Angus Young: AC/DC Did Not Fire Brian Johnson
Rock titans AC/DC are set to resume touring tomorrow (May 7) in Portugal, which will feature the debut of Axl Rose as the band's singer. The Guns N' Roses frontman was selected to stand-in as Brian Johnson is at risk of total hearing loss if he performs with the band again. In a new video (seen above) posted on the band's Facebook page, Angus Young, Cliff Williams and Rose opened up on the situation.
“You get a lot of rumors out there. A lot of people think that Brian was fired and that was not the case,” the founding guitarist said. “It's mainly his hearing — he already had a very bad ear, but the good ear that he had left was dropping rapidly. It was ongoing through the tour from the beginning."
Bassist Williams shed some more light behind the hearing issues, revealing, "He had an instance where there was a marked drop in his ear — in that one good ear — and it came back, not completely. The doc told him 'This can happen again and it may not come back.' What do you do with that?" Young replied, "It was out of our hands, it was his call what he felt.”
Rose then chimed in, implying this is not a cause for celebration for him, stating, "I'm not dancing around about this because it's not like okay somebody said they're going to do something else. It's because of an unfortunate circumstance and that's something I'm very aware of."
In closing, Young understood there was no easy option on how to handle the situation, lamenting, "We wouldn't win in a lot of situations because if we'd have stopped there would have been a lot of people unhappy."
The sentiments of Rose echo what he said in an interview with BBC 6 Music also revealing how he and the band first got in contact. The singer stated, “I called the day I read about it in the news, that there was a situation going on with Brian’s hearing. I called a guy who’s their production manager right now … because I knew there was going to be a problem with having dates on sale and dates sold and stuff like that. So if I could help, and if I was able to do it, and they were interested, I’d love to help. And that’s how it started."
Earlier in the week, apparent audio of Rose rehearsing a number of AC/DC classics surfaced. Among the songs heard in the videos are "Back in Black" and "Shoot to Thrill." The band will perform a string of European dates, concluding on June 12. Rose will then resume the 'Not in This Lifetime' tour with Guns N' Roses on June 23. All GN'R tour dates can be viewed here.
See Where Axl Rose + Brian Johnson Rank Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Frontmen of All Time
AC/DC Outsmart Religious Protestors - Epic Rock Tales