Silver Smith: the great muse of Bon Scott
Jesse Fink's exclusive interview with Bon Scott's greatest inspiration
Margaret ‘Silver’ Smith was one of the great loves of Bon Scott, the inspiration for many of his best songs, including Gimme A Bullet and Gone Shootin’ from AC/DC’s 1978 masterpiece Powerage. They lived together in Australia and England. They travelled together on the road in the United States. And she died in a hospice in Jamestown, South Australia on December 12, 2016.
Bon, separated from his wife Irene Thornton in 1974, had fallen hard for Silver, reputedly spraying her name in silver paint at the headquarters of AC/DC’s Australian record company, Albert Productions, and mentioning her in a letter from the road in 1977: “I haven’t seen my lady for four months… love will prevail.” But it didn’t. A mutually agreed 12-month break in their relationship in early 1978 became permanent, on Silver’s wishes.
She saw Bon alone only once or twice in the last year of his life, though importantly he phoned her to invite her out on the evening prior to his mysterious death in London on February 19, 1980. She declined his invitation. By then she’d made it very clear there was no future for them as a couple.
Before her death, Silver spoke exclusively to Jesse Fink for his biography of Bon. The interviews she granted to Fink were her last, among only a few she ever gave during her life, and gave a rare insight into her passionate but tumultuous relationship with Australia’s greatest rock legend. This interview extract is exclusive to Classic Rock.