Legendary hard rockers AC/DC have been forced to reschedule a number of North American live dates, following hearing issues suffered by their longtime lead singer Brian Johnson. Doctors have reportedly advised Johnson to stop touring immediately or the rocker could run the risk of going completely deaf.
The band issued an official statement on their website about the lead singer’s hearing impairment, saying that they will make up the remaining tour dates by the end of the year.
“AC/DC are forced to reschedule the 10 upcoming dates on the U.S. leg of their “Rock or Bust” World Tour,” the band’s statement reads. “AC/DC’s lead singer, Brian Johnson, has been advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss. Tomorrow’s show in Atlanta through Madison Square Garden in New York, NY in early April will be made up later in the year, likely with a guest vocalist.”
An additional set of shows in the U.K. which were scheduled for June remain up in the air, but will likely have a similar fate to their U.S. counterparts, with the band either rescheduling or performing with another singer.
Whether or not fans will stand for anyone other than Johnson — whose screechy vocals are a cornerstone of AC/DC’s power-rock aesthetic — remains to be seen. The band has been able to get away with a vocal replacement once before in an earlier evolution with Johnson replacing the group’s original lead singer Bon Scott, who died in 1980 after a heavy night of drinking.
In the past two years the band has replaced two members, with drummer Chris Slade filling in for the original drummer, Phil Rudd, who pled guilty to drug charges and threatening to kill a former assistant, and Stevie Young replacing his cousin, guitarist Malcolm Young, due to early-onset dementia.
Whether or not this will be the group’s last tour remains to be seen, but a five piece band with only two original members is a sad sight to behold in any case, especially given that up until two years ago the classic lineup was all there.