AC/DC's Brain Johnson Reflects On Writing 'You Shook Me All Night Long'


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AC/DC News Album art July 26, 2023
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(pr) AXS TV is looking back at a 2019 interview with AC/DC frontman Brain Johnson where he discussed his beginning with the group and also explained how the beginning lyrics to their classic "You Shook Me All Night Long" came about.

It's not uncommon to start a new job and feel imposter syndrome. Just ask Brian Johnson, who, in 1980, was facing some serious self doubts as the new frontman of AC/DC.

"It was scary... I was 32 years old, I thought, 'What am I doing here? They're going to find out after a couple of days that I'm just not that good,'" reminisced Johnson during an interview with Dan Rather.

But when AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young asked the new singer if he could write lyrics, Johnson didn't squander the opportunity. "I had just heard this riff and I just wrote...the first line I wrote down was, 'She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean.' You know, that was the first thing I could come up with. 'Best damn woman I've ever seen,' it just went on from there."

That lyric would be fleshed out into "You Shook Me All Night Long," one of the many hits off of the band's "Back in Black" record, which is still one of the best-selling albums in music history.

You can watch Johnson's full interview with Dan Rather on The Big Interview, available now on the AXS TV website here, mobile app, and ConnectedTV platforms.

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