AC/DC‘s Angus Young has shot down rumours that late singer Bon Scott helped to write several tracks on their seminal album ‘Back In Black’.
The band released the record, just months after Scott died at the age of 33 as a result of acute alcohol poisoning in 1980.
Frontman Brian Johnson, who took Scott’s place in the line-up, reflected on the writing of the title track during it’s 40th anniversary. “I remember ‘Back in Black’ was particularly difficult because the boys were saying, ‘Listen we want this song in memory of Bon, but we don’t want it to be sad or maudlin, we want it to be a good thing, positive song’,” he said.
“So it was pretty tough, but I think we managed it pretty good. It’s kinda slow but it’s got a great riff. It was a toughy, that one.”
In a new interview, Young has now said Scott had no input on the record itself but he did help on a couple of early demos.
“Bon never really got the chance,” the guitarist told Paste magazine. “At the time, me and [founding AC/DC rhythm guitarist] Malcolm [Young] were writing songs, which became the songs for ‘Back In Black’.
“We were in London in a rehearsal room, and Bon had come down, too. And what used to happen was, me and Malcolm would get together and get a drum kit, and Malcolm would get behind the drums sometimes, and I’d get on the guitar and just tap out a riff. Or other times, Malcolm would get on the guitar and he’d get me to just knock out a simple beat on the drums.
“Anyhow, we were working away, and it was on an intro which was actually what became the intro for ‘Hells Bells’. So Bon showed up, and Malcolm said, ‘Oh, great, Bon. You can get behind the kit.’ Because originally Bon started as a drummer. So Bon got behind the drum kit so we could try and work out this intro, how we wanted to do it. So we sorted that out how we wanted.
“And the other one was ‘Have A Drink On Me’, a riff Malcolm was playing around with. So we worked out the intro on that and how the song was gonna go. So he had Bon tapped to do a demo for that. So that was it, really. If you were looking up what Bon had done, it was really just to help us with those demos on the drums. And he even said to us, as we were knocking off in the night time, ‘Look, we’ll hook up next week.’
“He’d been working on some lyrics, and said, ‘We’ll hook up next week and maybe the three of us can just start going through stuff.’ But unfortunately, he passed before that.”