AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Felt ‘Hope’ After His Hearing Issues

AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson is a car and racing enthusiast, but his passions almost cost him to lose his hearing. In 2016, he punctured his left eardrum after forgetting to put on earplugs during a race. During their 2016 Rock Or Bust World Tour, AC/DC announced Johnson’s departure due to hearing issues, citing it would be dangerous for the frontman to continue touring with them. Brian Johnson revealed some details about this incident in his memoir ‘The Lives of Brian.’

The singer stated that he met a technician who began an experimental treatment to address his hearing issues. “Whatever magic he used, it worked. I could hear again – even in my deaf ear, meaning I was able to enjoy stereo again,” Johnson wrote, recalling the moment he got his hearing back. “Suddenly, I felt something that I hadn’t felt in what seemed like an eternity: Hope.”

As Johnson was absent, AC/DC had to look for someone to front the band for the remainder of the tour. They canceled and rescheduled ten of their shows and settled on Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose to fill in for Brian Johnson. It was the first time AC/DC took the stage with a singer other than Johnson since their 1980 Highway To Hell Tour. During that period, Brian focused on recovering as he didn’t want to risk his hearing.

“I’m told that he did a great job, but I just couldn’t watch – especially when you’ve been doing it for 35 years,” said Johnson, implying it was hard for him to see Rose fill his shoes. “It’s like finding a stranger in your house, sitting in your favorite chair. But I bear no grudges. It was a tough situation. Angus Young and the lads did what they felt they had to do. That said, after the band released a statement confirming that I was leaving the tour and wishing me all the best for the future, I couldn’t relax or concentrate on anything. It was just always there.”

So, thanks to the medical expert who found an experimental approach to treat Brian Johnson’s hearing issue, the AC/DC icon is still on the stage, making music with the band. Moreover, it turns out that being replaced by Axl Rose was a source of stress for Johnson at that time. It’s an understandable response to this situation, as he has been working with AC/DC for over four decades.