Na weken van speculatie is het hoge woord eruit: Axl Rose vervangt Brian Johnson in AC/DC tijdens de komende Europese tour en tijdens de uitgestelde concerten van de tour door de Verenigde Staten. Een paar weken geleden werd bekend dat Johnson in verband met gehoorproblemen zijn microfoon aan de wilgen moest hangen. Hij had tijdens een autorace zijn trommelvliezen dusdanig beschadigd dat elk concert tot complete doofheid kon leiden. Johnson besloot wijselijk te stoppen. AC/DC wilde graag de (uitverkochte) tour afmaken en ging op zoek naar een vervanger. Naast voor de hand liggende namen als Marc Storace (Krokus) en Dave Evans (de zanger uit de begindagen) werden ook Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Axl Rose en zelfs Cristina Ramos genoemd. Het moest sowieso iemand worden die gewend is om in stadions te zingen. De keuze viel op Axl Rose die warempel net begonnen is aan de Guns N’ Roses reünie.
In het persbericht verwoordt de band het als volgt:
AC/DC’S ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR RESUMES WITH AXL ROSE ON VOCALS
“AC/DC band members would like to thank Brian Johnson for his contributions and dedication to the band throughout the years. We wish him all the best with his hearing issues and future ventures. As much as we want this tour to end as it started, we understand, respect and support Brian’s decision to stop touring and save his hearing. We are dedicated to fulfilling the remainder of our touring commitments to everyone that has supported us over the years, and are fortunate that Axl Rose has kindly offered his support to help us fulfill this commitment. AC/DC will resume their Rock Or Bust World Tour with Axl Rose joining on vocals. The European stadium tour dates begin on May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal and run through June 12 in Aarhus, Denmark as previously announced (see below for full itinerary). Following this European run of dates with AC/DC, Axl Rose will head out on his Guns N Roses, Not In This Lifetime Summer Stadium Tour. The 10 postponed U.S shows will be rescheduled and announced imminently, also with Axl Rose.
AC/DC is een band die in het verleden strak werd geleid door de broertjes Young. Na het wegvallen van Malcolm Young (dementie) en drummer Phil Rudd (huisarrest ivm drugsproblematiek) is het aan Angus Young om de band op koers te houden. Het rebelse en tamelijk onvoorspelbare karakter van Axl Rose wijkt nogal af van het gedisciplineerde gezelschap dat AC/DC altijd is geweest. Op 7 mei start de tour in Lissabon. Nederland staat niet op het programma, liefhebbers kunnen naar Werchter om de band aan het werk te zien.
Afgelopen nacht speelde Angus Young met Guns N’ Roses mee op Coachella. Guns N Roses speelde twee nummers van AC/DC namelijk Riff Raff en Whole Lotta Rosie. Dat klonk zo:
Update 20 april – Persbericht van Brian Johnson
As many AC/DC fans know, the remaining shows for the 2016 AC/DC Rock or Bust World Tour, including 10 postponed U.S. shows, are being rescheduled with a guest singer. I want personally to explain the reason because Idon’t believe the earlier press releases sufficiently set out what I wanted to say to our fans or the way in which I thought it should be presented.
On March 7th, after a series of examinations by leading physicians in the field of hearing loss, I was advised that if I continue to perform at large venues, I risked total deafness. While I was horrified at the reality of the news that day, I had for a time become aware that my partial hearing loss was beginning to interfere with my performance on stage. I was having difficulty hearing the guitars on stage and because I was not able to hear the other musicians clearly, I feared the quality of my performance could be compromised. In all honesty this was something I could not in good conscience allow. Our fans deserve my performance to be at the highest level, and if for any reason I can’t deliver that level of performance I will not disappoint our fans or embarrass the other members of AC/DC. I am not a quitter and I like to finish what I start, nevertheless, the doctors made it clear to me and my bandmates that I had no choice but to stop performing on stage for the remaining shows and possibly beyond. That was the darkest day of my professional life.
Since that day, I have had several consultations with my doctors and it appears that, for the near future, I will be unable to perform on stage at arena and stadium size venues where the sound levels are beyond my current tolerance, without the risk of substantial hearing loss and possibly total deafness. Until that time, I tried as best as I could to continue despite the pain and hearing loss but it all became too much to bear and too much to risk.
I am personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine. The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before. Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life’s work. I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice. The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person.
Most importantly, I feel terrible having to disappoint the fans who bought tickets for the canceled shows and who have steadfastly supported me and AC/DC these many years. Words cannot express my deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks not just for the recent outpouring to me personally of kind words and good wishes, but also for the years of loyal support of AC/DC. My thanks also go to Angus and Cliff for their support.
Finally, I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that. For the moment, my entire focus is to continue medical treatment to improve my hearing. I am hoping that in time my hearing will improve and allow me to return to live concert performances. While the outcome is uncertain, my attitude is optimistic. Only time will tell.
Once again, my sincere best wishes and thanks to everyone for their support and understanding.