Friday, July 10, 2009

Bon Scott

In a park near the waterfront in Fremantle, I stumbled upon this statue. It’s a tribute to Bon Scott, the original lead singer of the band AC/DC. He was born in Scotland, but raised in Freeo.

Later, at the Fremantle prison, his name came up again. As I said, we didn’t have time to tour the jail, but we always make time for gift shops. Numerous copies of a Bon Scott biography were displayed there. When I asked what the connection was, I was told that Scott served three different terms in the prison, for robbery, assault, and one of my favorites, “unlawful carnal knowledge.”

So he wasn’t necessarily the nicest guy in the world, but I bought the bio anyway. Flipping ahead to the end, I read that (SPOILER) he died in 1980 and was buried in Fremantle.

This inspired one of my favorite travel things: a spontaneous non-Frommer’s sanctioned quest. Neither Pipi nor I are huge AC/DC fans, but suddenly signs seemed to be pointing toward a pilgrimage to Bon Scott’s final resting place. I don’t mean that literally, of course, but it actually wasn’t too hard to get to the graveyard. A city bus took us right to the gate, easily visible from the road.

I expected a big Jim Morrison-style scene, but found just the opposite—the grave was impossible to find. I may have been working with outdated information. It doesn’t really matter. I’d only been dimly aware of the man when I woke up that morning, so I can live without completing my quest.

While I can’t say that I have a deep appreciation for Bon Scott’s music, I am appreciative of the fact that he inspired us to have an unusual travel experience. Most visitors to Fremantle have an alfresco lunch and visit the museums. But not too many of them can say they’ve wandered fruitlessly around a suburban cemetery. I may not have closure, but I do have cocktail party chatter.

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