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‘That Metal Show’ Recap: AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Calls Playing in Bon Scott’s Shadow a ‘Friendly Thing’

Brian Johnson
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

AC/DC singer Brian Johnson was the guest on this week’s ‘That Metal Show,’ wearing his signature newsboy cap and all. He was candid about his relationship to the late Bon Scott, whom he replaced in one of hard rock’s most beloved acts.

First, the vocalist recalled singing ‘Shot Down in Flames’ twice during a live gig in Holland during his early days. He joked that seasoned fans noticed him singing the wrong words, looking at him with the “He’s f—ing useless” stare.

Johnson also spoke about the recording process for ‘Back in Black,’ which is the No. 2 top-selling album of all time. He recollected, “I never sang like that before. Being out there was a strange thing. We only had six weeks, since there was a shortage of cash in the band and the record company was saying, ‘We want it out now.’” He also described writing the lyrics to ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ in a small room with a toilet and watching his hand move across the yellow legal pad and spilling the lyrics onto the page. Afterwords, he said, “Wow” and went for a glass of whiskey.

Johnson also said playing in the shadow of the late Bon Scott, whose boots he filled, was always a friendly thing for him, the band and Scott’s family, but the press tried to turn it into something negative. He said that Scott’s family, namely his mother and brothers, accepted him from the first gig on. While on an early tour, he also was happy to have images of Scott flash behind him during ‘High Voltage.’ He even requested that it be an image of Scott smiling.

He said there might be a new album next year and expects it to be a a fun one like ‘Black Ice’ was.

Also, in ‘The Throwown’ segment, Johnson was asked which of the Bon Scott-era AC/DC albums is the best, with Johnson choosing ‘Powerage,’ since “it was raw AC/DC.”

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