Wolfgang Van Halen, son of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, recently shared his admiration for AC/DC’s Bon Scott in a heartfelt interview.
He recounted the story of his first encounter with AC/DC, a moment that left an indelible mark on him:
“When I was about seven, I was on a Winnebago trip with my mom and dad. We were driving to the Grand Canyon. We pulled over somewhere while my mom went to a store or the bathroom, and my dad said: ‘Hey, check this out.’ And he puts on ‘Big Balls.’ He was laughing so hard, which made me laugh so hard. Dad loved that song. Every time he heard the bit where Bon goes: ‘Ooooh…’ he just cracked up. This was my introduction to AC/DC and the wonder that is Bon Scott and his unique singing voice.”Advertisement
Wolfgang went on to compare AC/DC’s two iconic vocalists, Bon Scott and Brian Johnson, acknowledging both as exceptional talents:
“Brian Johnson is a wonderful human being and an incredible singer, but there’s just something about Bon Scott. He’s got that sleazy, amazing voice that could just never be replicated. That really resonated with me and my dad.”
He also spoke fondly of meeting AC/DC, particularly guitarist Malcolm Young, during the ‘Black Ice Tour’ and praised Malcolm’s role as the band’s rhythm guitarist:
“I only got to meet them as a band once, on the ‘Black Ice Tour.’ It was a huge honor, especially to meet Malcolm Young. Malcolm was always my favorite member. I see myself as a rhythm guitar player first and foremost, and he’s the greatest rhythm guitar player ever. The groove that man had was untouchable. He was the backbone that made AC/DC what it was.”
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Brian Johnson, AC/DC’s current vocalist, shared Wolfgang’s sentiment about Malcolm Young’s profound influence. Johnson revealed that their album ‘Power Up’ was dedicated to Malcolm, who had a significant presence during its creation:
“This whole album really is dedicated to Malcolm. He was everywhere in the studio. And I’m not being a softie, ’cause I’m not a believer in that kind of stuff, but boy oh boy, Malcolm was everywhere. And I know Angus felt the loss of Malcolm a lot more than he would usually let on. And Malcolm had written half these songs with Angus years before.”
In his memoir, ‘The Lives of Brian,’ Johnson recounted a chance meeting with Bon Scott in 1973 when they were members of different bands, highlighting the unexpected connection between two musicians from similar backgrounds:
“I talk about being in Torquay [England] and the band that was supporting us was called Fang and watching this band and thinkin’, ‘They’re pretty good.’ And afterwards having a beer with the singer, who was Bon Scott. And we swore undying friendship after getting a few beers down because we were from the same kind of background – he was from Glasgow originally, just like Angus and Malcolm – and just years later finding out who this guy was, it was the man in Torquay – it was Bon Scott.”
Wolfgang’s interview and Johnson’s reflections shed light on the enduring influence of Bon Scott and Malcolm Young.