Here’s something I didn’t know. On the same day that he tried out for the job of AC/DC lead singer, Brian Johnson also recorded a song for a Hoover vacuum cleaner commercial.
That’s not bad. Not sure I would have figured out it was him had I not known going in, but there are definitely small signs of what he would become.
The ad appeared on TV in April 1980, the same month that AC/DC announced that he was joining the band.
During a conversation with Howard Stern, the rocker recalled another job offer he received: “I got a call from a guy and he says, ‘Brian, do you remember me?’ And I said, ‘sure.’ And he said, ‘Well, I’m doing jingles now, would you sing on a Hoover advert?’”
Johnson didn’t think he had a realistic shot at becoming AC/DC’s frontman. The idea of replacing the late Bon Scott was daunting, plus Johnson was several years older than the rest of the band’s members.
“I’m 32,” Johnson remembered thinking. “I’m passed me sell-by date for rock bands. I’m an old fart.’”
The Hoover jingle, however, offered a real opportunity to make money – “350 quid” to be exact. The singer booked his commercial session for the same day as his band audition.
And here’s another interesting fact. Part of his AC/DC audition was him singing Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits”. Now there’s something I’d love to hear.
This obviously isn’t that one, but it might even be more impressive given all of the wear and tear that decades of being the AC/DC guy would have put on the old vocal chords by 2004.