It was a long way to the top for Port Pirie's own AC-DC super fan.

BACK IN BLACK: AC-DC super fan John Simpson, right, meets one of his idols, the band's original bass player Mark Evans. Mr Simpson has met every living member of the famous Australian rock band.
BACK IN BLACK: AC-DC super fan John Simpson, right, meets one of his idols, the band's original bass player Mark Evans. Mr Simpson has met every living member of the famous Australian rock band.

For those about to read this, we salute you.

It was Rock or Bust for avid AC-DC fan John Simpson when he overcame the odds to travel to the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel in Adelaide to see Bon But Not Forgotten, an AC-DC tribute band. A 'world class' salute to the music of the late Bon Scott and AC-DC, the band is made up of some of Australia's most revered artists. 

Mr Simpson was in the front row during the show with his hands “right on the stage”. Afterwards his friend and manager of the tribute band arranged for the members to come out and meet him.

Mr Simpson has been an enormous fan of AC-DC “since he was in nappies”.

The tribute band is made up of AC-DC members Mark Evans, original bass player from 1975 to 1977, and Simon Wright, drummer from 1983 to 1989 as well as Anthony ‘Skenie’ Skene, from the Aussie rock band The Poor, and James Morley, bass player from The Angels. Mr Simpson has been an enormous fan of AC-DC “since he was in nappies”.

His mum gave him merchandise from the year AC-DC were formed (1973), and his collection has been avidly growing ever since. At the gig, Evans signed a guitar pick and Wright signed a drumstick.

The two were the only members of AC-DC who Mr Simpson had yet to meet except for Bon Scott himself – "I will have to wait for heaven for that one," he said. “They're all genuine, really nice people,” he said.

Mr Simpson has been down the Highway to Hell, suffering two strokes and living with spina bifida. His second stroke severed his spine in two places and left him temporarily paralysed from the neck down.

After undertaking physiotherapy for a year-and-a-half, Mr Simpson had to relearn how to walk and now uses a walker to get around. But nothing will hinder this ardent fan. The pain and exhaustion he endures almost stopped him from going to the tribute show that changed his life, but Mr Simpson “never gives up”.

In the past 20 years he has maintained a good friendship with the legendary Angus Young, original guitarist and founding member. He now has a photo with all of the living members including a "selfie" with Angus who commented on Mr Simpson's good fortune by saying, “nobody, and I mean nobody gets a 'selfie' with Angus Young".

His love for the band is so that he even has an Angus Young tattoo on his left forearm. The rock star signed his arm to be tattooed as well. “It didn't hurt at all after what I have been through”, he said, Hard as a Rock.

When asked his opinion of the famous band's split last year he replied with a Stiff Upper Lip, “It's pretty sad to admit, but rock 'n' roll is dead forever”. 

In the future he hopes to travel to Fremantle to take a photo at Bon Scott’s grave – It Was A Long Way To The Top...