AC/DC released Let There Be Rock in 1977. The album’s closing track is the iconic “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Over 45 years after the album’s release, it looks like we finally know what the actual Rosie looks like.
Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC and Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’, has published a photo of Rosie via his personal website. The photo, which can be seen here, shows Rosie sitting behind a man named Graeme Fry. Fink notes, “[Former AC/DC bassist] Mark Evans was right: she had red hair. She’s also far less gargantuan than the song makes out, but Bon [Scott] was a born yarn-spinner.”
Fink writes he’s been approached a number of times with alleged details about Rosie. However, none of these details panned out until a woman who Fink doesn’t name came forward in 2021. Fink says, “She’d known Rosie personally and her story checked out.”
Sadly, the story of the real-life Rosie is a very tragic tale. The woman that reached out to Fink about Rosie said, “Rosie was Rosemaree Garcia and Mark Evans was right: she had a mass of red curly hair and was nothing like the [stage] doll. I can also tell you she died of a heroin overdose back in 1979, which is why she’s never come forward.”
The unnamed woman further noted, “Rosie had a very sad life. She was born in Tasmania but lived and died in St Kilda. I’m not sure if she met Bon in Tassie or in Melbourne. St Kilda was known for having bands stay and play there, and many lived there as well. I know she went back to Tasmania for a while. Rosie became a heroin addict and prostitute to support her habit.”
Fink cites author Dean Goodman, who tracked down Rosie’s death certificate. The death certificate state Rosie, who is identified as Rose-Maree Carroll (Garcia), died on March 2, 1979 in Prahran, Melbourne, Australia. She was only 22.