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(Credit: Ralph Arvesen)


Lars Ulrich's favourite singer of all time


Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has been in the rock business for the majority of his life, and he’s played on bills with thousands of bands across his career, but there’s one singer he’s who has stood out to him as a cut above the rest.

For Ulrich, no singer has come close to replicating the brilliance of the late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, who put a spell on the drummer when he saw them live in the 1970s. Growing up in Denmark prevented Ulrich from frequently seeing rock ‘n’ roll in the flesh, but when stadium rock bands came to town, Ulrich made sure he was in attendance.

Ulrich’s first concert was a Deep Purple show when he was 10; from that moment, he was hooked for life. During his adolescence, he was fortunate to catch legendary acts such as Thin Lizzy and Motörhead in their absolute pomp. However, the two occasions he caught AC/DC live stuck with him the most vividly.

He once recalled: “I saw AC/DC open for Black Sabbath in 1976. And I saw AC/DC headline in Copenhagen in ’77, and Bon Scott was so great, you couldn’t take your eyes off him. That was Bon in his heyday, with the tight jeans, the tennis shoes, the shirt off.

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich’s favourite band of all time

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“And I loved the way he would hold the mic with the cord rolled up two or three times. And he would stand out there at the very edge of the stage when he wasn’t singing, stand over on Malcolm’s side and let Angus bounce around in front of him.”

Speaking about the most important pieces of music from his life with Classic Rock, Ulrich again waxed lyrical about the mercurial talent of Scott, who he believes to be the greatest to ever pick up a microphone.

He dotingly said: “Bon Scott was the coolest singer ever – the vocal delivery, the tongue-in-cheek double entendres and the magnetic personality. Those early AC/DC records – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Let There Be Rock, Powerage, Highway To Hell – are just fucking timeless.”

When Ulrich watched AC/DC, they were upstarts who still had a point to prove and hunger in their stomach. Managing to leave a mark on audience members, who had paid exclusively to see Black Sabbath, is a hurdle most bands wouldn’t be able to jump. Yet, Scott’s electric performance allowed the Australian group to return to Copenhagen the following year as headliners.

Tragically, Scott’s life was robbed from him in 1980 when he was 33, and for a while, it seemed AC/DC would die too. Replacing him seemed impossible, but somehow, Brian Johnson managed to fill that void and successfully keep those songs alive the late Scott crafted.