Bad Boy Boogie — The Adventures of Bon Scott

When I was a teenager I disliked AC/DC. I was more into bands like Metallica and Sepultura and Pantera – later metal bands.

In 2006 my older brother Justin convinced me to give AC/DC – the Bon Scott years – a try. Highway to Hell, Powerage and the first DVD in the Family Jewels package started to take hold and then began my fascination with all things Bon.

In 2007 Justin took his life and I played Bad Boy Boogie from the live If You Want Blood album at his funeral. The version of that song still blows me away every time I listen to it.

Fast forward to 2011 and I had no direction, and I was drinking everyday traveling around the U.K. on a bicycle. One morning I stopped to take cover from rain in a small town called Edzell in Scotland. A woman offered me a Gin and Tonic and we got chatting. About an hour later she said that Bon Scott was born in a small town called Kerriemuir down the road. I put If You Want Blood on my headphones and started pedaling. I remember distinctly the moment I decided I was going to write a historical fiction novel about Bon Scott – rain and sweat and tears dribbling down my face.

Bad Boy Boogie – The Adventures of Bon Scott is a historical fiction on the life of Bon Scott. Scott was the singer in the Australian band AC/DC. He was 33, in 1980, when he died in London. The novel intentionally blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction. By drawing on available literature and interviews with people who knew Scott, the novel develops a picture and chronology of his life. Some of the characters are based on real people, and some are fabricated. The objective is to bring Scott to life. The hope is that readers will get a sense of the context and circumstances that bought about his choices.

The intended style of the novel is the picaresque form. Picaro, means rogue or rascal, in Spanish. Well known examples of the picaresque novel include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Confederacy of Dunces. In Bad Boy Boogie, the rogue protagonist, Bon Scott, works his way through life moving from one injustice to another. Scott meets most challenges with wit and humour. He is barely able to hold his job and often flirts with the boundaries of criminality. When it appears the main character has finally achieved his goal, once again something or someone conspires to restrict his advance.

The novel is separated into seven chapters, or episodes, covering the most important periods in his life. The first chapter follows Scott’s juvenile delinquent phase. He is sentenced to nine months in detention and discovers his desire to be a rock and roll singer. Chapter two sees Scott in the pop group the Valentines. In chapter three Scott is in Adelaide-based band Fraternity. The chapter ends with Scott crashing a motorcycle and ending up in hospital. Chapter four follows Scott’s involvement in the early days of the band AC/DC. Chapter five traces AC/DC’s rise to success. Chapter six and seven details Scott’s health decline and simultaneous rise to the top of the music world.

Click here to buy the ebook. Paperback due out in June 2016.