As a young boy and then teenager I lived in the suburb of East Fremantle. I went to John Curtin Senior High School, the same school attended by Bon Scott a few decades earlier. Fremantle cemetery, the site of Bon's grave, is very close to where I grew up. As a child, and to this day, I regularly go past the corner of the cemetery where his grave is located. My childhood house was just a short walk from Canning Highway, or the "Highway to Hell" as it was called by the regulars at the Raffles hotel. Bon was one of those regulars. Growing up in this environment, AC/DC were a part of the fabric of my childhood. The Bon Scott connection with my local neighbourhood was strong. You couldn't help but be an AC/DC fan. AC/DC were one of the first bands I ever heard of. I can remember hanging out with friends in the 1980s, walking to the local shops. On every street on a summer afternoon you would hear someone playing an AC/DC album at full volume. It was normally a Bon album, but "Back In Black" was popular as well. Heck, I even used to hear "Fly On The Wall" booming from various front yards.
I give this background to highlight the significance of AC/DC in my own musical journey. The fact I went to the same school as Bon Scott once did gave me a sense that I could be a singer and play in a band. At lunchtimes we used to marvel at the thought of Bon sitting in those same hot classrooms that we did, no doubt giving his teachers some grief. It was inspiring for a young teenager to tread the same ground. This story has mainly been about Bon, but we all know there could be no AC/DC without Malcolm Young. He was the driving force behind the band. I took inspiration from his guitar playing, the fully locked in rhythmic brilliance he always displayed. As I grew up I discovered other bands but AC/DC were never far from my playlist. I bought every album, I went to every Perth show when they toured. Put simply, the riffing and writing of Malcolm Young has had a huge influence on me and I was saddened to hear of his passing last night. Although my own band sounds nothing like AC/DC, they were there at the beginning of my musical journey and I probably listen to them more now than any other band. My music tended in a heavier direction, but AC/DC and Malcolm Young laid the foundation. That is undeniable.
Rest In Peace Malcolm and thanks for the legacy you left.