Hear Bon Scott’s Amusing Solution to the 1979 Gas Shortage
Newly unearthed audio from a 1979 interview finds late AC/DC singer Bon Scott talking about the band's Highway to Hell album — and offering some humorous advice to consumers affected by the energy crisis that was then making headlines around the world.
The interview, conducted by Neal Mirsky for WDIZ Orlando in May 1979 — just weeks before Highway to Hell's arrival in stores — is surfacing now in conjunction with the new biography Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC’s Back in Black. Written by author Jesse Fink, whose previous works include the 2015 book The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, it focuses on the last several years of Scott's life, offering readers insight derived from “newly unearthed documents” as well as “a trove of never-before-seen photos.”
Those previously archived source materials include the above audio clip, posted by Fink with Mirsky's permission. Scott can be heard discussing the making of the Highway to Hell album, early portions of which were worked on at the famed Criteria Studios in Miami — a city that Scott laughingly described as "God's waiting room" while admitting it's far from the worst place to work.
Scott also looked back on AC/DC's 1978 live album If You Want Blood You've Got It, calling it "a pleasure" to put together and complimenting the band's performance at the show that ended up on the LP — a gig in Glasgow, which he deemed "the home of rock 'n' roll in the world."
As for Highway to Hell, Scott promised listeners that the basics of AC/DC's sound remained the same despite the arrival of new producer "Mutt" Lange. "It's really hard to put your finger on what the commercial side of it is. There's a definite difference there," he admitted before quipping, "Every album's better than the last. When you get to the stage where it isn't better, then you start thinking about doing something else — playing country and western."
From Mirsky's point of view, the station's listeners were eager for more straight-ahead rock music to help cure their blues over gas prices, which were soaring at the time as the result of a drop in oil production after the Iranian Revolution. "They can stay home and play our record and have a good time," laughed Scott. "You don't need no gasoline for that!"
You can listen to the complete interview clip above, and look for Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC’s Back in Black on U.S. bookstore shelves Nov. 7.
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