After Brian Johnson was let go from AC/DC after facing permanent hearing loss, many wondered what the motivation behind it was. The plot thickened when Johnson’s friend and comedian Jim Breuer expressed his displeasure about AC/DC giving their long-time singer the boot.
After the controversy, the band announced Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose as Johnson’s replacement, stating: “As much as we want this tour to end as it started, we understand, respect and support Brian’s decision to stop touring and save his hearing.” Now, AC/DC finally decided to respond directly on whether Johnson was fired or not.
Bassist Cliff Williams and guitarist Angus Young filmed a one-minute video with Axl Rose, explaining why Johnson had decided to step down as AC/DC’s lead singer:
Angus declared :”You get a lot of rumors out there; a lot of people think Brian was fired. [But] that’s not the case,”
“It was mainly his hearing. He already had a very bad ear, and the good ear that he had left was dropping rapidly. I mean, it was an ongoing [issue]… all the way pretty much through the tour from the beginning.”
Cliff elaborated: “He had an instance where there was a marked drop in that one good ear and it came back, but not completely. The doc told him this can happen again and it may not come back. So, you know, you kind of… What do you do with that?”
“It’s a horrible thing [what happened to Brian],” said Axl. “And you hope that he gets better.
“I’m not dancing around about this, because it’s not like, okay, somebody said they’re gonna go do something else. It’s because of an unfortunate circumstance. And that’s something I’m very aware of.”
At the same time, Angus added that the decision to have Brian replaced for the upcoming tour “was out of our hands,” insisting that “it was [Brian’s] call what he felt” the best way to proceed was. “We wouldn’t win in a lot of situations because if we just stopped, there would have been a lot of people unhappy,” he said.
You can watch the video below: