Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose may replace AC/DC singer Brian Johnson for the remainder of the band’s U.S. tour dates, according to insider information leaked by an Atlanta-area radio host.
The legendary Australian rock group was forced to postpone its current tour due to Johnson’s extreme hearing damage. Doctors told the singer that any more shows may result in a total loss of hearing, ordering him to stop performing immediately.
DJ Jason Bailey first reported the story on Atlanta Radio 100.5, after Rose was spotted in the city over the weekend, telling a Guns N’ Roses forum that he was there for “rehearsals,” but not for GNR’s upcoming reunion shows.
“This is what I’m being told: Axl was meeting with the AC/DC group, because it’s all but a done deal that Axl will front AC/DC for the 10 remaining shows. All 10, including Atlanta,” Bailey reportedly said on air. “They’re in town, they were auditioning people for the job, and then they flew Axl in. Again, this is from my source.”
The band responded to the rumors with a short statement, with a PR representative saying to news outlet NME, “Nothing official to announce. Will update you if that changes.”
Still, AC/DC is almost certainly eyeing a high-profile frontman to finish out this tour, which could possibly be the last ever for the band; AC/DC already features two replacement members (guitarist Stevie Young and drummer Chris Slade).
At the same time the band announced their tour postponements, they also announced that the shows would be “made up later in the year, likely with a guest vocalist.”
It’s hard to think of a better guest than legendary high-note rocker Axl Rose, provided he can still nail those soprano screams like he used to. Or, for that matter, that he would show up to the shows at all; Rose is notoriously diva-like when it comes to live performances.
Either way, fans of the Guns N’ Roses singer will be able to catch him live this year, as the “classic” lineup of his former band reunites for shows this spring and summer, including a much-anticipated headlining slot at Coachella.