cloak that could be worn at convenient moments.
When Bon had replaced Dave Evans as leader of AC/DC at the end of 1974, he was already a bona-fide Oz Rock veteran, with two stints in prominent hit bands under his belt. In one he had been a fluffy, gossamered pop idol, in the other a cosmic, hirsute, heavily philosophical hippie. By the time he climbed into working class denim he must have been suffering no small identity crisis. Yet he was never anything less than convincing in any of his musical roles.
A rough'n'tumble Scotsman, Bon first came to prominence in Perth's hottest 60's pop sensations, The Valentines. Like Adelaide's Twilights, the band fronted two lead singers - Bon and Vince Lovegrove (later manager of the Divinyls)- and was adept in the manipulation of screaming teenies. After some rudimentary recordings for Perth's Clarion label in 1967-68, The Valentines moved base to Melbourne where they joinged the Zoot and New Dream as frontrunners in a bubblegum pop boom.
Yet, although there was an undeniable chirping commerciality about the Valentines Melbourne recordings, there was also a solid, rocking base which rendered them appealing and more than credible. The band cut six tracks for Ron Tudor's June Productions, which were leased to the Philips label. Two of those six (which constitute side one of this record) - Harry Vanda & George Young's "My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man" and the original Juliette- became moderate national hits. The latter was an early example of Bon's strong, expressive voice.
At the dawn of the 70's rock music was becoming inexorably 'heavy' and the days of bands like the Valentines were obviously numbered. Not even a heavily-publicised drug bust could rescue the band's limp image. By the middle of 1970 it was all over and Bon was in Sydney putting together a new band with remnants of Levi Smith's Clefs. Fraternity was a quantum leap for the adaptable singer, who grew a beard, donned leather sandals and no doubt developed a taste for brown rice.
Offered management and financial support by businessman Hamis Henry, Fraternity moved to South Australia where, as Vince Lovegrove reported in Go-Set magazine in June 1971, the lived "like no other band in Australia, in a house in the hills 17 miles from Adelaide. It's surrounded by seven acres of bushland. They're from everything but nature. What a buzz! Once a week they come into the city to have a meeting with their management and collect their pay. They only leave their pad to play gigs.
"Bon Scott, vocalist, recorder and timbala player, is constantly in a dream world of his own but he's having a ball. He says: 'The point is, the dollar sign is not the ultimate. We want to try and help each other develop and live. So that the thing inside of us, whether it be creative or not, is satisfied. Something makes us tick and it's up to people to satisfy that something. We are satisfying ourselves and others by creating an environment."
Fraternity took their environment back to Sydney at regular intervals. Although well received live, their cosmic recordings on the Adelaide independent label Sweet Peach (notably the album Livestock) made little impact. Guitarist John Robinson wrote the brooding Seasons of Change for them but it was the version by his own band, Blackfeather, which cracked the charts.
Even their unexpected win of the all-important Hoadley's National Battle Of The Sounds in 1971 failed to assist their chart fortunes. "Fraternity came on and nearly rocked themselves off stage and half the audience nearly rocked themselves onto the stage" reported Go-Set of the Grand Final. "Superb harmonica and superb vocals by that guy out of the old Valentines. What's his name again?...oh you know him."
Fraternity left Sweet Peach late in 1971, cut some singles for the independent Raven label (no relationship to this fine imprint) and then put down a second album. The powerful Flaming Galah was a whole different kettle of fish. The metaphysical meanderings had largely been replaced by solid, thumping rock and Bon Scott was able to give a hint of the sort of tempest he would command in AC/DC a couple of years later.
During 1972, Fraternity took advantage of their Battle of the Sounds prize and travelled to London. From there they worked in Britain and Europe, although little is known about this time. Shortly after the band's return to Adelaide in 1973, Bon suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident. Fraternity continued on with a new formation that happened to include John 'Swanee' Swan and his brother Jimmy Barnes, but that's another story.
By 1974, Bon was healed and healthy, and working in Sydney as an occasional roadie for AC/DC, an interesting new band formed by Angus and Malcolm Young, junior siblings of Easybeat George Young, the man who had penned three tracks recorded by The Valentines in the 60's. When the band's vocalist went off to form Rabbit, widely experienced Bon seemed the logical replacement.
