Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Art Of Bon

Photo by Rennie Ellis
Bon Scott isn't just the greatest rock n' roller in Australian history, he's also become something of a cultural phenomenon :

Interest in Scott keeps surging 28 years after his drink-induced death just as the band was hitting its prime. British magazine Classic Rock has named Scott the greatest ever frontman, ahead of Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant.

The Melbourne City Council has named a laneway after his band, his birth town of Kirriemuir in Scotland unveiled a Caithness stone slab in his honour and money was raised to erect a bronze statue of him in Fremantle, Western Australia.

His grave in Fremantle cemetery is now the most visited grave site in the country.

Bon Scott has also become the subject of an art and installation exhibition in Fremantle, Scott's home, which aims : explore notions of masculinity, remembrance and rebellion by deconstructing the charismatic rock star.

"I feel that Bon has always relished his outsider status. He's always been a bit of a rascal and hellraiser, like a Ned Kelly figure, so I wanted to look at other ways we could celebrate his life."

Some of the works include personal letters, photographs uncovered from the late Rennie Ellis' collection, Bevan Honey's Apparition installation, which is visible only in certain light, and a blog written by Lucas Ihlein about the cult of Scott.

They will even wheel out fashion critics to analyse "the ugly/sexy factor" — Scott's allure despite his not being conventionally handsome.

"By wearing kilts and dressing up as a schoolgirl, it's clear Bon had an intuitive understanding about how to play dress-ups," Ms Stephens said. "And yet he was admired so much for resisting the pressure to go glam — he was a denim man through and through."

The exhibition runs from May 17 in Fremantle's Arts Centre. It will probably tour from there.

And there's more AC/DC exhibitfication coming :
The Melbourne Arts Centre also plans to present exhibitions on AC/DC and Peter Allen.
Presumably that will not be a joint exhibition.

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Look at the faces in that audience, a moment more than 30 years in the past now. Did anyone who saw this photo in The Age newspaper recognise themselves? Did they get that distinct, electric jolt that comes when a vivid exciting memory of youth suddenly unfolds in the mind?

The girl in the front row second from the left looks like she just might be in love.

(photo and link found at the