Everything You Ever Knew About Bon Scott’s Death Might Be Wrong
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New Book Challenges Decades Old Belief
What if Bon Scott’s death wasn’t the result of alcohol poisoning, but something else?
The question is posed in a new book called Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story Of Bon Scott And AC/DC’s Back In Black that finds author Jesse Fink challenging the decades long belief with the idea that Bon Scott’s February 19, 1980 death was the result of a heroin overdose.
With the help of UFO’s Paul Chapman and Pete Way as well as the groundbreaking 2005 Geoff Barton interview and eyewitness accounts from friends that were in his company during his last 24 hours, Fink was able to cobble together a workable theory that contradicts the jumbled timelines and accounts of Scott’s girlfriend Silver Smith and his acquaintance Alistair Kinnear, whose Renault 5 is where the 33-year-old singer was found dead.
Bon Scott’s Final Hours – The Story You Remember
The last days of AC/DC frontman Bon Scott’s life were business as usual. He’d spent the evening of February 15th in the recording studio with bandmates Angus and Malcolm Young, fleshing out “Let Me Put My Love Into You” and “Have A Drink On Me,” tracks that would later be included on Back In Black, the band’s first album following Scott’s death. Bucking tradition, he accompanied his bandmates on drums instead of his usual vocals or writing lyrics.
Things get a little murky four days later on the 19th, when Bon passed out after a night of heavy drinking at popular London night spot, the Music Machine. He was left to sleep in a Renault 5 belonging to friend Alistair Kinnear outside of Kinnear’s flat at 67 Overhill Road in East Dulwich where he was found lifeless later that day and declared dead in a local hospital.
A coroner’s inquest and police investigation into Bon Scott’s death determined that he’d died from “acute alcohol poisoning” and classified as “death by misadventure,” though that didn’t do much to quell decades of conspiracy theories suggesting that he’d died from inhaling exhaust fumes or that Alistair Kinnear didn’t actually exist.
In the middle of sifting through conflicting timelines and recollections, Jesse Fink had a breakthrough during conversations with friends who allege that Bon, who’d already suffered heroin overdoses in 1975 and again in 1976, had done heroin on the last night of his life.
“When he got to London the in thing was snorting smack, that was flooding London at the time, and it was brown heroin and very strong,” says Fink. “All the characters linked to Bon in the last 24 hours of his life were allegedly associated with heroin. Heroin was a recurring theme in his death.”
Is it possible that Bon Scott’s death is the result of a third and fatal heroin overdose? Sure. Is it also possible that he did, in fact, die from acute alcohol poisoning as was written in the coroner’s inquest? Absolutely. It’s certainly an interesting theory and one that fans might be curious to check out further, which you can do here as well as in Fink’s new book Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story Of Bon Scott And AC/DC’s Back In Black.