Roadburn 40:It’s a long way to the top…
When I was wee little sprout of 10 years of age, I found myself the sole inheritor of my older cousins vinyl collection. I couldn’t even begin to count the hours that were spent studying the packaging’s artwork, design, the lyrics on the inserts and the tracks within the grooves of those magical LP’s.
I had grown up on my parents vinyl records, dad’s CASH-Live at San Quentin, mom’s MJ-Off the Wall, but there was something different about this collection. There was something that screamed, you probably shouldn’t open this door yet, because if you go in, you might not be able to get back out.
There was a portion of the collection, filed neatly at the head of the stack. This first set of albums were stamped with such a simple, but everlasting, branding-iron sizzle of a logo, with album titles such as 74’ Jailbreak, High Voltage and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep. AC/DC was one of the first bands that I needed to know everything about, collect all their albums and digest every morsel in the music rags. They were the first band that had my dad yelling at me to turn it down, when the entire house was being assaulted by my bedroom speakers.
The voice that came out of the speakers sounded like someone that this ten year old shouldn’t trust, someone I wouldn’t want to get caught with, but someone that I was begging to teach me about the seedy side of town. Not just the storyteller, he was a character in the songs, a Night Prowler, a Rocker, a presence that would make most grown men lock up their daughters or join him at the pub for a few straight days on the drink.
That man, Ronald Belford Scott, better know as Bon Scott, was born in Kirriemuir, Scotland, on the south side of the Grampian Hills. Much to our surprise, Kirriemuir was a mere 20-minute jaunt from Dundee, Alison’s family’s base camp. Kirrie, affectionately called by the locals, is also known as the hometown of Peter Pan creator, JM Barrie. There’s a statue of Peter, the ageless boy, in the center of town, but soon Peter is going to have some company. Local community group DD8 Music has started a Kickstarter campaign, that will raise money to salute Bon Scott with a statue in Kirrie.
DD8music are a non-exclusive community group, formed in 2005, dedicated to promoting involvement in musical activities to people of all ages in the local area… and they also host Bonfest! Bonfest is in it’s 7th year and it’s a high voltage get together that has AC/DC fans arriving from all over the globe. This two day get together has all of the pubs in Kirrie jam packed with amped up fans and it has music screaming down every alleyway and filling each street corner. Each night Town Hall provides a home base for bands from a myriad of countries to celebrate the music of AC/DC with their very receptive fans. Acts such as Italy’s Buon Scotch and Germany’s Little Miss Angus packed the venue as the sun set over the small Scottish town….a small town with very BIG BALLS.
The highlight for a lot of people at this year’s festival was the recreation of Acca Dacca’s 1976 video, “It’s a long way to the top.” The recreation placed the band, Buon Scotch, and piper, Craig Weir, on the back of a lorrie, jackhammering through the town and cracking the Kirrie sky with the rock n roll anthem. A parade of AC/DC patches, tartan colors and pumping fists followed the rolling thunder through the streets and with heads banging and high fives smacking, the song came to an explosive ending, next to the very spot the Bon Scott statue will stand tall.
With Milea Faye riding high on Alison’s shoulders and parading through the streets of Kirrie, she exclaimed, “dreams really do come true!” Uh oh, what have we started?
A big thank you to the DD8 crew, especially Graham Galloway, for an amazing party and for taking such good care of us. And Graham, cheers mate, for the birthday pints and more importantly for listening to Milea go on and on about rainbows. You’re a true soldier!
Please head over to the Bon Scott Statue Kickstarter page and contribute whatever you can. Spread the word!
And check out the stellar job our friends at Flux Video did with their production. Nice shooting, cuts and color grade, gents!
The Hibbotte Road Crew