TeamRock+ Exclusive: Irene Thornton on her one-time husband Bon Scott
The late AC/DC frontman's former wife recalls their first meeting, the parties, the fun, the caring man, their break-up and hearing of his death.
"The first time I saw him was at a party in Adelaide, up in the hills where Fraternity were living in Aldgate. I’d just come back from a year in England, and a girlfriend took me up to the party. She had built Bon up to be a fantastic guy and was obviously very keen on him. And when she pointed him out I think I sort of grimaced a bit [laughs]. It was a very packed, crowded, loud party, lots of loud music, smoking, drinking, everything. She said: “There he is.” And he was bare-chested, little shorts on, no shoes, arm around a girl, drink in the other hand, banging into people, weaving his way through a crowd and laughing his head off – which was a typical Bon image. I think I thought something like: 'You’ve gotta be kidding' [laughs]."
At what stage did your opinion of him soften?
I saw him another time. The same girlfriend, Julia, had a clothing shop in Adelaide. It was in a downstairs shop. And while I was chatting to Julia and a group of other girls, we heard this thumping and banging noise coming from the staircase into the shop, and looked up to see Bon somersaulting down the stairs and then bouncing up. He could have hurt every bone in his body, but just for effect he bounced up like it was just perfectly normal, and proceeded to chat to Julie. She introduced us, and he really gave me a second look, and I gave him another grimace [laughs].
And then another night, Vince Lovegrove, who was in The Valentines with Bon, took me along to a place called the Largs Pier Hotel to see Fraternity. There was a sea of people having a great time, and I thought the music sounded really good. And during one of the breaks Vince waved Bon over and he came over and said hello and Vince introduced me to Bon. He cracked a couple of jokes, and that changed my opinion of him. I said something that came right off the top of my head – I made a comment about his really tight jeans, and his retort was pretty quick and funny. I’d said: “What a well-packed lunch,” and then thought: “Eurgh! Where did that come from?” And he just as quickly said: “Yep, two hard-boiled eggs and a sausage,” and went on talking to Vince while I was killing myself laughing. So after that we had a lot of banter, I think we were trying to hang it on each other a bit when we first met, until I suddenly thought he’s not really silly. And I was quite intrigued with him.