Tragedies and Triumphs in 1980

Yes, I know it should be the other way around but I always like to start with the bad and end with the good, I think most people are inclined to do the same. Therefore, I will start with the tragedy. Unless you’ve been living on Pluto, you would have known of the tragic death of AC/DC singer Bon Scott.

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

It was in 1980 when Bon Scott lost his battle with acute alcohol poisoning. To many AC/DC fans, his death couldn’t have come at a worse time as the band was just reaching the zenith of their popularity. Many doomsayers predicted that it would spell the end of the band, thank God they were proved wrong. In fact, that proof would come that very same year and I will be going there in a future post. But even after thirty-three years, the memory of Bon Scott carries on. His contribution to his band and to music as a whole will carry on forever.

Now for the triumph:

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

We nearly lost another famous rocker in 1980 as well when Jefferson Starship rhythm guitarist and founding member Paul Kantner suffered a cerebral brain haemorrhage. At first, things weren’t looking too well and doctors thought that he would need an operation as at thirty-nine, most people don’t survive a haemorrhage without one. Triumphantly, for Kantner and for rock, he would later go on to joke that is stay in hospital was more a vacation as he never needed the operation.

Some of you are itching to tell me of one other tragedy that occurred in 1980 and the reason why I am not mentioning it on this post is because that tragedy shook the entire world so much, that I feel it needs its own post. It also happened at the end of the year so I thought it would be a fitting remembrance to finish my tour of 1980 with it.

Next post: Bob Dylan- Saved

R.I.P. Bon Scott

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4 Responses to “Tragedies and Triumphs in 1980”

  1. Didn’t know about Kantner’s near fatal haemorrhage. Thanks fotr that info. As terrible as Bon Scott’s death was, for me the worst part of 1980 was the death of John Bonham, which shook this 14-year-old to his core. He was my drumming hero & biggest inspiration. Tickets for Zeppelin’s US tour were about to go on sale, and his death meant that I would never get to see them live (even though I’ve seen the three surviving members individually numerous times). I realize John Lennon’s murder overshadowed everything that year, and it did affect me, but 33 years later I still commemorate Mr. Bonham on September 25 by cranking some Zeppelin and playing my drums (which I do regularly anyway).


    • God, I can’t believe I totally forgot about the death of John Bonham. I thank you for saving me from looking totally stupid. I blame being on sea duty at the time when news came in drips and drabs. That’s how I heard about Kantner’s near fatal haemorrhage. I do feel for you about not getting to see Zeppelin live. The same thing happened to my friend in ’77. He had tickets to see them at JFK in Philadelphia before Led Zeppelin had to call off the tour on account of the death of Robert Plant’s son. I will tribute a future post to the death of John Bonham in the future. Although it wasn’t difficult, full marks for guessing John Lennon.


  2. I didn’t know about Kantner’s illness either. Thanks for posting.

    RIP Bon — Dirty Deeds was one of the first rock songs I ever heard.


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