This past weekend, AC/DC not only confirmed the long running rumors that they would continue touring with Axl Rose on vocals, but Angus Young even joined Guns N’ Roses onstage at Coachella. However, while everyone was excited about seeing Axl, Angus and Slash on the same stage, there was one major part of the announcement that many seem to have overlooked…
Namely, there were (literally) the first three sentences of the announcement that seems to hint at Brian Johnson’s (lack of) future in AC/DC:
“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.”
That’s not the type of phrasing bands tend to use when a member is simply taking a little time off for health reasons. Hell, that’s not even the type of phrasing bands use when talking about longtime, key members. If I had no previous knowledge of AC/DC, I would’ve assumed Brian Johnson was a temp singer brought in a few years ago from reading that statement, and not that he was a member of the band since 1980 who also sang on many of their biggest hits. So we have to ask… is Brian Johnson permanently out of AC/DC?
Granted, it might not be fair to assume so much from three sentences (especially such vague sentences as those). However, it’s becoming more believable that Jim Breuer was right, and that AC/DC really is kicking Brian Johnson to the curb. Then again, maybe Johnson’s hearing condition is even worse than many have speculated, after all hearing loss is a very serious matter (especially for musicians). But the statement just reads so damn… cold (which also reflects Breuer’s comments about how AC/DC has treated Johnson since the initial announcement).
We may not truly know for sure what actually happened until Brian Johnson decides to speak out publicly on the matter (if he chooses to at all). Regardless, we at least now know two definite things: Axl Rose will indeed be fronting Guns N’ Roses AND AC/DC this year, and it may be a while till we see Johnson onstage with the band again (if ever again). If even oddsmakers had Axl with 2/1 odds to replace Johnson, what are the odds now that he’ll continue with the band beyond these 10 shows?