Iggy Pop says he was once asked to join AC/DC: “I listened to their record. I thought, I can’t fit that bill”

Iggy Pop (left) and Angus Young
(Image credit: Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press / Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images)

Iggy Pop has revealed he was once asked to join AC/DC as the band’s lead singer, but turned down the opportunity as he felt he couldn’t bring to the table “what they needed."

The vocalist made the revelation while in conversation with The New York Times (opens in new tab), and explained he was initially asked to become AC/DC’s frontman before he moved to England to reform The Stooges the first time in the early '70s. 

“[AC/DC] had a manager many years ago, when I hadn't reformed The Stooges, I hadn't moved to England,” Pop recalled. “And this guy said, 'Are you interested in joining AC/DC?' They were looking for a singer.”

Despite the interest, Pop ultimately turned down the offer after consulting the band’s early repertoire: “I listened to their record,” he continued. “I thought, ‘I can't fit 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."

In the interview, Pop doesn’t make it clear exactly when he was approached by AC/DC’s management, though he does reference that he was contacted about the job before he moved to England and reformed the Stooges in 1972. That move would ultimately result in the band's 1973 comeback album, Raw Power (opens in new tab).

Given, however, that AC/DC didn't release their first album, High Voltage, until February 1975, the timeline presented by Pop in the interview (he references hearing an album by the band) seems improbable. 

In any case though, later in the interview, Pop goes on to discuss his relationship with the man who would ultimately become AC/DC's first prominent vocalist, saying, ”I had some wonderful encounter with Bon [Scott] somewhere, and we were both drunk and stoned.

“I see pictures sometimes,” he added. “I go, ‘I don't remember, but that's me with Bon.’ I loved what he did.”

After Scott died at the age of 33 in 1980, AC/DC considered numerous potential replacement singers before ultimately hiring Brian Johnson, who has been with the band ever since.

Recently, Johnson was particularly coy about the future of AC/DC, explaining to SiriusXM’s Eddie Trunk that he had been “told not to” answer questions about the subject, as it's the band's “official line."

When asked about his own live future with the band, Johnson replied, “I'm not answering that. Why should I? First of all, there's five members in this band, and to ask one member isn't fair.”

In that same interview, Johnson also refused to answer questions about a possible follow-up to AC/DC’s 2020 record, Power Up, saying, “It's gettin' tabloidy here. You're gettin' tabloidy. If I say one thing, it'll be blown out of all proportion. You just can't afford to talk now. There's too much blabber on the internet. And I'm not on any kind of Face-thing or social media at all – never have been. It's just gossip.”

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.