Wolfgang Van Halen Compares AC/DC’s Brian Johnson To Bon Scott

Wolfgang Van Halen recently gave an interview in which he talked about the first time he came across AC/DC and how his admiration for Bon Scott began. Wolfgang shared the story of how his father introduced him to AC/DC, creating a cherished memory:

“When I was about seven I was on a Winnebago trip with my mom and dad. We were driving to the Grand Canyon. We pulled over somewhere while my mom went to a store or the bathroom, and my dad said: ‘Hey, check this out.’ And he puts on ‘Big Balls.’ He was laughing so hard, which made me laugh so hard. Dad loved that song. Every time he heard the bit where Bon goes: ‘Ooooh…’ he just cracked up. This was my introduction to AC/DC and the wonder that is Bon Scott and his unique singing voice.”

Van Halen also compared the band’s current vocalist, Brian Johnson, to Bon Scott, mentioning that Eddie Van Halen also felt the same way:

“Brian Johnson is a wonderful human being and an incredible singer, but there’s just something about Bon Scott. He’s got that sleazy, amazing voice that could just never be replicated. That really resonated with me and my dad.”

Wolfgang also mentioned that he got to meet the guitarist Malcolm Young, who passed away in 2017, and praised his contributions to AC/DC:

“I only got to meet them as a band once, on the ‘Black Ice Tour.’ It was a huge honour, especially to meet Malcolm Young. Malcolm was always my favourite member. I see myself as a rhythm guitar player first and foremost, and he’s the greatest rhythm guitar player ever. The groove that man had was untouchable. He was the backbone that made AC/DC what it was.”

It seems that Brian Johnson agrees with Wolfgang. In a 2020 interview, right after AC/DC’s comeback album ‘Power Up’ was released, Brian opened up about Malcolm’s influence, and how he associated Malcolm with the album.

“This whole album really is dedicated to Malcolm. He was everywhere in the studio. And I’m not being a softie, ’cause I’m not a believer in that kind of stuff, but boy oh boy, Malcolm was everywhere. And I know Angus felt the loss of Malcolm a lot more than he would usually let on. And Malcolm had written half these songs with Angus years before. He always had a box of songs. He was meticulous, Malcolm. Every time him and Angus put something down, he’d date it and catalog it. And he wouldn’t forget a thing. And that’s when Angus said, ‘Well, let’s do some of these things.'”

Johnson also mentioned in his memoir ‘The Lives of Brian’ that he coincidentally met Bon Scott around 1973 when he was a Fang member:

“I talk about being in Torquay [England] and the band that was supporting us was called Fang and watching this band and thinkin’, ‘They’re pretty good.’ And afterwards having a beer with the singer, who was Bon Scott. And we swore undying friendship after getting a few beers down, ‘Ahh mate!’ because we were from the same kind of background – he was from Glasgow originally, just like Angus and Malcolm – and just years later finding out who this guy was, it was the man in Torquay – it was Bon Scott.”

Below, you can listen to ‘Power Up’ and Mammoth WVH’s second studio album ‘Mammoth II.’