Any rock historian worth their salt knows about Bon Scott’s tragic passing as AC/DC were becoming a household name in February 1980, and that he was eventually replaced by ex-Geordie vocalist Brian Johnson. But rumours have persisted ever since that the frontman of another iconic Aussie act was considered to fill Scott’s shoes. Those of Cold Chisel’s Jimmy Barnes.
No-one has been able to confirm or deny the theory for thirty-two years, until now.
Speaking to Classic Rock, Barnesy – a fellow Scotsman – has put to bed rumours that he was amongst the candidates considered by Malcolm and Angus Young to front Acca Dacca. “We were all very comfortable around one another” says Barnes, “but the idea of me joining AC/DC was never discussed.”
He went on to confirm that his candidacy was never an option, “the whole thing was a complete urban myth – I never even spoke to the guys about it.” In the same interview, the singer also reflected on his relationship with the former AC/DC frontman. “Bon was a good mate of mine,” he reflects, “I used to go into the studio and watch them record. I knew Angus and Malcolm Young very well [too].”
The rumour probably spawned from the fact that Barnes had previously filled Scott’s position in an earlier group called Fraternity, before leaving to return to Cold Chisel, but as Barnes says “It’s one of those subjects that’s been written about so many times that it’s become accepted as being true, when in fact it’s a complete figment of somebody’s imagination.”
In related news, Cold Chisel have just released their first album in fifteen years as well as heading out on reunion shows across Australia (mauling kittens not withstanding), while AC/DC’s Malcolm Young recently told fans they’d need to be patient for the appearance of forthcoming material. That, and he’s less famous than a folk-singer in his native country.
Rock stars ey?