October 2013: Head Office Records releases some material from the labels archives with one of Australia’s greatest singers Bon Scott. We are very pleased to announce the digital release of songs Carey Gully, Round and Round (1974) and Round and Round and Round (1996). The songs were recordings by Peter Head and Bon Scott just before Bon went on to join AC/DC and make musical history.
Ronald Belford Scott, better known as Bon Scott, is renowned for being the front man of famous Australian rock band AC/DC. Originally from Scotland, Bon developed an early interest in music after his family moved to Australia. In his teen years, he started out as a drummer in his father’s pipe band. He later was part of several rock bands including the Spektors, the Valentines and Fraternity. At 19, Bon Scott formed the Spektors, which later merged with another local band to form the Valentines. The Valentines made it to the top 30 in 1970, but shortly after split-up. He then joined Fraternity, achieving some success and touring the UK.
Joining the band in 1974 to replace Dave Evans, Bon has contributed to some of AC/DC’s best work throughout the 70s. From High Voltage (1974) to Highway to Hell (1979), Bon’s work with AC/DC is to this day some of the band’s most famous work. Bon Scott remains a legendary frontman, rated number one in the “100 Greatest Frontmen” list by UK’s Classic Rock magazine.
In 1973, after Fraternity’s breakup, Bon worked with Peter Head’s band, the Mounty Lofty Rangers. Some material was recorded but never released, as Bon was in a very bad motorcycle accident that year which left him in a coma. He never returned in the studio with Peter Head after his recovery but the recordings had already been made so Peter worked on the finished product. By 1996, technology had improved enough that Peter Head thought he could actually do something with all this material.
The best person to tell the story is the man himself Peter Head
“It was in Adelaide, January 1970. I had been invited to join a stable of top musicians that were being hand picked to be the next big thing in entertainment. A local enterprising young businessman, Hamish Henry, had decided to finance the first well-managed, artistically satisfying pop group ever out of Adelaide.
It was a good plan. He gathered the remnants of Barrie McAskill’s 1969 Sydney band “the Levi-Smith Clefs” and brought them all to Adelaide. The lineup included Mick Jurd (guitar), John Bissett (keyboards) and Bruce Howe (bass). Adding to this lineup was the charismatic “Uncle” John Ayres on harmonica, and Adelaide’s John Freeman on drums.
To complete the lineup was a young singer from the Perth band “The Valentines”. A very interesting ball of energy that went by the name of Bon Scott. I’d never met anyone called Bon before, but I understood it to be Scottish for “good”, so I thought that maybe this kid could be something special. He was wide-eyed, always grinning happily, scrawny but muscular, and always with an impish sense of fun, lost in the wonder of being the singer of a potentially great band with backing and a plan of action!
As I was an ex art-student, and had spent a couple of years running my own art galleries, Hamish also asked me to work for him during the day. This consisted of running the office to manage both bands combined with the duties of running his very spiffy North Adelaide Galleries, which was situated at the back of his huge house (in what used to be the old stables and servant’s quarters). It was my dream job.
Two other people were involved from early on. One was the incredibly underrated genius of painting in Adelaide, Vytas Serelis, and the other was Bon’s ex singer partner Vince Lovegrove. Vince came over to set up a rock’n’roll office that produced bands, live events, posters, magazines and publicity.
So, these were heady times, in every sense of the word.
My band “Headband”, usually played support to the other band “Fraternity”, as we recognised they were slightly superior in terms of experience and their singer Bon, was just so damn good, they were the natural peak of the show.
But we shared a spirit of camaraderie that continues today with the surviving members of that particular freak show.
Hamish was generous, but he wasn’t stupid. He made all the members of the two bands earn their own living apart from him. But he’d occasionally offer the members odd jobs to do around the house and that is how I’d sometimes find myself sitting around the gallery on afternoons after Bon had been there mowing the lawn or cleaning up the backyard. We’d have jam sessions with an old acoustic nylon-string guitar each.
Bon was very basic on guitar, only knew what we called the “cowboy” chords, but he had a good ear for what came when. We were both just getting serious about song writing as being very important to our future careers, and NOW was the time. During this period we had the great good fortune of recording two songs. One was “ Carey Gully” and the other was called “Round and Round”. So I used to teach him chord progressions, scales, and music theory, which he lapped up like a dog and he would in turn, sing a few of the songs I had written. In doing so, he turned them into something I could only ever dream about, and in this way, we helped each other to achieve higher artistic success.
We were very lucky as well to have been able to film some great black and white footage at the time and I believe this to be possibly the only black and white footage that exists of Bon during the 1972 to 1974 period before he joined ACDC. The video clip for "Round and Round" has been restored and will be available for the world to enjoy later on this year. In 1996 we decided to give the song "Round and Round" a remake and give this a more contemporary feel. This became the version known as "Round and Round and Round (1996)". The releases are now available on iTunes for the world and the video clip will be something truly special for all the fans to enjoy.
Aussie ProgRock Master
Head Office Records
P: 612 9310 0155
F: 612 9310 0166