preface to the 2007 edition of highway to hell
I’ve always said it was easy writing Highway to Hell. I mean, when you’ve got material this good, it’d be hard to fuck it up. I remember when I first started on it in the early 1990s, always feeling as if I should be looking over my shoulder, because here was this amazing story just sitting there, untouched – I couldn’t believe I had it all to myself! But I am flattered the book has struck such a chord it’s never gone out of print and is still selling. Consequently, out of a respect for the life of its own the book seems to have taken on, I’ve been disinclined, through its various editions, to tamper much with it, even for all the faults I still find so glaring. But for this new edition, apart from the usual bit of panel-beating here and there, it became necessary to significantly rewrite the last chapter and the epilogue. This was for two reasons: Firstly, even though – as I take some pride – my original reconstruction of Bon’s last night on earth was always essentially correct, despite the pressures of various erstwhile conspiracy theories, when the 25th anniversary of his death in 2005 finally prompted mystery man Alistair Kinnear (who spent that night with Bon) to come out with a very belated public statement, I was able to more assertively flesh out the details in the last chapter. Secondly, with the almost exponential way that Back in Black, AC/DC’s first post-Bon album and their tribute to him, has grown in stature (in sales and influence), the questions that still surround its genesis are made all the more pressing, and so in the epilogue I’ve looked even more deeply into that.
Ultimately though, re-reading the book, I was struck all over again by this amazing character and his amazing story. I am confident that new readers will find the same because the power of that is such it can survive any of my inadequacies as a writer. There’s no doubt – Bon (still) Lives!