AC/DC singer Brian Johnson was “kicked to the curb” according to Johnson’s friend and comedian Jim Breuer, after the 67-year-old frontman informed band co-founder Angus Young of his hearing condition, reports

Breuer informed listeners of AC/DC’s situation via his podcast, The Metal In Me, after recently spending time with Johnson following his March 11th show at Sarasota Florida’s McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre.

“(Brian) said that he called and let (AC/DC and Young) know, ‘Hey this is what the doctor said, but let’s try to figure this out. I don’t think it’s as bad as he said it is.’ Literally the next day in the press, it was ‘Brian Johnson, tour canceled, he’s losing his hearing.’ ”

According to Breuer, Johnson was optimistic about making up the dates on the band’s current U.S. tour and finishing as many remaining dates on the AC/DC itinerary as possible. Then his tour luggage showed up on his driveway.

“(Brian said) ‘I would really like to finish and do some shows. I think we can knock this out.’ ” Breuer continued. “Then all his luggage that he toured with showed up at his driveway. There’s been no calls. No, ‘How’s your hearing? How’s your health?’ Boom. Here’s your (stuff), nice to know you.”

According to the band’s website, Johnson was “advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss.” The press release went on to state the remaining 10 U.S. dates of the band’s current Rock or Bust tour would be rescheduled later in the year and “likely with a guest vocalist.”

Breuer explained that Johnson’s doctor informed the singer that he had lost a percentage of his hearing during the first run of the Rock or Bust tour during “open air” stadium shows, and it raised a “red flag” for the band’s eldest statesman.

“(The doctor said) ’Now you’re gonna go out and do indoor (shows)? I do not put my name on this. You’re a grown man. You make a decision, but I would not mess around with this at all,’ ” Breuer explained of the doctor’s diagnosis.

Johnson, who recently flew to London to attend the funeral of a close friend while on the road with the band, called AC/DC management and later spoke to Young to explain the situation.

“He said he just called and gave that information,” Breuer said. “He didn’t say he wanted to quit. He didn’t say he was done. He called with that information, and two days later, he read in the papers and heard on Twitter and everywhere else, ‘Brian Johnson going deaf canceling tour.’ A day later, and it was ‘Oh we’re gonna have guest singers.’ ”

Breuer said Johnson wasn’t upset about his hearing condition. He was heartbroken by the way he had been treated by the band he has fronted for 36 years.

…“I went over the house,” Breuer said. “He was depressed. I’ve never seen him down before. He was upset that he feels like he kind of got kicked to the curb.”

“I said, ‘Don’t you talk to the band?’ ” Breuer continued. “He goes, ‘It’s not what you think, man.’ ”

“I can’t wrap my head around that,” Breuer said.

Johnson had a conversation with Young, albeit mostly one-sided, the day Breuer visited his home.

“(Brian) said, ‘I had a conversation with Angus,’ and he was just like, ‘He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t speak,’ “ Breuer explained.

As Johnson relayed his situation to Young and hoped to plan a future course of action, the guitarist merely replied, “Aye,” a number of times with no tangible response to what the singer was saying.

“(Brian said) ‘It sounds like you’re preoccupied. I just want to let you know, I’m here. I don’t know if I can do every show, but I’d really like to do whatever shows I can.’ ”

Breuer said Johnson senses he’s already been replaced.

“There’s been no answer (from the band),” Breuer said. “He feels like he heard from someone that they already hired somebody, it just hasn’t been announced yet.”

“I was like, ‘Brian, Angus is a monstrosity, but guess what? I’m watching you half the time as well. You are the face of the band with the hat and the way you sing. I think of AC/DC, and I think of you and Angus,’ ” Breuer told his friend.

“No offense to anyone else in the band, but I just think of Brian Johnson and Angus. I don’t think he believes that to a degree. It was a little weird hearing him talk like that.”

He always says, ‘I’m blessed, I’m blessed. Don’t get me wrong. I’m blessed. This is the greatest thing ever.’ But I don’t think (he feels like he’s part of the band). His wife talks with such pride. I don’t think he feels that he’s that important. Does that make sense? It’s really weird.”

…“I’d hate to see (AC/DC) end like that,” he said. “Nobody wants to see them continue with a new guy. Why would you want to see them continue? Go out on top. Just take a break and go, ‘How do we want to do this?’ ”

…(Brian) explained how Angus is the youngest guy in the band,” Breuer said. “He’s convinced Angus wants to continue the next 10 years whether it’s him or not. (Angus) wants to write another album and do one more tour. Who’s filling those shoes? How do you do that after 40 years? It’s just really weird.”

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[Dana’s note: Thank you to Harold Taint for passing this along.]


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  • Charles Clinchot on

    I think he said he was just joking on blabber mouth we should see what Brian Says officially

    • Kevin G on

      If he was just joking what a piss poor rumour to start. I’m sure the last thing Brian wants is to disappoint his fans. I know they have notoriously been a tight lipped band but I really think a proper, more detailed statement needs to be made here.

    • Dana on

      Sounds like damage control.

  • DR Is Live on

    I would bring in the guy from Journey who replaced Steve Perry. I’m sure he can do a mean Brian Johnson.

  • Greg in H2Otown on

    Breuer’s very passionate when it comes to AC/DC, maybe he was a little buzzed up and over exaggerated a bit when he did the podcast. The whole ‘dropped his luggage off at his doorstep’ statement sounds pretty cruel. Can’t actually see that happening.

  • James K. on

    I am shocked by this news! On one hand, nothing official has been released by Angus and the band, but on the other hand, Jim and Brian are good friends and I don’t think Jim would spread gossip he isn’t 100% sure is true, at least I hope he wouldn’t. I have hopes that this has all been blown out of proportion and Brian is in fact still in the band, just not able to tour for now. But if Brian has actually been kicked out of the band because of this, then I won’t buy into AC/DC with a new singer. Brian being out of the band is where it ends for me to. Brian has given close to 36 years of his life, heart, soul and now health to the band and does not deserve to be treated like that.

    • el loco on

      I also think Brian’s potential end of career should also mark AC/DC’s end, I hope they will not do the Kiss thing and continue until even the die hard fans beg for mercy.

  • morris Jenkins on

    I’m sorry, but if ANY of this is anywhere CLOSE to being true – then I’ll spit on Angus Youngs grave personally when he goes (and I happen to love the guy myself) – but this is about the most absurd, inane and flat-out pathetic example of disrespect & blatant ignorance on not only Angus’ part, but the rest of the remaining band as well. Brian Johnson not only SAVED this band from destruction, but completely reinvented the band to a level that hardly any other band currently (or from the past) can lay blame to – not even close. Brian Johnson has been about the one AND ONLY ‘replacement/frontman/singer’ in history to accomplish something like that and THAT level. I seriously doubt something like that will EVER happen again in the history of rock & roll.

    …..and this is how he’s repaid?

    ….this is how it comes to an end?

    I’m sorry guys – but FUCK AC/DC – period.

    Take a page from Johnny Carson’s notebook & simply go out ‘on top’ with respect & dignity while you can. (don’t run the damn thing into the ground until it’s completely worthless & nobody even cares… what’s that’s band’s name?…….oh yeah, ‘KISS’ (sorry, they’ve been running their bullshit so far into the ground for SO damn long I just about completely forgot about them – damn it.)

    Brian, for what it’s worth man – you ARE AC/DC my friend – end of story. Thank you for everything you’ve done for that band, for us long time fans, and the decades of countless records that you sang on & practically defined rock-n-roll for what it’s truly meant to be…………and ‘your voice’ is exactly what I’m talking about in reference to that. Thank you my friend. Thank you.

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