“The following is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.” — Bon Scott
AC/DC has been my favorite band since I was a junior in high school. Before then, I had heard a few of their songs and, at the time, I was not that impressed. It sounded like a lot of noise to me, until I started playing guitar and attempted to form a band with my best friend Bill.
With the exception of Bill (who I hit it off with immediately), I hated most of the people who are now my closest friends when we first met. And so it was with AC/DC. I hated them at first, but once I started to figure out how to play their songs, it became clear to me that they were a great blues-based rock band.
That’s not what saved my life. It was the fact that AC/DC is one of the only bands to survive the loss of their original singer (Dave Evans doesn’t count). This singer was named Bon Scott. The first AC/DC album I had heard was Back in Black, which I later learned was sort of a tribute album to Bon, who had passed away after a night of drinking while the songs that appeared on that album were being written by Malcolm and Angus Young.
The relevant thing to me and my friends was that Bon Scott choked to death on his own vomit. We vowed to never die that way, and as a result we made sure that none of us ever fell asleep on our backs after a night of drinking.
And that is what saved my life. After a night of drinking, I was the drunkest I have ever been in my life. My buddy and I ordered a pizza, wolfed it down, and immediately passed out.
Upon waking the following afternoon, I was amazed that I was not in worse shape. As I raised my head, my eyes focused on the pile of pizza vomit that was on the floor next to the bed. And I realized how close I may have come to dying just like Bon did. I would like to tell you that I never drank again, but that would be a lie. But I never got that drunk again, and I never awoke to another pile of vomit by my bed.