Bon Scott

On February 15th, 1980 I was in the Warrington Pub in Maida Vale, London. It was my local. You got quite a few rock stars come in there. One reason was that it was frequented by roadies but also some of them lived in the area.

Souixsie from Souixsie and the Banshees used to go in there. Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols went in there. He wrote all the songs but they kicked him out because he liked the Beatles. Sid Vicious lived there too. Indeed it was in his muse flat in Maida Vale that his girlfriend Nancy Spungen died.

Rick Wakeman sometimes came in. Indeed he came in one New Year’s Eve with his Page 3 girlfriend (I think it was Jilly Johnson) and played some songs on the piano there to bring in the New Year.

Graham Nash

In the every mansion block where I lived The Hollies used to live there including Graham Nash, later to join supergroup Crosby, Still, Nash and Young.

Indeed one of the guys we used to chat to regularly in the Warrington was Les Grey, the lead singer of Mud who had a number one with Tiger Feet. I remember he was away for a while and when I saw him again I asked him where he had been. “We were on a tour of Gibraltar” he said. I wondered how you could do a tour of Gibraltar.

There were other ones too who came.

That Fateful Night

On 15 February 1980 I was in the Warrington in the middle of the pub sitting down round a table chatting to some friends and having a few beers. It would have been sometime after 9pm which was when I tended to go out.

The guys standing next to me kept moving around a lot and seemed a little frenetic. They kept bumping into me and not just little nudges. I had the impression that they were on something as they were giggling and hyper. I gave them a few stares each time they did it to no effect.

I said to the guys I was with “If they bump into me once more I’m going to say something”.


“Do you not know who they are?” asked one of my friends. “No, and I don’t care either” I replied.

“That’s the guys from AC/DC. That’s Bon Scott who keeps bumping into you”.

They did bump into me a few more times but I put up with it. I would have been looked as a bit of a spoilsport to have gone up to them to complain or to say something to the pub manager.

Closing Time

I went on drinking with my friends and they went on drinking amongst themselves till closing time at 11pm. The guy who ran the bar, a guy from Belfast (his name was Mike I think) was pretty strict and never ever gave anyone a drink even a second after the last bell has started. It could be quite annoying.

I think you got something like 20 minutes drinking up time in England (compared to 10 in Scotland). They then clear people out quite quickly.

I saw Bon Scott go up to the manager well after closing time and asked him for a bottle of whisky (I think it was Jack Daniels from memory) to take away.

They were standing right beside me up close to the bar. I remember thinking “He’s got no chance”.


To my surprise the manager said he would get him a bottle, which he did. That must have been the first time he had ever done that. I remember saying to my friends “Did you see that? He never gives us anything”.

They went off and we all went home. I thought nothing more of it till I heard the news the next night. It said that the lead singer of AC/DC had been found dead in a car outside the house of a friend with an empty bottle of whisky beside him.

I remember the news saying that he was found at 7:45. I had always assumed that was in the morning but my research now shows it was in the evening.

No Mention

I did a quick bit of research on Google before I did this article and found that there is no mention of them being in the Warrington that night.

It said that they were at Dingwall’s in Camden Town and the Music Machine. They were night clubs and places that you go to later after the pubs shut.

I’ve been to Dingwall’s many times. Indeed I remember meeting John Conteh there who was World Light Heavyweight Champion at the time – but that’s another story.

Closed Up

It seems that the other members of the band have closed ranks about that night. There are no reports of them being in the Warrington that night, even by his biographer – although one report said that they had headed to Maida Vale at one point as one of them had a flat there.

The report said that this was probably mistaken as Bon Scott had a flat in Victoria not Maida Vale. However, their roadies lived in Maida Vale. I knew some of them. It was most likely they did go to Maida Vale to meet up with one or more of their roadies.

No Doubt

I’ve no idea what happened to them after they left the Warrington that night and whether they went elsewhere. However, there’s absolutely no doubt that they were there. The whole pub and all the staff knew about it and were talking about it.

Bon Scott was certainly there at around 11:15pm and I estimate they must have come in at around 10pm.

This had never come out in any articles about it. A lot of the staff that worked there were Australians and tended to only stay a while before they went back home. they would not have been traceable by biographers. They would have known AC/DC alright.


Although Maida Vale is a nice area it is also a transitory area. It is an area where you can be anonymous. Terrorists and murderers have also hidden out there before. Hanratty, the last man to be hanged in England hid out there.

I went back there recently when I visited London and there was no one there that I recognised at all even though I used to go there up to the year 2000.


It’s possible that Bon Scott and AC/DC went elsewhere after being in the Warrington. However, it is without doubt that they were there till at least 11:15pm and had been there for at least an hour. It’s also certain that Bon Scott got a bottle of whisky (I’m pretty sure it was Jack Daniels) after closing time.

It’s also certain that he died of alcohol poisoning and was found in his car the next day outside a friend’s flat in Dulwich, with, according to the news report that day, an empty bottle of whisky beside him.

That’s all I know!


I’ve managed to get in touch with an American girl who was studying over in london at the time who was working behind the bar that night (I used to go out with her). She has just contacted me to say:-

Bon Scott was able to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels from the Warrington. This was so unusual but I knew the AC/DC and the members of YES could get away with purchasing something that was not off-sale.

“I don’t think the Warrington had anything off-sale or a license. I don’t think I was working that long into February but do have this knowledge.. I know this”.

There you have it. It’s not in the official story of Bon Scott’s death – but it happened.

Where It Happened

If you look at the 4th picture on the top row of the Warrington picture gallery and look at the bottom of the stairs you will see a marble pillar. Bon Scott and the other members of Ac/DC were standing beside the marble pole and I was sitting in a seat at the table beside them.

If you now look at the first picture in the 3rd row Bon Scott was standing just about the middle of the bar where the pumps are when he asked for, and got, the bottle of Jack Daniels. I was about a yard away from him.