Brian Johnson says he couldn’t bring himself to watch Axl Rose sing with AC/DC back in 2016
With the risk of permanently losing his hearing, Johnson had to take a step back from his vocalist duties with AC/DC due to issues with his inner ear. However, the iconic rock band had already committed to a string of live dates, and had to move forward nonetheless. This is when AC/DC brought in GUNS N’ ROSES vocalist Axl Rose to front the band.
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Johnson reveals in his autobiography, “The Lives of Brian“, that he never watched footage of Axl singing for the band.
Johnson says: “I’m told that he did a great job, but I just couldn’t watch – especially when you’ve been doing it for 35 years. It’s like finding a stranger in your house, sitting in your favourite chair.
“But I bear no grudges. It was a tough situation. Angus and the lads did what they felt they had to do. That said, after the band released a statement confirming that I was leaving the tour and wishing me all the best for the future, I couldn’t relax or concentrate on anything. It was just always there.
“Part of the pain of it was that I blamed myself. For most of my career, I’d been in the loudest band in the world. I’d flown constantly. I’d flown even when I knew I wasn’t well.
“For a while, people would ask me if I was depressed, but depression is treatable. My hearing loss wasn’t. What I was feeling wasn’t depression. It was something closer to despair.”
Brian has returned to the vocalist spot within AC/DC, yet confesses that his time away in 2016 had him feeling like he “wouldn’t have minded” being killed in a car accident in one of his races.