In 1980, ACDC frontman Bon Scott was found dead inside of a Renault 5 vehicle in East Dulwich, South London. From the method of death to the identities of those involved, there have been conspiracies tied to the icon’s death in the decades since, which continues to this day.
Bon Scott was in several groups before joining ACDC in 1974, including, The Spektors, The Valentines, and Fraternity. Scott replaced ACDC’s brief lead singer Dave Evans in 1974. The band’s 1979 album, Highway To Hell sent them into commercial success. However, tragedy struck in 1980, when Scott was found dead by a friend on a cold winter February 19.
This friend in question became a hot topic in the conspiracy theories surrounding Bon’s death. Many alleged that he was not real at all, or maybe a pseudonym for a fellow musician who wished to not be identified. This man was reported to be named Alistair Kinnear (Spellings vary depending on the source, as does the entire timeline of events).
The common “facts” of all combined sources researched, is that Bon Scott allegedly had a night of partying and heavy drinking with Kinnear the previous night at a club called the Music Machine. Afterward, Kinnear drove to Scott’s home and found no one home. Calling a friend of his, who was also one of Bon’s ex-girlfriends, he was told to leave him to sleep it off in the car.
Kinnear then drove to his own home on Overhill Road. Finding that he could not carry Scott in his intoxicated state, he left him in the car with the seat leaned back and a blanket over him so he would be comfortable.
Upon checking on Scott the next day, Kinnear found that he was not breathing, and rushed him to the King’s College Hospital in Camberwell. He was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Some sources allege that the cause of death was an aspiration of vomit, however, this was not noted on the death certificate. The official document read “acute alcohol poisoning,” and “death by misadventure.”
What About The Conspiracy?
The conspiracy began with media inconsistencies with the facts surrounding Bon’s death. One of the greatest “clues” was the misspelling of Kinnear’s name in different sources. Many sources, like Team Rock (www.teamrock.com), allege that Bon Scott had been surrounded by some bad influences the days before his death, that included hard drugs like heroin. Team Rock interviewed UFO guitarist Paul “Tonka” Chapman who claimed that Scott had gone out on the night of 18th to acquire heroin for his party, although Scott refused to do it himself. There were no drugs found in Scott’s system during the autopsy.
“He wanted to stay up and party. If that’s what kept us up, then he’d be up for it. Bon just wanted to keep the party going.”
-Paul “Tonka” Chapman on Scott buying heroin.
It is difficult to wade through the internet to find any truth to any of the accusations or theories in this story. The only interview of this mysterious Alistair Kinnear character that could be found is from an ACDC fan site (www.acdcfans.net) that is said to be from a Metal Hammer and Classic Rock presents ACDC from 2005 (Could not find the original release, so please comment a link if you find the original interview).
It allegedly had an interview with Alistair Kinnear, who recollects the night Bon Scott died.
“I truly regret Bon’s death. Hindsight being 20/20, I would’ve driven
him to the hospital when he first passed out, but in those days of
excess, unconsciousness was commonplace and seemed no cause for real
“It has been implied that I mysteriously ‘disappeared’, but in fact I
have been living on the Costa del Sol for 22 years, still working as a
musician, and am in touch with most of my old friends in England and
in other parts of the world, so I am not hiding from anyone. What I’d
like to pass on from this unfortunate experience is the idea that we
should all take better care of our friends, and err on the side of
caution when we don’t know all the facts.”
An Austrailian magazine PerthNow (www.perthnow.com.au) published an article in 2010 claiming that Kinnear had fallen “victim to Bon Scott’s curse.” He was said to have set sail in 2006 for Spain with two other men and disappeared for three years. He was found, and with a note for his family “Please forget me.” Still many question whether or not Kinnear is even real, or is a character in an elaborate hoax.
Some allege that Bon was killed by some big music corporation in order to place the next frontman for ACDC Brian Johnson. Others say it was a drug deal gone wrong. His death was shrouded with conspiracy and theories. Fans sometimes find it hard to let one of their icons go in death, so no doubt many of these theories and fan made and spread to keep Scott’s story alive. Still, rated as one of the greatest frontmen of all time, Bon Scott’s legend as the singer of ACDC will not be forgotten. Rest in peace Ronald “Bon” Scott.