ROCK royalty Bon Scott means a lot of things to a lot of Acca Dacca fans.
To Nick Barker - famed for fronting late '80s power-pop band Nick Barker and the Reptiles - the late Scottish-born, Fremantle-raised frontman of Australia's greatest musical export was the “total package”.
“To me, he was the real deal. He was tough, funny and a great singer and lyric writer,” Barker told Community.
Barker is paying homage to the legend in Hell Ain't A Bad Place to Be - The Story of Bon Scott, which recently premiered in Melbourne and is now Perth-bound.
The show - directed by RocKwiz's Brian Nankervis and narrated by veteran singer Doug Parkinson (who knew Scott in the hell-raising years of the '70s) - tells the story of Scott and his rise to fame with AC/DC, interspersed with hit songs.
“It was a total surprise (to be asked to do the show),” Barker admitted.
“Although I have a 30-year pub rock pedigree, I'm not the greatest singer… and Bon was!”
Barker first heard AC/DC on Countdown in 1975 with a performance of Baby Please Don't Go.
“Amidst all these nice bands with satin clothes and lovey-dovey lyrics, this bunch of dirty, dangerous looking reprobates appears on the screen!” Barker recalled.
“It was awesome; like seeing punk rock for the first time, but more real.”
When Scott died in 1980, Highway to Hell had just reached the top 20 in the US and AC/DC was on the brink of becoming a global rock phenomenon.
The band's next album, Back in Black, was released as a tribute to Scott, and became the second best-selling album in history.
Barker - who plans to visit the celebrated West Aussie's resting place at Fremantle Cemetery when in town this week - believes a charismatic leading man of Scott's calibre is a relic.
“I reckon the days of bands playing 200-plus shows a year are gone, and those days (of a Scott-type frontman) have passed us by.”
Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be - The Story of Bon Scott is at the Regal Theatre, Subiaco, from November 17-19.