AC/DC May Have Fired Brian Johnson For ‘Slowing Down,’ Axl Rose ‘Excited’ To Take Over

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Eddie Trunk has released a new blog discussing Axl Rose taking over for Brian Johnson as AC/DC’s lead singer for the band’s remaining 2016 tour dates. Read an excerpt below:

“Well now the news is official about Axl’s involvement in AC/DC, at least to fill in for these remaining shows. If you heard my podcast this is what Axl and I discussed at the Vegas show last weekend and he asked me not to speak about until it was officially out. Needless to say for Axl this is a moment for him to play with his heroes. He told me how excited he was to have the chance to do this and said he would do an interview with me about it if I didn’t say anything until official word comes out. So hopefully that is coming! You also no doubt know Angus jammed with GnR last night at Coachella to make it official. The clips on YouTube sounded cool and clearly vocally Axl can handle the gig. But there are way more questions than that. The release from AC/DC made it pretty clear they are done with Brian Johnson. What really happened with Brian is anyone’s guess. But 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.

I also know that on the latest tour Brian only wanted to do 2-3 shows max a week. Something that is expensive for a band when off that much on the road (Aerosmith has to do this with Tyler). It comes with age and guys slowing. I suspect it reached a breaking point and that was that. I can not believe it was a sudden hearing issue. Maybe it played a small role, but no way is it the real story in full. I can’t believe after 36 years AC/DC would say goodbye to their singer and not find a work around. MANY have hearing issues and find a way to make it work in rock. And until Brian speaks, we will never know. Brian is a total class act. So very possible he takes the high road here. But it still blows me away how so many fans are not demanding a real answer on Brian and are so quick to move on.”

Darren Caperna, the lead singer for AC/DC cover band Back in Black, also auditioned for Johnson’s job.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 17th, 2016

AC/DC auditions singer from Dallas-based tribute band Back In Black

DALLAS, TEXAS – Dallas-based AC/DC tribute band BACK IN BLACK is proud to announce that long-time frontman Darren Caperna was selected by AC/DC to audition as their potential new vocalist.

The audition took place the week of March 14th at a private rehearsal studio in Atlanta. Caperna was contacted by AC/DC via phone, and was immediately flown out by the band. Joining him was founding Back In Black member and guitarist Mike Mroz.

The audition began with a sound check, whereby the AC/DC tech crew performed a couple of songs with Caperna, to set levels, and to help him feel more comfortable. Then after a short break, AC/DC came in the room and greeted both Caperna and Mroz. “After the soundcheck , Darren and I were talking to the guitar techs, and all of a sudden I look over my shoulder and Angus Young was standing behind me waiting to say hi!” said Mroz.

After meeting the band, and having some tea, AC/DC put Caperna to work. The 3-4 song audition turned into a 21-song concert. Caperna ended up singing the entire “Rock or Bust” tour set, plus two additional songs that Angus wanted to play, “Dog Eat Dog”, and “Riff Raff”. Caperna comments: “Before we started “Riff Raff”, Angus came up to me, and said “I’m warning you in advance that we are still a little rusty on this song!” Did I just hear Angus apologizing to me?!”

Mroz and Caperna spent over 4 hours with their musical heroes. Caperna states “ It was all so surreal, we had a couple of breaks, and Angus told me some great Bon Scott stories. They were all so friendly, and treated us as their peers. I still can’t believe that I sang with AC/DC!”

Caperna adds, “Even though I did not get the job, it was the experience of a lifetime! Being in a tribute band for 16 years, we were hoping that we would be able to meet AC/DC one day — but this goes way beyond our expectations! Now, I have a great story to tell my grandchildren, and the guitar students that I teach at For Those About To Rock School in Southlake, Texas.

“This experience was so inspiring and educational — Plus, I had my own private AC/DC concert, fronted by my singer”, Mroz continues. “At the end of the night, I saw Angus outside, and he told me that Darren had done a great job. I thanked him again for the opportunity. I told him that when I first started our tribute band (Back In Black), I was a little uncomfortable wearing his trademark schoolboy outfit. But then I realized that it drove the girls crazy!” Angus laughed and replied “Don’t tell anyone our secret!”