AC/DC is in search of a lead singer in the wake of Brian Johnson’s doctor-ordered touring hiatus, but rumors that Axl Rose will fill in for the Aussie rock singer may be exaggerated. A press rep for AC/DC told NME that they have “nothing official” to announce regarding Rose as a fill-in for their longtime singer.
“Nothing official to announce. Will update you if that changes.”
Several singers have already offered their services to AC/DC as the band searches for a replacement vocalist, but the Axl Rose rumors started after Atlanta DJ Jason Bailey said he has it on good authority that the Guns ‘N Roses frontman is in talks with AC/DC to be the band’s guest frontman.
— Zap2it (@Zap2it) March 24, 2016
According to Alternative Nation, Bailey said that AC/DC was in Atlanta, where the band’s first postponed show will take place sometime this year, and that he was told Axl had been flown in by AC/DC to “audition” for Johnson’s job.
“This is what I’m being told: Axl was meeting with the AC/DC group – because it’s all but a done deal that for the 10 remaining shows. All 10, including Atlanta.”
Bailey later posted to Twitter that he got his information from a very good source. But he also added that he would not reveal his source and that the information was not confirmed.
— Jason Bailey (@mrjasonbailey) March 24, 2016
AC/DC has been in search of a lead singer for the 10 remaining U.S. shows of their Rock or Bust tour ever since Johnson’s doctors ordered him to stop touring immediately or risk “total hearing loss.” The AC/DC singer has said in interviews that his hearing loss has nothing to do with his nearly 40 years touring stadiums with AC/DC. Instead, in an interview on Howard Stern’s radio show, the AC/DC singer said he damaged his hearing while racing cars.
“I didn’t get it from music. I got it from sitting in a race car too long without earplugs. I heard me eardrum burst, because I forgot to put me plugs in under my helmet. That’s how it happened. Music had nothing to do with it.”
In the weeks since AC/DC announced that Johnson will stop touring, several lead singers have expressed interest in fronting the band, including Dave Evans, who was hired by AC/DC founders Malcolm and Angus Young in 1973 before he was replaced by Bon Scott the following year. Johnson took over as AC/DC’s frontman after Scott died in 1980.
In addition to Evans, Krokus lead singer Marc Storace put his hat in the replacement ring, telling BlastEcho he would be interested in auditioning for the high-profile AC/DC singing gig. And Hives singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist has also said he would be interested in being a guest singer for AC/DC. Almqvist posted a message to his band’s Facebook page saying he is ready to step in for Johnson.
Of course, out of all of the possible new AC/DC singers, none would draw as much attention as Axl Rose. The GNR frontman has even been known to cover an AC/DC tune or two while on tour (see video below), but the timing could clash with the rocker’s upcoming GNR reunion shows, which start April 8 in Las Vegas. The revised dates for the 10 AC/DC shows have not yet been posted, but the concerts will kick off in Atlanta and will wrap up at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Take a look at the video below to see Axl Rose performing AC/DC’s classic song “Whole Lotta Rosie.”
[Photo By Ethan Miller/Getty Images]