DEF LEPPARD’S JOE ELLIOTT ON HOW AC/DC HANDLED BRIAN JOHNSON’S HEARING LOSS, “IT WAS NOT THE WAY I WOULD HAVE DONE IT”
Def Leppard frontman, Joe Elliott, was recently interviewed by Life In The Stocks. During the discussion, the singer was asked what his thoughts were on how AC/DC handled the lead singer Brian Johnson’s hearing issues, and their decision to tour with Guns N’ Roses frontman, Axl Rose.
Elliott said, “I wouldn’t have done it like that. I can’t speak for Angus [Young, AC/DC guitarist] and his team as to what their reasons were for doing what they did, but considering that we had a drummer lose and arm and we waited for him, the way that they dealt with it was not the way I would have done it, put it that way.”
While Elliott prefers the Bon Scott era of the band, he believes that “the Back In Black tour was pretty good, I’ve gotta say. I saw ’em live, and I think Jonna [Brian Johnson] really… he stepped up to the plate. It’s a hard thing to do, but I suppose he was fortunate in the fact that Back In Black was a bigger album than anything that they’d done before, so to a lot of people, they hadn’t even heard Bon Scott — it was like a new band. Outside of the U.K. and Australia, in America it was their first really big record.”
….”Back In Black sold way more than Hysteria — probably 35 million [worldwide], whereas we’re somewhere [around] 23, 24, something like that. Put it into that context, it sounds like I’m complaining — I’m really not. I’m just saying it’s a phenomenal amount of records. I think ‘Back In Black‘s pretty much close to selling the same [as], if not more than, [Michael Jackson’s] Thriller…So that’s a phenomenal amount of records to sell. And it’s one of those records that never dies — it keeps popping up on the soundtrack of Iron Man and it keeps popping up in God knows how many movies, songs from Back In Black are featured in, and that helps keep it alive. It’s a brilliant record; it’s a fantastic record. I remember the first time we ever heard it — we heard it before it came out, ’cause [former Def Leppard manager Peter] Mensch came on the bus with a cassette. He said, ‘Listen to this,’ and we were, like, ‘Woah!’ It was something special.”