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| 16 February 2018 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar


Expat local Rose Carleo cut her teeth singing and playing guitar in Perth and Fremantle’s pubs and clubs as a teen, and she’s returning home this weekend with new husband Mick Adkins in tow for a series of shows as part of the Bonfest celebration of former AC/DC frontman Bon Scott. Rose plays the Remembering Bon Scott Luncheon on Friday, 16th February in solo acoustic mode, then they appear together with both the Rose Carleo Band and as part of Raise The Flag on Saturday, 17th February for the Jailbreak concert at the old Fremantle Prison.



In town to play shows for the annual Bon Scott celebration BONFEST, both Rose and Mick say they have strong ties to AC/DC’s music from their formative years forward.

“My older brother was a huge AC/DC fan and my Mum was too,” Carleo recalls. “While I got the blame from the neighbours for playing AC/DC loudly, it was actually my Mum cranking the stereo! My brother had a Monaro and you could hear him coming home a few blocks away, V8 rumbling behind the thud of Phil Rudd’s drums.”

“As a kid I was fascinated with aircraft and had every intention of becoming a pilot,” Adkins remembers. “That all changed the first time I heard Back In Black. I was actually on work experience with a small domestic airline when I heard the bells toll after lowering the needle on that life-changing vinyl disc. Later I got bailed up by the school principal when my grades dropped and he was not impressed when I said I was going to play in a rock band.

“A couple of decades later I’m on stage with [former AC/DC drummer and bassist] Simon Wright and Mark Evans. Mark regaled some great stories of Bon in the tour bus. Two of my favourite AC/DC stories actually come from non-musos – one where my friend Bernie saw Bon use a snooker cue to take out a thug who was hassling him in a Melbourne club, and the other where my mate Wayne was unceremoniously ejected from a Melbourne pub after trying to make Angus ‘pay’ for a jug of beer he’d knocked off Wayne’s table while doing his thing!”


AC/DC’s music is so ubiquitous, not only in Australia, but around the world, that it acts as a kind of social lubricant, in a way – uniting people. Do you each have a favourite example of how their music has helped you in your own lives and/or careers?

“For me, there’s always been a comfort when an AC/DC song starts to play,” Carleo says with warm fondness. “Whether it’s on the radio in the car, or on the stereo at home, there’s a familiarity that just feels right. The rhythm section and guitars – it’s down to earth and gritty, you can feel it in your core.”

“As working musicians we’re not just playing band gigs – we have our acoustic duo, and Rose often plays solo acoustic,” explains Adkins. “Sometimes when playing the acoustic duo there are gigs that are a tad quiet due to a footy final, cold weather or whatever and we sort of look at each other and nod knowingly. I’ll start Highway To Hell and as soon as Rose sings the first line somehow what felt like an empty room almost immediately becomes filled with like-minded punters who materialise from out of nowhere and then it’s on for the rest of the evening.

“In regard to my career,” he adds, “I guess that my rhythm playing was something that was unconsciously borne from listening to AC/DC. There’s a purity to the band’s rhythm section that is so primal and spatial. The adage ‘less is more’ is so true in that respect.

“I’m most looking forward to taking in the atmosphere of everyone’s love and appreciation of Bon, and his legacy to the history of Australian rock music.”

Category: Interviews

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