Bon Scott Letter From 1978 To Be Auctioned
In a 1978 letter written by Bon Scott, the AC/DC frontman details his struggle with booze, cash and a gruelling schedule.
The three-page letter to his girlfriend Valerie, which will be auctioned this week, opens a window into Scott's lifestyle as the Australian rock band was on the verge of major international success.
"I know I'm pretty slack when it comes to letters & phone calls but I'm always travelling or drunk or hungover or... or... today I'm shaking so much I can hardly write," he said in the letter, written on Hilton stationery.
Bidding for the letter is expected to start at $US6000 ($A8343) at the Los Angeles auction on Thursday.
In the letter, Scott also reveals how he tried to stay sane amid a gruelling schedule and a pay cheque to pay cheque lifestyle that saw him strapped for cash and owing the band money.
"I'm already about $130 into this weeks (sic) wages but about two weeks ago I owed the band about $70 on pay day and that's crazy," he wrote while on AC/DC's Powerage tour in America.
"But being crazy is about the only way to keep my sanity if you know what I mean.
"We've worked so much since I saw you last that it's all one hell of a blur."
The tour was taking a toll, making him feel "haggard" and the singer joked the next time he saw his sister he would be in "a geriatric ward".
He looked forward to spending a month on the beach with his mum and asked Valerie to say "hello from The Bon".
Born Ronald Belford in Scotland in 1946, he emigrated to Australia with his family as a child and grew up in the Perth suburb of Spearwood. The high-school dropout joined AC/DC in 1974 and helped the band become one of the most successful rock acts in the world.
Scott recorded a number of classics with AC/DC such as Jailbreak, It's a Long Way to the Top and Highway to Hell.
He died in 1980 after a night of heavy drinking in London. He was 33.
AC/DC replaced Scott with singer Brian Johnson.
THE LETTER IN FULL
''Hi Valerie, Well as you can see Bon's in Down Town Pitsburgh [sic] today. I've just come over from the west coast where I spent a couple of days in L.A. doing Midnight Special. I went to see Doug's new band the other night playing a place called La Cantino El Paso which is down Long Beach & boy he had me in stitches. He's playing really well & singing like a bird.
Don't know if he told you but I rang him a few weeks ago to see if he would fill in for Phillip for a while as Phil had a bit of a nervous breakdown & had to spend a lot of time with a shrink. It was really bad but luckily he got over it quickly enough not to upset the band. We had to treat him with kid gloves for a bit but he's ok now. It's a pity, but I won't be down your way for at least two or three months. The rest of this stage of the tour is around Pensylvania [sic] & N.Y. state but being out of sight don't mean out of mind.
I know I'm pretty slack when it comes to letters & phone calls but I'm always travelling or drunk or hungover or...or...today I'm shaking so much I can hardly write but I have been meaning to write you for weeks so today I'm doing it. I had to stop making phone calls when I got too much in the red with the money situation. I'm already about $130 into this weeks wages but about two weeks ago I owed the band about $70 on pay day & that's crazy. But being crazy is about the only way to keep my sanity if you know what I mean.
We've worked so much since I saw you last that it's all one hell of a blur. Must have been across the country & up & down it a million times & I'm beggining [sic] to feel & look just a little haggard. I'd love to check myself in to a sanitarium for a month but after this tour it's straight to Europe & England for a month & then back here for the winter-end of the year so the next time you see me it might be in a geriatric ward.
My hair looks like a busby but I'm just going to let it go on growing & be a hippy again for a while. I know I'm making it sound that life's hard at the moment but I'm not complaining cause there's always good times & we're selling lots of records & making people happy so it can't be all that bad. I'm going to go home to Mums at the end of the year & spend a month on the beach before tearing into it all again.
Oh we finished our live album a few weeks ago in New York. I had to re-record about five concerts cause the vocals were not as good sound wise as the[y] had to be from all the michrophone [sic] spill from the guitars & things. I was allright (ahem) it sounds great & it'll look good hanging on the Xmas trees. I don't know when it'll be out but I'll try & get you a special copy. They might put some out in red vinyl although I prefer them in platinum myself. Gotta go baby. I just got the half hour call & I have to phone New York.
I'd love to hear from you before I leave the States. Say hi to the family for me...& how was Mum...Tell her hello from The Bon. / Love you Valerie / Bon X''.