April 19, 1980: Brian Johnson Joins AC/DC

On this date in 1980, 32 year-old, Brian Johnson was officially named Lead Singer of AC/DC just two months after the death of founding front man, Bon Scott. As it turned out, it was Scott who had pointed Angus and Malcolm in the direction of Johnson years earlier. During their British Band heydays in the early '70's the two legendary frontmen would often play on the same bill. In a 2011 interview with the New York Post, Johnson revealed that he “had a terrible case of appendicitis, and I went down on my side, kicking and going, ‘Ooh!’ But I kept on singing. Apparently, [Bon later] told the boys, ‘I saw this guy Brian Johnson sing, and he was great. He was on the floor, kicking and screaming — what an act!’ Of course, it wasn’t an act. I was really ill.”

That gig would ultimately help the Young brothers narrow their search and the whole process came together very quickly. Within two weeks of joining the Band, Johnson began recording sessions for Back in Black. For more on this monumental rock transition, here's the Man himself followed by an excerpt from VH1's "Behind the Music" ..

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Kenny Young

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