Iggy Pop was Asked to Join AC/DC: "I'm Not What They Needed"

"I listened to their record. I thought, 'I can't fill that bill.'"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jan 3, 2023

AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson charted his journey to joining one of the world's biggest rock bands in 2021 memoir The Lives of Brian, and regardless of the band's future, his story would have taken a much different turn if Iggy Pop had gotten together with the Australian outfit instead.

Speaking with The New York Times, the Stooges leader revealed how he was once asked to be more than a "Passenger" and join the Aussie rockers to lead them down the "Highway to Hell" as frontman, following the death of early formative AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott.

"I had some very wonderful encounter with Bon somewhere, and we were both drunk and stoned," Pop shared on the subject of the late vocalist. "I see pictures sometimes. I go, 'I don't remember, but that's me with Bon!' I loved what he did."

Scott was found dead in early 1980 of pulmonary aspiration, and at the insistence of his parents, AC/DC continued work on material that would become 1980's Back in Black while searching for a new vocalist. According to Pop, that saw someone with the band reach out about a possible turn at the mic.

"They had a manager many years ago, when I hadn't re-formed the Stooges, I hadn't moved to England, and this guy said, 'Are you interested in joining AC/DC?' They were looking for a singer," he recalled.

Asked if he gave the offer much consideration, Pop — who was four albums into his solo career by this point — shared with the Times, "I listened to their record. I thought, 'I can't fill that bill.' I wasn't like, 'ugh, I don't like them.' It was quite well made. They do careful work. But I'm not what they needed."

Pop is days away from delivering his 19th studio LP, Every Loser. You can read his complete New York Times interview here.

Out Friday (January 6), Every Loser features guests including blink-182's Travis Barker, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard, Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses, Jane's Addiction members Dave Navarro and Eric Avery, late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and more.

Last year, Pop was among the contributors to a new Leonard Cohen tribute album.

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