For fans who want to discover more about the life of AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson.
AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Rock icon.
Where to view- Sky Arts
Duration- 44 Mins.
Metallica’s manager’s wife & former MP Louise Mensch takes us behind the scenes of one of the most iconic stars in rock history. Taking us into the private life of humble AC/DC frontman brian Johnson to find out what makes him tick after selling over 200 million Albums.
Brian is one of the world’s biggest rock stars.
Except you wouldn’t think so.
It’s amazing to think that so little is known of the flat capped Geordie who screeched his way across 10 full studio albums to date. Former roofer and ex-Geordie singer, Brian has sold more records than any of his peers and yet his profile is far smaller than say, Gene Simmons or Ozzy Osbourne.
The band AC/DC to date have sold over a colossal 200 million albums, second only to the Beatles. So how has this affected the affable frontman who commands 1000’s of fans at sold out concert arenas?
Well, very little, as Louise Mensch Travells to Florida to meet up with Brian and investigates his background from a rags to riches lifestyle.
Starting the film of by arriving at Brians palatial home in Sarasota, Florida, you can instantly see a backdrop of stunning beauty. A total contrast to his harsh upbringing in Dunston, Newcastle upon Tyne, and the reason why he still wears his flat cap as a reminder of his working class upbringing.
After getting to know a little about him and his wife Brenda who have been married for 27 years and lived in the house for 23, it’s off to play pinball and take a look at brian’s English bar he’s had fitted.
But since this is neither the least bit rock n roll things step up a pace when Brian takes Louise out for a spin on the asphalt at Sebring circuit.
Before she steps into the twin seater, Brian drops in the name of the car he calls the”widow maker” after telling Louise 2 men have died in the car. The devil.
Left shaken after a blast around the circuit she asked him which is the better thrill. AC/DC or racing cars. It’s an interesting question to which he gets most his kicks. ” let me take the fans out for a ride and see”
Getting to know him and trace back his roots brian reveals was born to a hard father and Italian mother-she moved to England after the war, and how he could no longer stay in Newcastle because of the people stuck in their ways.
He couldn’t get comfortable with the idea of working 8-hour shifts in a dead-end factory job and faced the future with a natural enthusiasm to go further. He was looking for something better.
From his earlier singing career with the band Geordie, he had a taste of bitterness when the band Slade passed him at the bus stop in a Daimler. But soon his rise to stardom would eclipse that of the Brummie band after getting a call from Rhythm Guitarist Malcolm Young. That call was to change history.
Still a working class man working on his roofing business, Brian believed it first to be a hoax, but knew something was right when Malc assured him with a second phone call. He downed a bottle of whiskey he had just bought for his father’s birthday to celebrate.
AC/DC’s management had scouted brian and said he was the right man for the job to step into recently deceased Bon Scot’s singing role. From his rags to riches tale Brian’s stardom has not changed him one iota. He appears to be the most modest, down to earth man you could ever meet.
Even though he can afford to race cars and drive a vintage open-top Bentley, called “Thunderguts” he hasn’t become in any way big headed about his success. Just a lover of life and a passion for rock n roll.
Speeding over the Florida water on his private boat he reflects that he spends every minute of his life having fun. Because he knows he’s only here once. Here they hop ashore to scoff a burger that is named especially in his honour. The AC/DC Brian Johnson Burger. The man is indeed a living legend.
So nothing seems to slow down the pace of the life-lovin’ rock n roller. Even now at 65 (at the time of filming) he’s just completed a 3-year tour of the world on the back of 2008’s Black ice album. The record shot up the charts to number 1 in 21 countries and the following tour grossed 441 million! He says he’s ready to bolt into the studio at any short notice to assume vocal duties.
Sum it up.
Before the film draws its conclusion. Louise asks him what it is that makes him tick? What is the most enduring factor of Rock n Roll? He replies. it’s not false. It’s what comes out of you naturally. You can’t fake rock n roll.
He says so succinctly. “It’s right at his core”.
Rock on Brian.