Brian Johnson issues statement about AC/DC departure, says he’s not retiring

brianjohnsonBrian Johnson has given his first public comments since being replaced as the frontman for AC/DC, saying that his departure from the band was for medical reasons and that he plans to keep performing in a studio setting.

In a statement published by Rolling Stone, Johnson explained that after being told by doctors on March 7 that performing in large venues would cause him to risk total hearing loss, he decided to take their advice and stop singing live.

“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,” the statement said. “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.

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“Since that day, I have had several consultations with my doctors and it appears that, for the near future, 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. Until that time, I tried as best as I could to continue despite the pain and hearing loss but it all became too much to bear and too much to risk.”

Johnson went on to thank fans as as well as AC/DC bandmates Angus Young and Cliff Williams.

“I am personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine,” the statement said. “The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before. Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life’s work. I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice. The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person.

“Most importantly, I feel terrible having to disappoint the fans who bought tickets for the canceled shows and who have steadfastly supported me and AC/DC these many years. Words cannot express my deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks not just for the recent outpouring to me personally of kind words and good wishes, but also for the years of loyal support of AC/DC. My thanks also go to Angus and Cliff for their support.”

Johnson concluded the statement by saying he was not retiring from music completely.

“My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that,” Johnson said. “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.”

AC/DC’s Rock or Bust tour, which will carry on with Axl Rose on vocals as the group makes up the show dates it was forced to postpone due to Johnson’s condition, gets back on the road on May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Photo credit: Weatherman90 at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

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4 comments to “Brian Johnson issues statement about AC/DC departure, says he’s not retiring”
  1. This is a real sad story. It sounds like he was really forced out. I have to say I’m not a fan of the Axl thing.

  2. Pingback: Fans Can Get Refund for Axl/DC Show | Rocknuts

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