Happy Birthday Brian Johnson! The AC/DC frontman was born on this day, October 5th, 1947 in Dunston, England.
He replaced Bon Scott on March 29th, 1980, by a phone call from Malcom Young. He was officially announced as Bon’s replacement on April 8th, 1980. Brian is one of four children and grew up in Preston Village, North Shields. His father Alan, was a sergeant major in the British Army, and fought in Africa and Italy during WWII, and then spent the rest of his life working in the coal mines. At the age of 15, Brian left Dunston Hill Secondary School and began an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner and studied engineering at Gateshead Technical College. A couple months later, he was singing with his first band, The Gobi Desert Canoe Club, with some friends at the factory where he worked. The first song he sang in public was Buddy Holly‘s Not Fade Away. He got paid 7 pounds for his performance.
Of course this changed Brian’s life and he would be in bands for the next 20 years. But on March 29th, 1980, Malcolm called Brian and told him that they had a album to do, Back In Black. Brian celebrated by drinking a whole bottle of whiskey!
Brian’s debut with the band was in Namur, Belgium. It was on a Sunday night. June 29th, 1980. They played at The Palais Des Expos. The show started at midnight, 3 hours later than expected. The first song that Brian sang with the band was ‘Hells Bells.’ Brian told ‘Jukes’ Christie Felzer on July 13th, 1991, ‘The second song we did was Shot Down In Flames, and the third one was Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, and I sang the same lyrics for both.’
Unfortunately Brian had to step away from his career with AC/DC due to helath issues. He was with the band for 36 years and wrote and performed relentlessly during that time. From “Back in Black” all the way to “Rock or Bust”, Brian has rocked and rolled like no other! For that, We Salute You! Happy Birthday Brian!