Brian Johnson is addressing the hard-hitting questions as AC/DC promote their seventeenth studio album, Power Up.
During a lengthy interview, the Acca Dacca frontman has discussed the genesis of his now-iconic newsboy cap. When asked, “I’ve always wondered – when were you last seen or photographed without a hat on?” Brian mused: “Oh, well, I wear them for things like this. When I’m home and in Florida, I’m just one of the boys, swimming and plunging and having a good time.”
The rocker went on to reveal that there is actually a pragmatic reason for wearing the hat, “The hat thing started – I’ll never forget, I used to play the working men’s clubs in and around the northeast of England, and we would really rock,” he shared.
“It was a grand little rock band called Geordie, and I used to sweat because they didn’t have any air conditioning. And in the winter especially, the clubs were full and they’d have the heating full up because it was freezing outside.
“And I always used to sweat and my hair and all the sweat used to go in the eyes and sting.”
He continued, “My brother, Maurice, was there one night; he was there and he’s sitting, and he had just got himself a sports car, and he bought – god bless him – he bought one of them sports-car caps, they’re little caps.
“And we were halfway through the set, and I was sitting having a beer with him, and he said, ‘Your eyes are red!’ I said, ‘I know, it’s all a sweat.’ He said, ‘Yeah, put this on.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I’ll try.'”
Johnson went on to explain that the cap resonated with the Northerner audiences he was playing to at the time.
“And I put it on because, in the north of England, everybody wore caps, you know, after the war and all that, it was a kind of uniform for the Geordies and Yorkshiremen, and people like that.
“And I wore it for a second and I went, ‘That’s marvelous! It’s brilliant! I’m going to buy one of them!’ And I remember as I said what I said, he went, ‘You can keep that, I’m not putting that on!’
“So I did, and then people started remembering like, ‘Oh, it’s a good band, the singer that wears the cap!’ And then straight away, we’ve got instant recognition with things like that.
“And we’ve got gigs, we’ve got shows when people went, ‘We want that group, what are they called? You know, the singer wears a cap!’ ‘Oh, right, Geordie!'” You can listen to the interview in its entirety below.
Check out Brian Johnson discussing the latest AC/DC album and his iconic newsboy cap:
AC/DC released their excellent latest album, Power Up, on November 13th.