42 years have passed since the release of one of the greatest rock records of all time, AC/DC’s Back in Black.
And in the four decades since, English singer Brian Johnson has been haunted by a ‘conspiracy theory’ about who put pen to paper on the 80s hit.
There have been persistent rumors that the late Bon Scott, who managed the Australian band before his death in February 1980, had “scribbled most of the words on the album in one of his notebooks before he died”.
However, Johnson, now 75, who took over after Scott died aged 33, addressed the myth in his new book, “Brian’s Life.”
While the song originated 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 previously said they ultimately didn’t use any of his words to avoid looking like they were profiting from his untimely death.
“I know there’s an individual who was a conspiracy theorist who kept saying, well, Bon wrote those lyrics,” Johnson said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“What band would let someone else claim someone else’s lyrics? I mean, that’s just absolute nonsense. And that’s why I put it in the book, to say once and for all, those lyrics came from the tip of my hand with a pen in it.
“There are people out there, they just don’t want to believe what’s true. And I felt horrible after putting it down (in the book) but it had pissed me off so much for so long. I always love to listen to Bon’s fantastic lyrics, his double meanings, his funny little jokes… I couldn’t do that.
The Angus brothers and the late Malcolm Young, along with Johnson, are credited with writing all of the songs 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 work of musical art, which became 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 alongside drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Mark Evans released their debut album ‘High Voltage’ in 1975.
Current members are Johnson, Rudd, Angus Young, Cliff Williams and Stevie Young, who took over as guitarist after his uncle Malcolm Young left the band in 2014 for health reasons. Malcolm died of complications from dementia in 2017.
New York Post