After Bon Scott’s death AC/DC invited Geordie singer Brian Johnson for the band and recorded “Back In Black” album in 1980. In an interview with 95.5 KLOS, guitarist Angus Young recalled that Bon Scott once praised Brian Johnson.
Angus Young recalls Bon Scott once praised Brian Johnson:
“Bon had been in a band that had toured in Britain. They were opening for the band Brian was in, which was a band called Geordie. Anyhow, they were gigging away, and as Bon told the story, he was saying he was listening to Geordie performing and listening to Brian, and then he heard this screaming.”
“He said it sounded great — he said it sounded like Little Richard was on the stage. He said this guy [was] howling and yelling. And then he said then he saw the guy on the floor. Bon thought it was great — it was the best act he had seen, and a singer, in a long time. But what he didn’t know, afterwards he found out, Brian had an attack of appendicitis. But Bon thought it was part of the act. He thought, ‘This guy is incredible.’ ‘And he was still hittin’ these high notes,” Angus Young said.
In an interview with BBC Radio back in 2020, Brian Johnson recalled when he heard the news about Bon Scott’s death. The musician also talked about the experience of recording “Back In Black” with the band.
“I remember I was in a car with my friend when the radio went on and said, ‘Today, Bon Scott, the singer, was found dead in the back of a car…’ And I went, ‘Oh, no, you’ve got to be kidding me!’ In the little rock band, I was in Newcastle, we did ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and ‘Highway to Hell,’ we finished the set with it because everybody went crazy for it.
“I was just awful! And it wasn’t until about two weeks later, I got a telephone call – because I was off the radar from the first band, I was way off the radar. And I was 32 years old. In those days, I was way too old.”
He continued, saying:
“I didn’t realize Bon was 33. So the whole thing of joining was well documented, getting through there and seeing the boys… I just sang two songs with them – that was it! I don’t know, there was something that explores what has happened in here, that was just an unexplained mystery. You kind of figure it – nobody’s that smart, but it’s there or it isn’t.
“So that was another story and then going to the Bahamas [to record 1980’s ‘Back in Black’]! I’ve never been to the Bahamas, I didn’t know where the hell it was. We got there and at the time, I had two t-shirts, one pair of jeans, one pair of sneakers, and a denim jacket. That was it!
“And that’s how I went out to do ‘Back in Black.’ They didn’t have much money, and I just remember that being one of the happiest times I think I’ve had my life. Working with these guys, listening to these guys fire up, and just go, ‘By God, these guys are good!’