AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson has issued a lengthy statement regarding his departure from the band which you can read in full below.
Johnno says that he doesn’t believe the earlier press releases sufficiently set out what he wanted to say to AC/DC fans or the way in which he thought it should be presented. He is also very clear about the fact that he is not retiring and that he is clear to do studio work with a view to making a return to the live arena at some point.
Meanwhile, Eddie Trunk has cast doubt on Johnno’s departure and claims the legendary singer was pushed out because he could no longer keep up with his younger bandmates.
Writing in a blog post on Tuesday, Trunk doubted the band’s official statement that Johnson had been ordered to stop performing by doctors and alleged that during recent shows, Brian had not been eager to put on as many shows as guitarist Angus Young.
Trunk said: “The release from AC/DC made it pretty clear they are done with Brian Johnson. Nobody is buying the hearing thing, that I know. My sources tell me Brian was slowing down and didn’t want to work as hard as Angus (who is younger) did.”
Well we are certainly buying it and there is absolutely no reason at all to doubt one word of Johnno’s statement below.
“As many AC/DC fans know, the remaining shows for the 2016 AC/DC Rock or Bust World Tour, including 10 postponed U.S. shows, are being rescheduled with a guest singer. I want personally to explain the reason because I don’t believe the earlier press releases sufficiently set out what I wanted to say to our fans or the way in which I thought it should be presented.
On March 7th, after a series of examinations by leading physicians in the field of hearing loss, I was advised that if I continue to perform at large venues, I risked total deafness. While I was horrified at the reality of the news that day, I had for a time become aware that my partial hearing loss was beginning to interfere with my performance on stage. I was having difficulty hearing the guitars on stage and because I was not able to hear the other musicians clearly, I feared the quality of my performance could be compromised.
In all honesty this was something I could not in good conscience allow. Our fans deserve my performance to be at the highest level, and if for any reason I can’t deliver that level of performance I will not disappoint our fans or embarrass the other members of AC/DC.
I am not a quitter and I like to finish what I start, nevertheless, the doctors made it clear to me and my bandmates that I had no choice but to stop performing on stage for the remaining shows and possibly beyond. That was the darkest day of my professional life.
Since that day, I have had several consultations with my doctors and it appears that, for the near future, I will be unable to perform on stage at arena and stadium size venues where the sound levels are beyond my current tolerance, without the risk of substantial hearing loss and possibly total deafness. Until that time, I tried as best as I could to continue despite the pain and hearing loss but it all became too much to bear and too much to risk.
I am personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine. The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before.
Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life’s work. I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice. The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person.
Most importantly, I feel terrible having to disappoint the fans who bought tickets for the canceled shows and who have steadfastly supported me and AC/DC these many years. Words cannot express my deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks not just for the recent outpouring to me personally of kind words and good wishes, but also for the years of loyal support of AC/DC. My thanks also go to Angus and Cliff for their support.
Finally, I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that. For the moment, my entire focus is to continue medical treatment to improve my hearing. I am hoping that in time my hearing will improve and allow me to return to live concert performances. While the outcome is uncertain, my attitude is optimistic. Only time will tell.
Once again, my sincere best wishes and thanks to everyone for their support and understanding.
Yesterday Axl Rose was announced as AC/DC singer for the remaining 22 Rock Or Bust world tour dates and this has caused an angry fan backlash with social media feeds awash with negativity over the appointment.
Axl Rose will appear for the first time with AC/DC in Johnno’s place in Lisbon on May 7th.
Here’s a video of AC/DC at Wembley last year. Brian is having trouble hearing the band and misses his cue for the opening of ‘Shoot To Thrill’. At least he turned up for the gig on time.