Lots of news today made by my friend Jim Breuer and his podcast stating that Brian Johnson was pushed out of AC/DC. Notable that the podcast has since come down and Jim has softened some of his story. Read into that what you will. In light of all of this I’ve been asked about my thoughts by many. I’ll say this; it does seem strange that a hearing issue could come on so quick that it would end a tour. It does seem strange that something like this couldn’t be managed in some way. I am no sound engineer but there must be some protection that can be taken I would think? As I’ve said all along what direction AC/DC goes next will tell you a lot about all of this. If they go get a younger guy Angus (who is youngest in the band) may keep this band going 10 more years. If they get a few celeb singers and do a sort of Farewell then Brian’s situation may be very real and they bow out gracefully.

I know Brian. I am not going to tell you I know him well and hang with him. But we have spoken from time to time and he has done my radio show several times as well as TMS. He is one of my favorite people. A real guy for sure. I had never heard of him having hearing issues or needing to raise my voice around him as was the case with others. I can also tell you he always at times almost talked about AC/DC like he wasn’t in the band. “Whatever Mal and Ang say..” was a familiar line. He is a good guy, was great in the gig, and will be hugely missed if this did not happen on his terms. In the last week it has been STUNNING to me to see how many fans are already talking about who the next singer is without asking questions and worrying about Brian. This is BRIAN JOHNSON! 36 years in AC/DC! Singer in one of the biggest bands and on one of the biggest albums EVER! It’s not like another drummer change (and I say that with all respect to drummers, but you get it).

I also know Brian was getting tired out there. In his late 60’s that is understandable. This is a high energy show and tough stuff to sing. I know the band were only able to play no more than 3 times a week max because he needed rest. This is not uncommon for older singers. Same goes with Steve Tyler these days. But it is expensive for a band to sit around in hotels off that many days. All of this plays in to the equation I think. It could be that Brian had some hearing issues and there was other stuff brewing. Angus saw it as a chance to do a third AC/DC and do another 10 years of more activity by using this as the vehicle to make a change. We have seen the very familiar move in music these days where bands are selling a logo and maybe one original member. The name AC/DC is one of the biggest on the planet. With that logo, those songs, and Angus, if they find the right guy they will find an audience. But it’s tricky and these are huge shoes to fill. So I think there are a combination of things at work here. And what AC/DC do and say going forward will be telling. They have always been a very close knit quiet camp. So until there is something real to announce everything is speculation for sure. But it will be interesting to watch. Most importantly if Brian is having any issue I hope he is well. I left him a voice mail today with my regards. He is a class act all the way and it would be greatly disappointing if this did not happen on his terms given how much he has put into this band over the decades.

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  • The Sentinel on

    They should get jesse james dupree.

  • Mr. Rock And Roll on

    If Jim made this stuff up, he was extremely disrespectful to Brian. If he didn’t make it up, he was still disrespectful to blab about it. He is a jerk either way. If this is true, AC/DC are finished. You cannot replace Brian Johnson. He took the band to a level WAY above any other rock band. He joined at a time when they were about to break globally, and his vocals MADE Back In Black. AC/DC 3.0? No way. I won’t have it. Not just because f Brian’s vocals. Most of all, It’s his spirit. Nobody has that Brian Johnson swagger. When he works the stage, it feels like a buddy of mine is rockin’ the house. He makes you feel welcomed. No rock star ego. Yet, his aura is intact. o way in Hell’s Bells would I accept a replacement. He is the instantly recognizable sound of AC/DC. PERIOD.

    • el loco on

      He makes you feel welcomed, yes, that is it. He is the real guy on stage stage just as he appears to be in numerous footage on Youtube when talking about race cars and such. I would rather meet him than Angus, Angus would only say “y’ know” a thousand times per minute anyway, Brian got stories to tell like he was your neighbour talking about his hobby … how many of his kind in this SHOW business?

    • Kevin G on

      I agree totally. Although I love Bon Scotts vocals too and their albums with Bon sound as good today as they ever did, Bon was only with the band for barely 5 years. Brian has fronted one of the biggest bands in the world for 36 years. Not to mention launched them into the stratosphere when most everyone thought they were finished. And your right, Briam seems like the most down to earth guy you’d ever want to meet. Not many Rick stars like him. If you saw him in the garage at a speedway, and didn’t know about his full time gig, I don’t think you’d ever believe he was the lead singer in one if the biggest tick bands ever. Total class act of a man. God bless you Brian. Love to share a pint with you some day my friend,

    • Rob Pennell on

      Good post ! brian does have spirit and heart on stage .. That’s near impossible to replace , yeah he can’t sing like he once did , but I saw them last year and thought they pulled it off just fine …

  • el loco on

    To me and I hope to at least 50% of the fan base out there, there will be no AC/DC without Brian. They may play mid-size venues instead of stadiums in the future … Even though he at one point was the replacement guy himself, his voice is AC/DC now, just like Angus’s guitar sound and costume. he has shaped the bands sound, music and reputation three times as long as the original singer. If they continue with a new singer, what kind of band will it be? No Rudd who is the best drummer you can imagine for that kind of groove, no rhythm guitarist with a golden right hand, no Brian with his signature voice – I will not spend a single cent on this. And I hope no one will. Of course, Angus got every right to do what he pleases, but I suspect that regarding contracts Brian has been a “hired gun” all of the time just like Sambora in Bon Jovi even though both of them were vital for the two bands mentioned. This is speculation, but it would surely not surprise me and also explain why Brian could be supended that easily, if it is true. If it is indeed true, Angus would join the infamous group of greedy showbiz people who continue the band with no respect for what it stands for, musically, culturally, and personally for millions of fans, but just squeeze the lemon. So far AC/DC to me were exactly the opposite, they seemed like real people who would NOT do this thing like so many others. So I really do hope this is not true but somehow feel that there is something unpleasant for us fans to be revealed soon.

  • Kenneth Stratemeyer on

    If Brian Johnson is truly done, then I think it’s time for AC/DC to pack in it.

    They are one of the biggest rock hard bands in the world. Malcolm had to retire. Phil has his issues. Now Brian.

    I’d hate to see AC/DC become a fractured band like Styx or Foreigner who have to play double or triple bills because they’re down to one or two members of their classic lineups.

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