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“I am not a quitter”, says AC/DC’s Brian Johnson

By | Published on Wednesday 20 April 2016

AC/DC Rock Or Bust

Last month it was announced that AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson would have to bow out of the band’s latest tour for the quite reasonable reason that performing the shows would mean he risked losing his hearing entirely. With Axl Rose now announced as his replacement for the remainder of the tour, Johnson has issued a statement giving further details, insisting that he is “not a quitter”.

Saying that he felt previous press releases from the band had not “sufficiently set out” his hearing issues, he explains: “On 7 Mar, 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”.

He continues: “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”.

Having had several more consultations with doctors, it has been confirmed to him that, at least for now, “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”. Feeling “personally crushed by this development” he says he “cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice”.

However, he insists, “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”.

As previously reported, Rose will join the band for European dates starting next month. Then, following his summer tour with the reunited Guns N Roses, he and AC/DC will play the postponed US Shows from earlier this year.