Geraldine Spins Some Bawdy Bon

mr squiggle in the abc

Besides the amusing experience of being grilled by Richard Stubbs, my favourite radio interview about the Bon Scott Blog was on Geraldine Mellet’s show on ABC Perth.

(The above photo is not me – prematurely aged by too much ear-blistering rock – but Norman Hetherington, creator of the legendary children’s TV show Mr Squiggle, having a chat with Geraldine. It’s just that I forgot to take a photo of myself in the studio, so this picture I found on the ABC’s website is the next-best-thing. Imagine! I got to sit in the same chair as Mr Squiggle!)

On Friday afternoons Geraldine does a programme called “The Vault” which is a concentrated half-hour focussing on one particular musician or group. So, in keeping with the Bon Scott frenzy, she decided to spent some time talkin’ AC/DC.

If you’re reading this from overseas, you might not know this: the ABC is Australia’s national broadcaster, funded by the government, and not really known for its advocacy of loud rock and roll. So it’s been funny to see all the slightly subversive closet rocker ABC DJs coming out and wanting to whack some acca dacca on the decks, under the guise of covering a cultural event.

I had a playlist prepared that would have lasted an hour and a half, but what with all the talking, we only had time to play three tracks. First, I suggested a Chuck Berry number, since not only Bon, but also Malcolm and Angus, are on record as being big Chuck fans. So we played “Almost Grown“. (Preparing this blog entry, I was amazed to discover that Chuck Berry is still alive: 82 years old and still performing (although fully grown by now)! And you thought AC/DC were getting on!)

Next up we featured The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. A month or so ago, I looked up eclectic 1970s Glasgow musician Alex Harvey after reading that he had been a big influence on Bon. And whoa, when you listen, you can really hear the similarity in their voices: the Scottish inflection, the wicked and raunchy sense of humour…

I really wanted to play an Alex Harvey song called “There Aint Nothin’ Like a Gang Bang” on the show. So I brought it along to the studio – although I never really expected they’d let me broadcast such filth. Sure enough, Geraldine’s producer asked me diplomatically if I might, perchance, have an alternative track by Harvey. A pity, since “Gang Bang” is a really catchy and funny song. It deserves a place in the “Bawdy-Rock-n-Roll-Hall-of-Fame” alongside “Whole Lotta Rosie”. Anyway, I did have an alternative, the song “Next” (which in any case is only marginally less rude. He he. See this great version of “Next” on youtube)

And finally, in keeping with the rude-n-amusing theme, we played “Big Balls” from AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” album. That had the ABC staff rolling around on their seats with big grins on their faces! (And guess what? No serious complaints from conservative radio listeners! What a surprise!)

As I left the studio I turned on my phone. There was a message from my sister saying she had enjoyed the interview. I was a little surprised by this, as I didn’t really take her for a fan of such impropriety. So, pushing the point, I texted back asking her what she thought of the song “Big Balls”.

Her reply:

laughed my head off

Listen to an MP3 file of the interview between Geraldine Mellet and I, complete with music by Chuck Berry, Alex Harvey and AC/DC! Click here! [23 minutes, 12 mb…]

16 thoughts on “Geraldine Spins Some Bawdy Bon”

  1. geraldine la verdad que no tengo el gusto de conmocerlo pero no tengo dudas que si lucas lo menciona en su blog usted tambien tendra material y buenas anecdotas que recuerden the big lion of scotland

  2. I love the way a project like this creates a kind of renewed chance for a lot of people to hear certain classic songs for the first time, so there is not only those who already know the hilarity of Big Balls, but now there is a new wave of chuckles at discovering this song.

  3. I LOVE this it’s like the six degrees of separation game. Bon is my favorite mad Scottish rock-n-roller, of course, but I also adore Jimmy Dewar, who was in Stone the Crows with Alex Harvey’s brother Leslie. Jimmy Dewar (1942-2002) also played with Robin Trower. Love Alex and the SAHB too.

    But I get to hear Big Balls, to my snickering delight, quite often as it is in my car CD player. Makes the trek to work in the morning a wee bit less horrific. Has anyone ever seen a taped performance of this delightful little ditty? I bet Bon was … well there are no words to describe the idea of his leering, eyebrow wiggling, lip smacking rendition of this little treasure.

