Former AC/DC Bassist Paul Matters Reportedly Dies
Former AC/DC bassist Paul Matters died at home in Australia, author Jesse Fink reported.
Described by the band as a “pretty boy,” he was fired by Bon Scott in 1975 after only being in the group for a matter of weeks, and soon gave up music altogether. He’d lived a reclusive life since then, only speaking about his time in the band once in 40 years.
In Fink’s 2017 book Bon: The Last Highway, Matters said: “I was only with them a short time. I did the High Voltage tour around Australia.” He recalled how Scott dismissed him, saying: “He got out the back of a truck… and he told me I wasn’t going back to Melbourne with them. We were up in Sydney doing a concert for schoolkids. So I didn’t play that day. I just turned around and didn’t say a word to him. I turned around and walked out.”
He said he’d loved playing live but was less at home in the studio. “I was just a bit lazy, I think,” he explained, and went on to report that he’d been upset by being left without money to buy food. “The tour manager came in with a bundle of 20s and he gave $20 out to each of us… He was just going to walk about. And I said, ‘Listen, mate, if you’re not going to give me any money, I’ll go now.’ So he gave me $20.” Matters reported that he was still “gutted” by his treatment, which led to him selling his bass and giving up music. “Every day I kick myself, mate,” he added. “It can be a ruthless business… Money. It can break a person.”
A former colleague in an earlier band, Les Gully, said in the book that Matters “didn’t really fit” AC/DC because he “had strong opinions and sensitivity, and played just what he liked.” A friend, Paul Wescombe, paid tribute by saying: “I recall he could always make me laugh when he was in the mood. After leaving New South Wales I lost contact with him as did many other people over the years. From all reports he lived a reclusive life in his later years and his early rock n' roll life style led to ailing health. He will be missed by all who knew him.”