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Famous Like Me > Singer > J > Brian Johnson

Profile of Brian Johnson on Famous Like Me

Name: Brian Johnson  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 5th October 1947
Place of Birth: Dunston, Gateshead, England
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
For the American football player, see Bryan Johnson.

Brian Johnson (born October 5, 1947 in Dunston, Gateshead, England) is a singer best known as the front-man for the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. He currently lives in Sarasota, Florida, USA.

Johnson joined AC/DC in 1980, after the death of band's former lead singer Bon Scott. He is credited with pushing the band in a more heavy metal direction, beginning with his first album with AC/DC, Back in Black, now regarded as a rock landmark and one of the five top-selling albums of all time. It and his subsequent albums with the group have made him one of the most recognized and emulated voices in rock music.

Before AC/DC, Johnson had joined the Newcastle glam-rock band Geordie in 1972. After a number of hit singles, the band split up in 1976 but Johnson re-formed it in 1980. Just after a record contract had been signed, Johnson was asked to audition for AC/DC. He got the job by singing the Ike and Tina Turner song "Nutbush City Limits," and AC/DC's own "Whole Lotta Rosie," which was performed in 1977 with Bon Scott. He was the band's first choice. Unbeknownst to Johnson, a fan in Cleveland, Ohio had sent a Geordie album to AC/DC shortly after Bon Scott's death, urging them to consider him. And years earlier, Bon Scott himself had also praised Johnson's singing and energetic performance style to the rest of AC/DC after seeing Geordie play. (According to legend, this was the night Johnson was rushed to hospital after the show to have his appendix removed, which accounted for his writhing around on the stage.)

For ten years, Johnson cowrote all of AC/DC's songs with the Young brothers until personal matters diverted him in 1990, when the band's album The Razor's Edge was being written. Johnson now handles all the vocals, both lead and background, for the band, occasionally assisted by Malcolm Young and Cliff Williams.

Johnson's sartorial trademark is that he is seldom seen in public without a cap, pulled down above his eyes. Originally, he wore a flat cap, once regarded as a symbol of Tyneside (fellow Geordie Bryan Ferry wears one on the back of his album Taxi), but in recent years, he has generally worn a baseball cap instead. Despite the headgear, he has a full head of hair.

Johnson's father was a Sergeant Major of the British Army's Durham Light Infantry; his mother came from Italy. Johnson credits his father for giving him his shouting voice.

Johnson's marriage, which produced two children, ended in divorce shortly before he joined AC/DC.

He is to play a cameo role in the movie Goal!, directed by Danny Cannon.

Helen of Troy musical

Johnson has worked on a musical entitled Helen of Troy for most of the past decade. He was inspired to write his own musical after seeing Cats and thinking it was "fuckin' shite, wrist-cuttingly bad." The topic of Helen of Troy was chosen by chance: "One day I was sitting through a boring musical and thought: 'I can do better than this.' I thumbed through the program and there was an advertisement for a bank with gold coins tumbling out of a wooden horse. That triggered the idea for Helen of Troy. It was as simple as that."

Songs from the musical, co-written with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (creators of the popular television series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, about Geordie builders in Germany), were given a public premiere on June 13, 2005, in New York, although the full show has yet to be performed; Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan and veteran actor Malcolm McDowell have indicated they will participate. The musical is expected to have its U.K. premiere in late 2005.

The show is also in development as a ballet, under the guidance of Robert de Warren, artistic director of the Sarasota Ballet and former head of the Northern Ballet in Leeds, England.

Earlier that year, Johnson appeared in an episode of the television series The Goddess Odyssey, in which he explored remote areas of Greece, looking for "shrines, temples, and paths of the woman whose face launched a thousand ships and whose passion led to the downfall of a civilization," entitled "Path of Helen of Troy." He described some of the research he had done for the musical, and played some of the music from it.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Brian Johnson