Angus Young confirmed that AC/DC ‘had to look’ at other singer options after Brian Johnson had his hearing issues leading to his departure, prior to hiring Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.
Young told Zane Lowe on Apple Music, “We could have just stopped and said, ‘We’ll cancel.’ And hopefully we’ll get another chance. But we knew there would still be even a lot of insurance and legality there. Or we can look at other options maybe, and somebody said, ‘Well, maybe we could get somebody who might guest. We might have some people who you could try out, who might be able to do the role and get you through.’ So, we had to look at those options. Then out of the blue, we got a message that Axl Rose would help. If nothing interfered with his commitments, he would gladly help us out. So, we got to a rehearse place and tried out and he put a lot of effort in everything.
I’d only met him a long time ago in the 80s. He had come to a show and he was, to me, he was very, very nice and everything. Basically, that’s how it came in to be, that allowed us to finish off those dates. So for us, it was a heaven sent. It was a little bit like a lifesaver. Even though he had done his foot in before he started, he borrowed a chair. He was determined he was going to go, so I thought… The first show we had to do, I think it was in Portugal, it was a horrible day. It was raining and everything, it was open air. It was-
Everyone was going wrong and then just at the last minute, the sky cleared, the storm went away. We got on stage and got through. He performed from the chair, give it his best shot and we got through. So for the band, we’ll be forever grateful and he helped us get through all of those shows.”
Eddie Vedder also discussed an AC/DC singing offer from a big name. Brian Johnson also discussed performing live again to promote AC/DC’s new album, “Well, when we finished the rehearsal we were all pretty high on how it had all gone. We’d just talked about doing a few shows and that saying, “Take baby steps.” Like Angus was saying, or like Malcolm would always say, ‘Just take a step at a time and let’s see how it works…’ And all that.
No, I think we’re talking about doing some smaller ones, just for a bit of fun. But even that, we couldn’t even plan to make plans. Three days later, we all went home and this virus, by the time we got home, it had just traveled so quickly and it affected everybody and it just, now look at us. It’s six months later, seven months later… We would love nothing more than to just go out. I’d love to hear the boys Power Up on live and just that first few things and just gun out and gun… Let me at them.”