The future AC/DC star was about 12 years old and his family owned a record player in their northern English home, so he struggled to discover music that meant something to him. He had only heard “Tutti Frutti” for the first time two days before.
At the same time, the music output on British TV services in the 50s was “not very good,” Johnson tells BBC Radio 6’s First time with…. He thought, “Is that it? I’d rather go to church!” Everything changed during one of the BBC’s regular interludes between children’s shows and agricultural bulletins.
“One day this woman in a lovely plummy accent said, ‘And now, from America, for the intermission, we have a lovely young man with his new pop song, and it’s called ‘Tutti Frutti,'” Johnson recalled. “I saw this handsome young black man with a beautiful jacket on. … I’m sure he had eyeliner on, but I didn’t care and his hair was immaculate. I sat there with my jaw hanging on the floor. It ended, and I wanted more!”
Not long after, Johnson was walking near his home when he “heard it coming out of a window — and I can’t believe what I did. I knocked on the door and this girl came and said, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘I’m Brian, I live right around the corner. Can you put it back on? And she said, ‘Well, you’ve got some nerves, but okay. Stand over there under the window.’
Although the girl was probably around 18, Johnson admitted she seemed very old for a boy his age. She taught him how to hand jive while the track played, “and it was just brilliant,” he continued. “I said, ‘Thank you!’ She said: ‘My name is Annette’ and I said: ‘Thank you, Annette.’ … I will never forget her.”
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