In 1980 AC/DC were considering splitting up. Their lead singer, Bon Scott had died and they weren't sure whether to continue as a band. However, in April the Young brothers reconvened and decided they should try and put some new music together. So the search for a new singer was on!
Noddy Holder was approached but turned them down because he didn't want to leave Slade, thankfully the band got word that a certain Geordie was in town to record a Hoover ad and they should give him a try.
Johnson has posted a new video to his Brian Johnson TV YouTube channel explaining the ‘definitive story’ of how he joined AC/DC following Bon Scott’s untimely death.
In the four-minute clip, Brian said he was at home in Newcastle when he got a mysterious call from a German lady asking him to audition for an unnamed band.
“The phone rang, and I picked it up and it was this lady with a German accent,” Brian said. “She was going (puts on German accent) ‘Iz ziss Brian Johnson?’ I said, ‘It is. Who is this?’
“And she said, ‘Ziss I cannot say. We are wanting you to come to London and to sing with the band to audition.’ I said, ‘Which band?’ She said, ‘Ziss I cannot say also.'”
Brian continued: “I said ‘well, I’m not coming down to London. I’ve already been bitten by the music bug with Geordie.’ Three years in Geordie and I came away with not a penny in my pocket. I said, ‘I’m not going to do it again.’”
Even though the lady let slip that the band in question was AC/DC, brassic Brian still wasn’t interested, adding: “I said ‘Y’know what, no. They’re a great band and all that but I’m too old. I’m 32, I’m past my sell by date. They’ll not be interested. It will be a waste of time.’”
However, just an hour after shunning AC/DC, Brian got a phone call from André Jacquemin who asked him if he’d like to come down to London to record a TV advert for Hoover.
Offered £350 for the advert (around £1,500 in today’s money), Brian said he jumped at the chance and called the German lady back to schedule the AC/DC audition to coincide with his Hoover ad trip. The rest, they say, is history.
Watch the full clip, which features some astounding German and Cockney accents from Brian, below.