A sign from somewhere east of Adelaide?

ben scott's sign

Regular readers of this blog may remember Ben Scott, the unsubstantiated but loveable lovechild of Bon. He’s hell-bent on accessing Scott-the-elder’s DNA, that elusive double helix which, he is certain, will perfectly match his own – thus unlocking the key to his true identity once and for all.

I first met and interviewed Ben at the cemetery, and since that time he’s become one of my most loyal readers, unleashing a barrage of CAPITALISED COMMENT CAMEOS, which perhaps, reveal traces of the great comic street poet which runs in his veins.

You may also have followed this brief flurry of excitement a month or so back, when it looked like BON OR BUST might finally bear fruit – Ben and I began plotting a cross-nullabor journey from Melbourne to Perth.

But alas, Ben had enrolled in a metallurgy course at MOORABIN TAFE and it did not come to pass.

(Furthermore, read this account of our even-more-recent, heart-fluttering near miss! Sigh…)

Anyway, here I am in Fremantle. I arrived a fortnight ago, transported on the wings of a mighty jetplane. But undeterred, and fiercely determined to get to the exhibition by ribbon-cutting-time next week, Ben is making the great pilgrimage alone.

Or rather – not alone!

His new Ford Falcon is chock-full-o fans (and/or backpackers), and they’re barrelling across the desert as I type.

The photograph above popped into my in-box from Ben’s satellite phone sometime this afternoon, with no accompanying explanation, except for the following cryptic sentence:


Is Ben trying to squeeze in even more passengers, in a vain attempt to bring the price-per-passage down?

Or has his trusty Falcon burst a valve? Is his precious exhibit-bound cargo standing en-masse by the side of the highway, trying to hitch a ride, patiently waiting while he fixes his grammatical errors?

Ben Scott, where are you?

A few Bon Scott rumours…

Apparently there’s this guy in Emu Plains who is a master on the didj. “He can play any AC/DC song on it”. This is told to me in the pub by my friend Geoff, who lives in Vancouver. He’s visiting Sydney briefly, and this local knowledge tidbit was told to him by Bill, a busdriver on an “Oz Experience” trip to the Blue Mountains…

Geoff’s friend Ben, sipping beer across the table, has the following to contribute:

“My cousin’s partner’s dad used to hang around with Bon back in Freo. Once they went to get tattoos together, and Fred, that’s his name, he chickened out, but Bon went on to get a big snake tattoo all down his side. Or was it on his arm. Anyway, he lives in Esperance now, you should go visit him when you make your big road trip. And this guy Fred’s daughter, apparently she’s a nanny to the Rolling Stones.”

Outside the pub, I bump into Scott. At first I can’t remember who he is, it’s been years since we worked together doing picture framing. Now he’s got his own business. I tell him about my search for a travelling companion for the big pilgrimage to Freo for the statue-unveiling-concert. “Oh shit, I’m interested man, I’m interested. I’m a big fan.” His eyes glaze over while he’s talking to me. I imagine his brain processing all the re-organising he’s going to have to do to make this trip. “Ah, you know it takes five days to drive there, right?” I ask him. I’m doubting he’ll be able to spare that much time off work. But he reckons he’s gonna have a serious think about it and get back to me. We shake hands and agree to stay in touch.

Talking with Scott for five minutes on a street corner in Darlinghurst is one thing, but I begin to wonder what it would be like to spend five days together, cooped up in a car heading across the scorching nullabor plain. Is this wise?