From the first day that Bon trod the boards with AC/DC, there was not the slightest cloud of suspicion that the outfit would not turn the world upside down with their rib-crushing, blood curdling, brain damaging, skin blistering, no bullshit rock'n'roll. Throughout the next five years. AC/DC's vision of rock to fight, fuck and drink by, survived unscathed. Single handedly they led an international renaissance of power rock, though none of their copyists ever aspired to even a hint of the awesome global popularity that Acca Dacca commanded (indeed still do) among working class kids.
Bon failed to survive his own indulgent life-style. He was found dead in a parked car, after a bout of drinking, on February 20, 1980. His seeming indestructability was, like much of the rock lifestyle, a myth. Nobody who ever knew him will easily forget him.
[Thanks to Scott Swanson ]
I noticed that I own something which you did not list in your discography of Bon Scott's pre-AC/DC career. It's called "Bon Scott With The Spektors" and it's a CD E.P. released in 1992 by See For Miles Records (SEACD 6).
The Spektors were Bon's first major band (this was about 1966), before he
joined The Valentines-- Bon played drums and also sang. This CD contains
The Spektors only known recordings, all from a television broadcast.
The track listing is as follows:
1. Gloria (lead vocal: Bon Scott)
2. On My Mind (drums: Bon Scott)
3. Yesterday (Bon Scott does not play drums or sing lead vocals on this, but he *may* have sang backing vocals)
4. Interview with Vince Lovegrove, co-founder and co-lead vocalist of The Valentines (by Alan Mannings)-- the interview lasts 23 minutes and contains sound clips of several Valentines songs
6. On My Mind*
*the last 3 songs are the same as the first 3 except that they include the announcer's introduction and crowd applause
P.S. Also, the album titled "Bon Scott w/the Valentines - The Early Years" isn't actually an album (it's a CD E.P.)
[The following info is taken without permission from the website of Head Office Records ]
BON SCOTT 'Round And Round And Round'
Bon's back! Two new songs, three tracks. one CD single - released October-20 - the closest thing you're ever likely to hear to the solo album he talked about but never got the chance to complete. Now re-produced for the Nineties.
"Round And Round And Round" and "Carey Gully" are the last two songs Bon Scott committed to tape a month before joining AC/DC and the only released from a three year period in his career between Fraternity's "Flaming Galah" in April 1972 and AC/DC's "Baby Please Don't Go" in March 1975.
In their original form, the tracks are genuine Australian long lost 'Basement Tapes", recorded a few months after Bon's motorbike accident. Recently re-discovered, both "Round And Round And Round" and "Carey Gully" have been extensively reworked to create musical pieces which the project's collaborators believe Bon would have been proud of.
As an occasional member of The Mount Lofty Rangers, a South Australian collective of creative artists and musicians, Bon Scott recorded these two compositions by the group's musical director Peter Head in July 1974.
Peter Head recently teamed up with producer Ted Yanni, another old friend of Bon's. Using the best technology available, Ted isolated the original vocal track from "Round And Round". and then over many months rebuilt an entirely new backing to the song, so it sounds as though it was recorded today rather than yesterday The original version is also included on the CD single. It features former members of Headband and Fraternity.
"Carey Gully", a lilting country-flavoured ballad has been tastefully augmented with strings - the Classically Blue String Quartet. The song celebrates the Mount Lofty Rangers' stomping ground at the time, then home to one of South Australia's leading artists. Vytas Serelis, whose stunning photo portraits grace the CD cover.
The whole project has been achieved by many people - musicians and technicians donating time, talent and studios in order to pay tribute to an old friend. The result is one of the best recordings available by Bon Scott displaying a side to his vocal ability that wasn't as evident in subsequent releases.
"Round And Round And Round" is only available as a single for $10; from October 20, and there are no plans to release it on an album. Get it while you can, because it may not be there tomorrow.
1 October 1996
Bon Scott before AC/DC by Vince Lovegrove
What you could hold in your hot little hands is a labour of love. A twenty two year labour of love. And a vindication of fate. A twist of fate, a drunken spat, a motorbike accident, a long recuperation, a time of reflection for Bon Scott. Two decades ago.
It happened in Adelaide, the Cinderella state, the city of churches, the only Australian capital that wasn't founded on the backbone of the convicts, banished when the English tried to cleanse their pristine country of the undesirable lower class. They threw their petty criminals out of sight, to the other side of the world, hoping they'd stay out of mind. The Scottish tried to get away of their own free will, but the Brits wouldn't let them.
