AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson‘s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the 75-year-old says there was a time he had all but given up on music — until another rock legend gave him some life-changing advice.
Speaking with The West Australian newspaper about his just-released autobiography, The Lives of Brian, Johnson recalls his life before joining AC/DC, when he quit his job as an engineer to focus on music. He fronted a band named Geordie that scored a single top-ten hit, enough to convince Johnson that he was on his way to stardom — until the bottom fell out.
“At the age of 28, I’d lost everything. My marriage, my career, my house,” Johnson recalls, adding, “I’d had my shot and blown it.”
Even so, Johnson formed another band, working non-music jobs, including installing car windshields, to help pay the bills. But it was while he was living with the other band members in a single apartment that The Who‘s Roger Daltrey, already a rock legend, invited them over to dinner at his country manor.
“He said, ‘I’m going to give you one piece of advice, Brian,” Johnson recalls. “Never give up. Do you understand me? Never, ever give up’.”
“And I really took that to heart,” says Johnson. “He’s probably forgotten that he said that, but I didn’t.”
Not long after that, Johnson was invited to audition for the AC/DC frontman spot after original lead singer Bon Scott‘s death. And the rest, as we all know, is rock and roll history.
The Lives of Brian is available everywhere now.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.