Brian Johnson Issues Statement On AC/DC Departure: ‘I Am Not Retiring’


Brian Johnson is not done rockin’. The longtime AC/DC singer has issued a lengthy statement regarding his departure from the iconic Australian rock band. Rolling Stone posted Johnson’s entire statement, in which he revealed that he is “personally crushed” by the fact that he can no longer tour with AC/DC.

Brian Johnson has fronted AC/DC since 1980 and his voice is one of the most recognizable in rock ‘n roll. But, last month the singer was abruptly forced to stop touring while on the road for the band’s Rock or Bust tour. Doctors told Johnson if he continued to tour he would risk total hearing loss.

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In his statement, Brian Johnson explained that earlier press releases regarding his departure didn’t “sufficiently set out what I wanted to say to our fans or the way in which I thought it should be presented.”

The rocker revealed that after being examined by top physicians in the field he was told that if he continued to perform in large venues he risked total deafness. Johnson acknowledged that while he was “horrified at the reality of the news that day,” he had noticed that his partial hearing loss was already starting to interfere with his concert performances. Because he was unable to hear his bandmates or their instruments clearly, Brian said he “could not in good conscience allow” the performances to continue on that way because AC/DC fans deserved better.

“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,” Johnson said. “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.”

Johnson went on to add that subsequent evaluations have confirmed that he cannot perform on stage at arena and stadium size venues without the risk of total deafness.

“I am personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine. 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.”

Brian Johnson also apologized to fans that have already purchased tickets to the band’s upcoming shows, and he thanked his bandmates Angus Young and Cliff Williams for their support.

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But while Brian Johnson’s official announcement sounds rather dire, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. Johnson made it clear that he is not retiring from the music business. Brian said that his doctors have cleared him to continue recording.

“Finally, I wish to assure our fans that 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.”

Brian Johnson did not confirm if he will record with AC/DC in the future. When AC/DC announced that Guns ‘N Roses frontman Axl Rose had been hired to fill in for Brian for the remainder of the Rock or Bust shows, the band made it sound like Johnson was no longer with the band.

Have a drink on me! photo: @rp_goldenfotos

A photo posted by AC/DC (@acdc) on

AC/DC made the official announcement about Brian Johnson’s departure late last week on their official website ACDC.com, thanking Brian for his contributions to the band. The band even wished Johnson the best “with his hearing issues and future ventures.” AC/DC’s statement about Brian Johnson sure sounded final, but when it comes to the rock ‘n roll business, fans have learned to never say never.

Take a look at the video below to hear one of Brian Johnson’s biggest hits with AC/DC.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images ]