Bon Scott was born in Kirrimur, Scotland, and in the sixties migration rush to the convict colony on the other side of the world, moved with his family, along with thousands of other UK families .
His rock'n'roll star eventually took him to Adelaide, and what happened before and after is well documented in many books, many fanzines, and in the fertile minds of many highly imaginative journalists. But one of the most formative pieces of the Bon Scott jigsaw legend happened during this period, 1974 , whilst recuperating from his famous motor bike accident. Smashed jaw, broken teeth, gammy leg, marriage problems, his age becoming an obstacle in his struggle for creative identity, he began to explore his songwriting talents, his simplistic mastery of street vernacular, his poetic ability to tell a story.
He was creatively encouraged and nurtured during this brief period by Adelaide musician Peter Head (nee Beagley) whose optimistic love of music and all who embraced it, provided a catalyst for out of work or transient musicians in between gigs. Probably the most potent incarnation of the melting pot was The Mount Lofty Rangers.
During a brief 12 to 18 month period, many of Australia's best known and least known singers and players passed through the ranks of The Mount Lofty Rangers ; Robyn Archer, Jimmy Barnes, Bruce Howe, Chris Bailey, Mauri Berg, "Uncle" John Ayers, Swanee, and Bon Scott, being just a few.
Like so many other splinter movements, not much became of the old Rangers, now splattered into the anonymity of history's backwash like so many before and since. Makes you wonder how many unknown meanderings contribute to the mainstream, though. Nevertheless it was an outlet for people like Bon Scott to expand, to musically grow, to take a breather.
A month before he joined the band that would take his street poetry to the world, Bon recorded two songs written by Peter Head. Now based in Sydney with his family, still following his philosophy of organic musical growth, Peter has treasured the memories of those days and recently re-discovered and re-worked the recordings.
With 1996 technology, producer Ted Yanni has devoted almost two years to bringing Bon back to life via two previously unheard songs, assisted by many like minded friends - musicians and technicians for whom this project has been a labour of love.
These are genuine collector's items. Unique. You may have thought until now, that you had heard everything Bon Scott recorded pre-AC/DC. But what you could have in your hands is the Bon Scott you didn't hear.
Reflect and enjoy. Imagine.
Yet another great compilation from Glenn, Peter and Kevin at Raven Records. Issued in 1997.
P.O. Box 92
Fraternity - The Complete Sessions 1971-72 (2 CD)
1) Seasons Of Change
4) Raglan's Folly
5) Cool Spot
6) Grand Canyon Spot
7) Jupiter's Landscape
8) You Have A God
10) Race (Pts 1 & 2), The
11) Why Did It Have To Be Me
13) Shape I'm In, The
14) If You Got It (Single Version)
15) Welfare Boogie
17) Seasons Of Change (Ii)
18) You Have A God (Ii)
19) Hemming's Farm
20) Raglan's Folly (Ii)
21) Getting Off
22) Sommerville R.I.P.
23) Canyon Suite
24) If You Got It (Ii)
25) 'battle Of The Sounds' Sequence
26) Bon Scott Talks With David Day
27) Bon Scott Talks With Sheila Re
[Info thanks to Glenn Robertson, Crabsody In Blue Website.
"The Legendary Bon Scott with the Spektors and the Valentines" SEECD 704
It Ain't Necessarily So 3.04
On My Mind 1.57
Interview by Allan Mannings featuring Vince Lovegrove 22.47
Gloria 2.41 (As original TV Broadcast)
It Ain't Necessarily So 3.08 (As original TV Broadcast)
On My Mind 1.59 (As original TV Broadcast)
Yesterday 2.12 (As original TV Broadcast)
To Know You Is To Love You 2.57
She Said 2.46
Every Day I Have To Cry 2.29
I Can't Dance With You 2.53
Peculiar Hole In The Sky 2.46
Love Makes Sweet Music 2.16
I Can Hear Raindrops 1.49
Why Me 1.49
Sooky Sooky 2.17
Please note with the Spektors tracks only Gloria features Bon on vocals, the other Spektors tracks feature Bon drums.
"It Ain't Necessarily So" is not featured on the Historical Document CD which features all the Spektors stuff that are listed on this CD.
The web site for See for Miles is http://www.seeformiles.co.uk