By Hayden Wright
In 2016, singer Brian Johnson bowed out of AC/DC when hearing problems left him unable to perform in peak condition on tour. The legendary singer was ultimately replaced by Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose. Now, Johnson has opened up about the decision in a new interview.
“Onstage it was getting harder and harder to hear the guitars, even hear the keys, and I was basically going on muscle memory,” Johnson told the Sunday Times. “And I’m not the kind of guy who likes to cheat. The way I look at it, I had a great run.”
Johnson’s departure came during the band’s Rock or Bust Tour in 2016. At the time, he was “advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss.”
In November, AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young died after years of health problems including dementia, lung cancer, and an unspecified heart problem. In the new interview, Johnson doesn’t discuss a return to AC/DC and it’s unclear what the future of the band will be. Instead, The original crooner of classics including “Hells Bells” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” discussed his car collection and television show, Cars that Rock.
“It’s not rock stars that buckle my knees, it’s [race car drivers] Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna, Tazio Nuvolari, Stirling Moss,” he said. “These guys were frontiersmen; they did stuff that nobody else thought possible.”
Then again, so did Axl Rose — twice.