Bon Scott has been honored with a life-size memorial statue in his Scottish hometown 36 years after his death. The bronze statue of the legendary AC/DC singer, who died in 1980 at age 33, was unveiled at the 10th annual “Bonfest” event in his hometown of Kirriemuir, Scotland, according to Loudwire.
The Bon Scott statue is a life-size tribute to the late rock star after fans from all over the world helped to raise money in a crowd funding campaign so artist John McKenna could create the piece. The $90,000 Bon Scott statue shows the rocker wearing his signature denim waistcoat and holding bagpipes, and it is surrounded by a mosaic quote that pays tribute to the rock legend. The statue is now the centerpiece of a memorial garden in Kirriemuir.
Bonfest chairman John Crawford told The Courier that Bon Scott is one of the most famous people to hail from the Scotland town.
“It’s amazing how many people don’t know that Bon Scott came from Kirriemuir,” Crawford said. “People know about J.M. Barrie and Peter Pan, but they are both famous sons of the town and there is room for them both. This statue and memorial garden is going to be a lasting tribute to Bon, funded 100 percent by the fans. People will come from the four corners of the world to see it.”
It’s hard to believe that Bon Scott would have turned 70 years old this year. Former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans, who played alongside Bon during the band’s early years, was also present at the Bonfest ceremony. Evans described Scott as “a hellraiser” who never forgot his Scottish roots.
“It’s magical,” Evans said. “Bon was a great pal and it’s just great to be in the place where he came from. The statue has captured his essence, right down to his tattoos… He’d have been absolutely chuffed to have a statue in Kirriemuir.”
Bonfest is a rock music festival held every year in Kirriemuir in Bon Scott’s honor. The festival features the top European AC/DC tribute bands. At this year’s Bonfest, the entire “High Voltage” album was performed with the album’s original drummer, Tony Currenti, as part of the tribute band Pure/DC.
While AC/DC is an Australian band, Bon Scott was born in the Scottish town of Forfar in 1946 and lived in Kirriemuir as a young child. Scott’s family moved to Western Australia in 1952 when he was six. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Bon Scott is also honored in Australia with a statue in Fremantle, where he lived most of his life and where he is buried.
Bon Scott teamed up with AC/DC founders Malcolm and Angus Young in 1974 and sang on the band’s first six studio albums. Bon’s distinctive voice can be heard on classic AC/DC tracks like “Highway to Hell” and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” Scott has long been regarded as one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time.
Bon Scott’s statue tribute comes as AC/DC gets ready to hit the road with AXL Rose on lead vocals after Scott’s successor, Brian Johnson, was told by doctors that he must retire from touring in order to save his hearing.
Bon Scott died in 1980 from acute alcohol poisoning at the age of 33 just as the band started working on what would be their most iconic album, “Back In Black.” The rock icon will live on forever in his hometown as the Bon Scott statue and memorial garden pay homage to his career.
Take a look at the video below to see the unveiling of the Bon Scott statue in Scotland.
[Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images]