The Statue at Last

The bagpiper

This is how it happened.

All of a sudden the stage went quiet. A lone piper started up. We could see him on the big screen, and we could hear him. But we couldn’t find where he was. From a high balcony somewhere in the showgrounds came a haunting wail. From far beyond the grave, Bon Scott’s rotten lungs were pumping air through a tartan bladder for the very last time.

We twisted and craned to locate the piper. “There he is!” shouted Mish. He was lit up with a spotlight in the distance to the right of the stage. We stood still for a moment in silent homage to Scotland’s famous son.

By the time we turned back to the stage, it was a seething mass of people. Kev and the boys from Fife were up there. Bill and Ashley were up there, Doug from the Bon Scott Fanclub, Greg the artist, Mark Evans and his daughter, Tania from the Hamilton Hill Clan, and countless others I didn’t recognise. Scottish flags were flying. Everyone was dancing with joy. And in the dead centre of the stage stood a stationery figure draped in a sheet.

The Party Boys, with Dave Evans up front, started playing It’s a Long Way to the Top (if You Wanna Rock and Roll). This, I would warrant, is the song that fans most clearly identify with the story of Bon Scott’s life.

In the blink of an eye, the sheet was whipped away, and there it stood, in all its glory. The Bronze Bon.

bronze statue on stage
[click on the image to see it larger…]

I snapped one final photo, my camera battery died, and that was that.

5 thoughts on “The Statue at Last”

  1. woooooooo!
    im somewhere on stage in that pic
    you can see my dad and my uncle

    you needing any more info for your blog?


  2. dont know if you were the guy we were speaking but we were the 4. Scottish guys that went to the concert and we got to help unveil the statue. We are sitting in dubai airport waiting to fly to glasgow after a 10.5 hour flight from perth australia. Watch this space !!

  3. Boys from Fife, great to see you guys here. Glad you made the journey. Hey i went to Kirri last July to find Bon’s home. It was a great trip to see my folks in Perthshire & Fife.

  4. Thanks to Jim at the Freo Arts Centre, who sent through this link to the Coastal Scottish Pipe Band.

    They provided the pipers for the big concert. There’s a great report on their website, written by “Piper and resident Rock Star Louise Rowland”, about the Bon Scott unveiling, from the perspective of the pipers! It’s pretty cool. I’ll quote the whole thing here for you:

    Sunday 24th February, Pipers: Maureen, Steven, Robyn, Laura, Louise, Ian and Mel as cameraperson

    Claremont Showgrounds.
    We all arrived around 8ish, to play at 9.30pm. While the pipers were tuning, Mel went down to the concert area to find a good filming spot.

    Our “on stage” instructions were to walk on between the red carpet and drum kits, play Scotland the Brave, then go off stage, don’t play Long way to the top, and don’t step on the red carpet. Maureen did a fantastic solo of Amazing Grace up in the stands to draw the crowds attention away from the stage while the “Bon statue” was wheeled out from his hiding spot. The camera men must have been having difficulty with the zoom, as Maureen’s nose suddenly filled the whole screen, then they panned back to include all of her…quite scary really!! When Maureen finished playing, the pipers marched on stage playing Scotland the Brave. The roar of the crowd was sooo loud, that the skirl of the pipes was drowned out.

    Bon was pushed out from between the drum kits with Doug Thorncroft draped over his shoulders, finally revealing his face to the mass of ACDC fans. Fire works went off at the front of the stage, sizzling the nose and eyebrow hairs of those that were closest (and possibly a wig hair or two on some of the old rockers). The Party Boys launched into “Its a Long Way to the Top”, and there was absolutely no way the pipers were leaving that stage. We didn’t have any microphones for the pipes (which normally isn’t a problem), so I walked across the red carpet ….yes, I stepped on the red carpet!! a mic with the lead guitarist and played the pipe break with him.

    At the conclusion, we marched off to Scotland the Brave again. Robyn was so star struck that she had to be dragged off !! Steve seemed quite interested in a young lady in the crowd that had mysteriously misplaced her shirt. Luckily she was right against the fence at the front, so the offending articles were able to hang over the fence and she was able to maintain her balance.

    Meanwhile, Mel had braved the mosh pit to get that all exclusive video footage. She was punched, slapped, pushed to the ground, her kilt lifted, her sgian dubh stolen, and mobile phones shoved up under her kilt. So unfortunately the film includes greasy heads, sweaty bodies, and a close up of the grass. Thanks for trying though Mel. And as to the where abouts of her knife, we all reckon some guy woke up the next morning with it in his chest.

    Our last gig for the night was a quick snake through the VIP tent area, with Mel drumming, and dodging people who were determined to see exactly what was worn under the kilt. And it seems we have a true Scotsman in the band!

    We were congratulated by everybody…..singers, fans, and even the producers, with most saying that the bagpipes made the concert.
    All in all, absolutely awesome!!!!!!!!!!!


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