Envision oneself in the midst of a worldwide tour when the band’s lead vocalist begins to experience hearing loss right before the show’s conclusion. The anxious period following the cancellation of Brian Johnson’s hearing would not have been one that many people would have wished to experience. Co-founder Young was compelled to make a snap decision in order to keep the remaining tour dates. The guitarist’s response could be of interest to you. What he had to do to keep the program going will be discussed.
Let’s go back to 2014, when AC/16th DC’s studio album, “Rock or Bust,” was released. They embarked on a tour between 2015 and 2016 to promote the record. Although there were no big problems at the beginning, the band soon had a dark cloud over them. Before they knew it, a string of unfavorable occurrences began to mount up, first with Malcolm Young’s departure owing to his health, then Phil Rudd’s conviction, which brought with it a new set of issues. On top of everything else, Johnson, their vocalist, had hearing loss.
According to the doctor’s orders, the lead singer had to end his tour in order to recover and prevent completely losing his hearing. There were still quite a few shows remaining on the tour to finish things off, so the lads had to decide what to do right now. In 2016, the guitarist described his thinking states to NME. He remembered,
“To be honest with you, it was a case of ‘what do we do?’”
At that point, Angus had to decide whether to call it quits or keep going with a new lead vocalist.
He said that he needed to act immediately and there was no time to waste.
“It was a crisis that came then, and we had to act. We were in Miami at the time when all of this came up, and unfortunately, when you’re in that situation, you have to make decisions pretty quickly because there are a lot of people waiting.”
“We were supposed to play in Atlanta, so you’re going, ‘what do we do now.’ Because of the nature of Brian’s deafness, we knew that there was no easy fix. So you’ve got to then say, ‘what do we do here?’ The options were very limited, and you think, if we stop with all of this machinery, it will be a hell of a lot of legal entanglement.”
Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses stepped in to fill Johnson’s spot for the remaining gigs after the bandmates had only had a little time to evaluate four singers. Even while it didn’t appear like a crossover that would work, it ended up being a wonderful fit. There’s no denying that it was a rocky trip, but the fans really liked the beautiful conclusion.