Project Description

Interview with

JAMES MORLEY (The Angels)

from

“BON BUT NOT FORGOTTEN”

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Bon But Not Forgotten pays tribute to all the songs performed by Bon Scott with AC/DC. Each show has a slightly different line-up by way of special guest artists spearheaded by James Morley of The Angels

The band features 3 former AC/DC members and other Aussie rock icons. Delivering an explosive repertoire and the most natural sounding AC/DC performance of any band; other than AC/DC themselves. The line up features the talents of Simon Wright (ex-AC/DC), Mark Evans (ex-AC/DC), Tony Currenti (ex-AC/DC), James Morley (The Angels), Skenie (The Poor).

One of our interviewers, Julie, caught up with James recently and asked him some questions. 

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Bon But Not Forgotten

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In July, Bon But Not Forgotten will be paying tribute to Bon Scott by performing the AC/DC songs he sang the lead on. I will be attending your gig at the Bridge Hotel in Rozelle, I can’t wait! Why do you think so many fans and musos, especially Aussie fans and musos, continue to mourn Bon’s loss?

I don’t think it’s a case of mourning his loss anymore, it’s a celebration of his time in AC/DC. Fans come because of their love of Bon and their love of AC/DC. It’s certainly not a somber affair.
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To what degree do you believe Bon contributed to hard rock internationally?

Bon influenced many international singers, primarily his lyrics, which were cheeky, fun, but also very well constructed. I think His free spirited nature rubbed off on people too. 
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I am so glad you have formed this band because I can’t wait to see the gig. Whose idea was it to create Bon But Not Forgotten and what was the motivation?

I came up with the idea about 5 years ago, and each year we have had different guest artists from Australia and the world. Dave Gleeson, Angry Anderson, and of course Mark Evans and Simon Wright from AC/DC.
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Do you have any favourite songs you love to perform?

My favourite song to play is Down Payment Blues. The best song off my favourite ever album Powerage.
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Bon Scott
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Brian Johnson has done an incredible job taking over the lead vocals. And as far as I am aware, since he took the lead role, he has maintained a dignified silence where Bon is concerned. However, do you think he may have felt, over the years that he never “measured up” to Bon’s legacy and Bon’s continued popularity?

Brian carved his own niche within the band, globally he has been accepted with open arms. There are still some Aussies that don’t accept brian as part of the team, but I think that’s because they are and Aussie band, and people here are fiercely loyal to Bon. 

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You perform with different line-ups and guest artists. Is it as fun and rewarding for all of the musos who have played with you as I imagine it to be?

It’s a great feeling to perform with the other amazing players that have joined us over the years, there was only ever 1 player that didn’t respect what we were doing, but everyone else has been excited to be involved, and done a great job. 

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Given AC/DC fans know the words to every song, do they sing and shout along like one big Acca Dacca choir?

They do, it’s great, it feels like we are one big army of singers. Handy if the singer forgets a lyric too ! 
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Like so many live music fans, I enjoy cover bands, especially when the members are as accomplished as you and the other members you perform with. It’s a great opportunity to sing and dance along with songs we’ve grown up with if the actual band isn’t touring Australia any time soon or they no longer perform. Why do you believe so many tribute bands are so popular? Is it related, at least in part, to nostalgia?

We aren’t a tribute band as such, we don’t do the dress up as Angus thing, we just do justice to the songs as best we can. But there are many different forms of tribute band in Australia, and as long as people are heading out to see live music, the better it is for everyone. 

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Bon Scott

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It must make sense for the clubs that book these types of bands as well. I’m sure it costs less to hire a tribute band than the original.

Most bands these days will put their own finances together in order to put on shows at a certain level. It’s not cheap to do, but the rewards both on and off stage can be great. With this particular show, I couldn’t care less about the financial side of things, this is one of those occasions where it’s all about the buzz. 

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Do any of the lead guitarists dress in school gear like Angus? Or would that be considered sacrilege?

No!

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Do you know how any of the AC/DC bandmates feel about, or respond to, AC/DC tribute gigs?

I know they have seen a few in their time, chatting to a couple of them, it doesn’t really bother them. It’s a form of flattery after all.

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Is it purely Bon Scott performances or do you throw in (some much loved) Angels songs? I play The Angels and AC/DC cds in my car quite frequently. What can I say? I love Aussie rock.

It’s all ACDC in this show, it’s all about celebrating Bon and his time in the band.

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Bon But Not Forgotten

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Have you seen the all-girl AC/DC tribute band ThundHerStruck or any other AC/DC tribute bands?

I have seen a few, but not the all girl band, I know there’s one in America Chris Slade has played with a few times, I’ve seen a little footage. The school uniform looked better than Angus’s.

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Let’s talk about the music for a moment. When you’re in a tribute band, obviously your music will be picked apart and compared to the original. So how did Bon But Not Forgotten sculpt your sound and your stage performances?

Its a very natural show. We just play how we play, and it just happens to sound like the original songs, but there’s no mimicking onstage, it’s just dirty pub rock.

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Do you believe, quite simply, that AC/DC remains such a musical force, not only because of their explosive stage performances, but because their songs are so well crafted?

ACDC is a brand, a band, and an institution,the dedication to their craft is what has made them last so long, and influence so many. They are one of very few bands in history that have achieved this.
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AMNPLIFY – DB

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