JAMES Morley’s trip home to Perth next month will be bittersweet.
The guitarist is coming back as part of the ‘Bon But Not Forgotten’ AC/DC tribute show, honouring the band’s late singer Bon Scott.
But the band received a hammer blow on May 24 when its guitarist Phil Emmanuel, one Australia’s greatest players, passed away aged 65 after a severe asthma attack.
The band, which features Morley and former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, will go through with the tour in honour of their fallen mate.
“I’d been speaking to Phil a lot over the last few months,” Morley said.
“It was really out of the blue, totally unexpected; I’d spoken to him about 48 hours prior to the news coming through.
“His favourite song of all time is Riff Raff, and every time he’d ring me up he’d start singing to me. I’d be serenaded by the first verse of Riff Raff.
“We’re doing this tour in his honour; one of the shows in Sydney, part-proceeds from the show are going to go to Phil’s family.”
Morley began his musical life as a drummer, before moving to bass and eventually guitar.
His career involved a three-year stint as The Angels bassist, playing on their 1989 album Beyond Salvation, which went to number 1 in Australia.
While the Perth show will be an undoubted highlight, there may be an even bigger one the night before when Morley celebrates his 50th birthday with friends and family.
“The night before the gig we’re having a bit of a party; I’m going to have to watch my beer intake,” he said.