  4. Thanks all! Mickie, the pleasure of music is in the sharing! It was you who introduced me to Big Balls!
    Bec, click on the link above (towards the end of the blog entry) and it should play online in your browser window.
    Wow, thanks Susann, I’m gonna go chase up those links to Bon’s Scottish rocker brotherhood!

  5. You’re right, Susann, my morning commute would be hell without Bon blasting lasciviously in my ears. Speaking of big balls, “She’s Got Balls” is another favorite of mine.

    I have yet to see a taped performance of “Big Balls.” Maybe one will surface as a result of this Bon project!

    I’m a Jimmy Dewar fan, too.

  6. Listened and howled along to She’s Got Balls just this AM, Carolyn. (mmmmm Yeah) I also have him on my mp3 player to make work better. Love the version of She’s Got Balls on Bonfire/Volts disc. Would love to see him perform that one too. What am I saying? – I’m wild about any sound, video, photo, article, anything BON I can find! My son & husband just roll their eyes, but they like him too. I’m in hog heaven with this blog and the BSP. Sharing ideas, memories & chuckles with other Bonny fans is fantastic.

  7. Susann, I think that mmmmmmmmmmm Yeah on She’s Got Balls is one of the sexiest things I’ve ever heard Bon sing. The tone of his voice, the sheer force of balls (there’s that word again!) behind it really gets to me. I believe you can see Bon performing She’s Got Balls at a high school in 1974 or ’75 on You Tube. The girls are all looking up at him like they’ve never seen or heard anything like him before. I can only imagine how he must’ve gotten his jollies singing that song before such young and impressionable ladies!

  8. hola amigos fanaticos de bon scott se me hace muy complicado
    comunicarme con ustedes y hacerme entender seguro tambien pero bueno uno trata y me gusta les comento que en mi celular tengo la imagen de lucas de bon scott project como sonido de mensajes get it hot y para llamadas a rocker bon scott es gran parte de mi vida un abrazo desde argentina

  9. Carolyn! You’re reading my mind again. mmmmmmmmmm Yeah – an incredibly intense emotional and physical effect on me. “Sexiest” is both perfect and vast understatement. Bon wrote certain phrases, words even, that, snuck up on me, initially, with knee-buckling effect. Some of them have continued producing that effect every time I hear them. Thanks. I’ll look for the You Tube performance! I bet just watching him (those jeans!) was quite an education for those young ladies.

    As a Jimmy Dewar fan, have you seen Steve’s Place? Its a big Robin Trower fan website. There’s lots of info about Robin and Jimmy – lovely pictures pages – one just of Jimmy.

    What was that Bonny Scott web group you are in, again? It sounds interesting.

  10. OOPS. Carolyn – that’s Steve’s Trower Page for Jimmy Dewar stuff.

    Imagine what a Bon Scott – Alex Harvey duet would sound like…

  11. Susann, “vast understatement” is right. I find it so hard to do Bon justice with mere words!

    The web group is a Google group; just search Bon Scott and it comes up as the first entry. They’re really fun people who love and can’t get enough of Bon, his balls, and everything else about him!

  12. Wow, Carolyn, I’m gonna have to join up, cause if there’s one thing I’ll never get enough of it’s Bon – balls, bod, heart, spunk, especially humor, that wild hair – all of it! Speaking of mere words, I can just imagine him giggling over the lyrics he was writing. I laughed ’til I cried last night listening to him sing Crabsody in Blue (in its entirety for my first time, on YouTube). The inflections, not to mention the words themselves, and that voice were just perfect. I snicker whenever I think of it. One of these years I’m gonna go through my favorite Bonny songs and jot down some of those words and lyric phrases, stuff from his letters (that I’ve been able to read excerpts of) that turn me to melting jello (bet I’ll have writer’s cramp). That’s another thing thats killing me to miss with the BSP – those letters of his!

  13. Ah, those letters! They should bind them into a little book of bedtime stories.

    I agree, Susann, Bon’s melting power is truly amazing.

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