Comedian Jim Brewer stirred up a shitstorm last week when he more than suggested close friend Brian Johnson was fired from AC/DC, the band he’s fronted for the past 36 years. A subsequent report confirmed that Johnson was indeed ousted, and that AC/DC is currently auditioning for another lead singer.
Now a source close to Johnson—who spoke to the 67-year-old singer just last night—confirms that Johnson is no longer in AC/DC, but that it was a mutual decision with the rest of band, and that he “wasn’t fired, not at all.” “He’s not gonna be in the band anymore,” said the source, “because he doesn’t want to take a chance with his hearing.” The source said Johnson said to “consider him out of the band now.”
It was announced March 7 that AC/DC would be forced to postpone the remaining 10 shows of their Rock or Bust tour because Johnson “has been advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss” and that a “guess vocalist” would likely fill Johnson’s void for those dates. The source confirms the band is indeed looking for his replacement.
“[The band] decided maybe it’s not the best thing to continue [with Johnson] if it’s gonna mean his hearing is going to deteriorate completely,” says the source. “They don’t want that either.”
With Johnson gone, speculation continues to run rampant as to who might replace Johnson, and if that’s even possible at this stage in AC/DC’s career. Krokus singer Marc Storace recently told BlastEcho he’d be interested in auditioning for the spot, but it’s not known if he’s even been contacted by AC/DC representatives.
Only lead guitarist Angus Young remains from the band’s original line-up, and only he and bassist Cliff Williams since Johnson’s predecessor Bon Scott was fronting the band.