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AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Once Traced Hearing Loss To Race-Car Driving

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After hearing that AC/DC are shutting down their touring for a period to avoid singer Brian Johnson suffering total hearing loss, you might assume that years of rocking stadiums with high energy rock and cannon blasts might have taken their toll. But in a 2014 interview with radio host Howard Stern, Johnson revealed that he had hearing issues that related to something else completely.

Stern asked the rocker if the use of cannons as stage props has affected his hearing and he initially states, “Well, I’ve obviously had some hearing loss, but that doesn’t help.” As the discussion about the cannons continues, Johnson reveals that it wasn’t the props or the music that were the primary source of his issues.

“I didn’t get it from music. I got it from sitting in a race car too long without earplugs,” explained Johnson. “I heard me eardrum burst, because I forgot to put me plugs in under my helmet. That’s how it happened. Music had nothing to do with it.”

He elaborated about the incident, revealing that he felt dizzy after it happened and that blood was emerging from under his helmet. The vocalist went on to say that he could actually hear very little out of one ear, likening it to tinnitus. When asked about the ringing, he told Stern, “Ah, you know, you forget about it after a week.”

The news about Johnson’s hearing condition emerged Monday afternoon (March 7) when a press release revealed that doctors advised the rocker not to tour. They stated that if he did, he could risk potential total hearing loss. As such, AC/DC have postponed the 10 remaining U.S. dates on their tour and hope to make them up later this year. There was even talk of fulfilling the shows, but with someone else handling vocals in Johnson’s place.

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