Thursday, September 10, 2009

Home Sweet Home

After housing his charges for a short stint in the Octagon Motel (now the Hotel Saville of South Yarra), new Melbourne-based manager Michael Browning set them up in a dwelling (since demolished) at 6 Lansdowne Road, East St Kilda.  It would later be nominated by music magazine Mojo as a contender for music history’s “vilest den of depravity”. Bassist Mark Evans has recalled the presence of a brothel “over the back fence” and for the group’s founding members, Malcolm and Angus Young, this house of hookers, Hare Krishna’s and policeman provided an unforgettable first experience of life outside the family home. 

The brothers stood little chance of keeping up with the antics of their lead singer.  Bon Scott had attended Primary School in Melbourne’s western suburbs prior to relocating to Western Australia with his family and had already returned to Melbourne once - in the late 60s as a member of The Valentines, later described by Michael Browning as “a satin-clad, bell-bottom-wearing teen-bop band”.  In 1975, Bon busied himself with sexual conquests, a near-fatal drug overdose and being beaten up by the father of a 17-year old female acquaintance.  Debauchery would have a new address later in the year when the band relocated to the Freeway Gardens Motel in North Melbourne, reportedly the locale of the bedroom encounter that inspired Bon Scott to pen the group’s live favourite Whole Lotta Rosie.