Singer Brian Johnson on leaving AC/DC: 'The darkest day of my professional life'
Longtime AC/DC singer (and Gulf Coast resident) Brian Johnson isn't feeling too great about leaving the band he fronted for nearly 40 years.
Johnson, who lives in Sarasota, announced in March that he would have to stop touring with AC/DC, effective immediately, due to a risk of total hearing loss. On Saturday, it was announced that Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose would be taking his place for the remaining shows on AC/DC's calendar, including a yet-to-be-rescheduled date in Fort Lauderdale.
This morning, Johnson broke his silence about the whole affair, issuing a lengthy statement explaining why he had to quit — and why he might not be quitting for good.
"This was the darkest day of my professional life," he said of the day he received those doctor's orders. "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."
While Johnson said he was "crushed" by an experience he calls "worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before," he said he would "always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person." He apologized to fans who bought tickets to the tour, and thanked bandmates Angus Young and Cliff Williams for their support.
And notably, he mentioned that he's not retiring.
"My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that," he 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."