Brian Johnson’s ‘The Lives of Brian’ Memoir Coming Next Month
The book, which is available for preorder now, will tell one of the best-known and most fortuitous stories in rock 'n' roll. The English-born Johnson scrapped for years in the band Geordie, scoring a few modest U.K. chart hits but always finding major success just out of reach. Following the death of AC/DC singer Bon Scott, the Australian rockers invited Johnson to audition. He landed the gig and made his AC/DC debut with Back in Black, which became one of the bestselling albums ever and kick-started one of the most remarkable second acts in rock history.
With Johnson at the helm, AC/DC enjoyed more than four decades of stratospheric success, notching multiplatinum albums such as For Those About to Rock We Salute You and The Razors Edge. In 2016, the singer was forced to resign from the road due to accelerated hearing loss, and AC/DC completed their ongoing Rock or Bust tour with help from Axl Rose. By 2018, however, a rehabilitated Jonson was back in the band, and AC/DC released the chart-topping Power Up in 2020.
To restore his hearing, Johnson enlisted a medical specialist who visited his home once a month for three years in search of a solution. "The first time he came down he brought this thing that looked like a car battery," the singer told Rolling Stone in 2020. "I went, 'What in the hell is that?' He said, 'We're going to miniaturize it.' It took two and a half years. He came down once a month. We'd sit there and it was boring as shit with all these wires and computer screens and noises. But it was well worth it. The only thing I can tell you is that it uses the bone structure in the skull as a receiver. That's as much as I can tell you."
The treatment continues to pay off, as Johnson took part in the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert on Saturday, performing AC/DC classics "Back in Black" and "Let There Be Rock" with help from Lars Ulrich, Foo Fighters and, briefly, the Darkness' Justin Hawkins. "Yeah, 10 seconds before the AC/DC section Brian told me to get up for the second verse of 'BIB,'" Hawkins explained on Twitter. "I didn’t want to do it, never sung that before, but [Dave Grohl] said, 'If Brian tells you to do something, you fucking do it.' Haha."