It’s been 42 years since the release of one of the greatest rock albums of all time, AC/DC’s Back in Black.
And in the four decades since, English singer Brian Johnson has been dogged by a “conspiracy theory” about who penned the 1980s hit.
Rumors persist that the late Bon Scott, who fronted the Aussie band before his death in February 1980, “scribbled most of the album’s words in one of his notebooks before he died.”
But Johnson, now 75, who took over as frontman after Scott’s death at 33, has addressed the myth in his new book, Brian’s life.
While the song stemmed from Scott telling a story to his bandmates about his landlord’s complaints about the volume of his music, AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Angus Young has previously said they ended up not using any of his lyrics to keep them from looking at him. as if they were taking advantage of his untimely death.
“I know there’s a person who was a conspiracy theorist who kept saying, Well, Bon wrote this text,” says Johnson, per The Daily Telegraph.
“What band would let someone else claim someone else’s lyrics? I mean it’s just absolute bullshit. And that’s why I put it in the book, to say once and for all, those lyrics came out of the end of my hand with a pen in it.
“There are people who just don’t want to believe what is true. And I felt terrible after writing it down (in the book), but it had been on my nerves for so long. I still enjoy listening to Bon’s fantastic lyrics, his double entendres, his funny jokes… I couldn’t.”
Brothers Angus and the late Malcolm Young, as well as Johnson, are credited as the writers of all tracks on AC/DC’s seventh studio album, Back in black.
The legendary album was released just five months after Scott’s death, and three months after Johnson officially joined the band, which didn’t help defuse the conspiracy theory.
It was a complete musical work of art, which would become one of the best-selling albums in history, and was recorded in just seven weeks in the Bahamas from April to May 1980.
AC/DC was first formed in 1973 in Sydney by the Young brothers, who released their debut album with drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Mark Evans. High voltage in 1975.
Current members include Johnson, Rudd, Angus Young, Cliff Williams and Stevie Young, who took over as guitarist after his uncle Malcolm Young left the band for health reasons in 2014. Malcolm died of dementia in 2017.