A prominent member of AC/DC’s touring company has given us a remarkable insight into what is going on behind the scenes after the band appointed Axl Rose as vocalist in the wake of Brian Johnson’s sad departure from the band.
Axl will play 22 dates with AC/DC, the first being in Lisbon on May 7th. In the meantime, the crew are on a short downtime and our contact told us the following:
“Oh well, the fun has begun and ain’t even been home a couple of days. Got a call from DC management telling me ‘when I go to Portugal next week for a little break before the European tour starts they have set up a meeting with the promotors and local council people in charge of the show on the 7th in Lisbon and could I attend.’
“So I asked what is it all about, as you do, and after a little delay was told its about sorting out what times the show can run to at the latest before cut off, even though contracts and agreements have been sorted. I was told they will email all the details of what they now want and see if I can sort it.
“Not so much as predicting trouble, more like covering arses time as all contracts between DC and Rose have been hashed out but as you know if all goes tits up its years going through courts etc and it doesn’t help people, especially the genuine fans who are my concern, spending their dosh for a night out.
“I just wish they could have picked one of the other four singers who are not as famous or infamous or even followed through with the Steve Tyler talks! All four are from DC cover bands. I put Mr [Angry] Anderson up but… no reply.
“Don’t get me wrong, Axl can do the job and there will be more classic Bon Scott era songs but how can you sing them if you are not there or asleep? Oh well, as they say, onwards and upwards.”
So in a nutshell, AC/DC are covering themselves in case Axl’s poor reputation for unprofessionalism manifests itself, the band did speak to Steven Tyler about the gig, the crew are not totally positive about Axl’s appointment and Angry Anderson was not even close to being considered for the job.
Our contact went on to tell us: “Brian [Johnson] has had problems with his hearing on this tour which affected his vocals. There are other personal problems but they remain personal and it will all come out as and when.”
Meanwhile The Sydney Morning Herald are quoting sources close to AC/DC who apparently told the paper that the choice of Rose for the upcoming tour was “financially motivated.”
Jesse Fink, the AC/DC biographer who wrote ‘The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC’, called the Rose recruitment “the worst decision AC/DC has ever made. Fans are pretty disgusted,” Fink said.
“AC/DC is an institution, a way of life for a lot of people,” he continued. “And a huge proportion of the AC/DC fan base loves Brian. They feel the band owed him a lot more than to go out the way he has and they want the truth, not an emotionless press release that makes it sound like he was made redundant from a motor plant.
“Would Malcolm have agreed to this? It leaves the question of who is making the decisions for AC/DC. Angus? George? [Accountant] Alvin Handwerker? Sony?
“There seems to be a power vacuum since Mal retired from the band and whoever is making the decisions is, frankly, making pretty poor ones. This is the worst decision AC/DC has ever made.”