AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson recalled in an interview with BBC Radio 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.
Brian Johnson recalls when he heard the news about Bon Scott’s death
“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.”
Yeah, pensioner then!
“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!’
“And meeting Mutt Lange, the producer, who was just brilliant – and he understood how anxious I may be, which is a nice way of putting being scared. Well, I was worried, you know? I was going, ‘Well, I’m in at the deep end, there was no way out!’ I’d only been officially in the band for about three weeks or something! And here I was, out there, and it just went like a blur – that’s all I remember.
“And I was only there six weeks and went home, and there was a gap of about six weeks where I never heard a thing, and I was going, ‘Well, that didn’t work, did it?’ But, of course, the guys were furiously trying to put this thing together in time, and the next thing I knew I got a big envelope with the vinyl record in it. And that was the end of that! When I heard that, I just said, ‘Oh, that’s pretty good!’ And the rest is history. It’s just been brilliant.”