An early shot of AC/DC with vocalist Brian Johnson (pictured in the center).
I recently got into a profound internal dialog about AC/DC’s post-Bon Scott days, which, as much as my heart will always belong to Bon, were still very formative for me. It’s also a bonafide fact that Brian Johnson himself helped give us another 34 years of music from one of the greatest rock bands fucking ever. Honestly, just think for a minute about it this way—imagine if 1980’s Back in Black never got made. It could have happened. But as usual, I’ve digressed away from the awesomeness that is this post—that time back in 1980 that Johnson got a call from the folks at the Hoover Vacuum company about recording a jingle for one of their television commercials.
According to Johson, he was offered “350 quid” (or about $700 at the time) with residuals to do the commercial for Hoover, on the very same day he got the call from a representative of his future bandmates in AC/DC about auditioning as Bon Scott’s replacement. In an entirely awesome turn of events, after Johnson came in and recorded the most metal jingle of all time for Hoover, he walked across the street to Vanilla Studios where AC/DC was holding their auditions. As Johnson recalls, he opened the door to the studio where Angus, Malcolm, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams were jamming announcing himself as “Brian from Newcastle.” Malcolm brought the weary Johnson a bottle of beer which he immediately sucked down to get into the mood. The band then asked him what he might like to sing for them to which Johnson suggested “Nutbush City Limits” the ass-kicking 1973 single from Ike & Tina Turner. Johnson was offered the dream gig a few days later. I’ve posted Johnson’s Hoover commercial below in all its goddamn glory which should be turned up as loud as possible.
A photo of Angus, Malcolm, Cliff, and Phil allegedly at Vanilla Studios where they held auditions for a new vocalist.
The Hoover commercial for the “Hoover High Power Compact” vacuum with Johnson’s vocals in the jingle, 1980.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Kenneth, what is the frequency?’ The weird connection between AC/DC and the 1986 Dan Rather assault
Big Balls: Rarely seen, intimate photos of AC/DC taken back in the 70s
Blistering footage of a young AC/DC blowing the roof off the sucker in 1978
She’s Got Big Balls: Bon Scott gets in drag for AC/DC’s very first TV appearance, 1975
Ultra-rare AC/DC promotional songbook full of sheet music, comics & photos from 1976