Comedian Jim Breuer, a friend of AC/DC singer Brian Johnson, claims the vocalist has been “kicked to the curb” by the band’s guitarist Angus Young after fronting AC/DC for 36 years.
During an episode of his “The Metal In Me” podcast, which you can stream below, Breuer — in comments that were first reported by the Canton Repository — spoke about spending time with Johnson following the comedian’s March 11 show at Sarasota Florida’s McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre.
According to Breuer, Johnson’s doctor informed the singer that he had lost some of his hearing during the first leg of AC/DC’s “Rock Or Bust” tour, which consisted of outdoor performances, and advised the 67-year-old against continuing with the trek. “[The doctor said], ‘Now you’re gonna go out and do indoor [shows]? I do not put my name on this. You’re a grown man. You make a decision, but I would not mess around with this at all.'”
Breuer went on to say that Johnson spoke to AC/DC management and Young to explain the situation. “[Brian] said that he called and let [AC/DC and Young] know, ‘Hey, this is what the doctor said, but let’s try to figure this out. I don’t think it’s as bad as he said it is,'” Breuer said. “Literally the next day in the press, it was ‘Brian Johnson, tour canceled, he’s losing his hearing.’
“He said he just called and gave that information,” Breuer said. “He didn’t say he wanted to quit. He didn’t say he was done. He called with that information, and two days later, he read in the papers and heard on Twitter and everywhere else, ‘Brian Johnson going deaf canceling tour.’ A day later, and it was, ‘Oh, we’re gonna have guest singers.'”
According to Breuer, Johnson suspects that he has already been replaced in AC/DC. “There’s been no answer [from the band],” Breuer said. “He feels like he heard from someone that they already hired somebody, it just hasn’t been announced yet.”
Breuer added that despite Johnson being in the band for 36 years, he still felt like a hired gun. Johnson also believes that Young, who is seven years his junior, wants to keep AC/DC going for another decade. “[Brian] explained how Angus is the youngest guy in the band,” Breuer said. “He’s convinced Angus wants to continue the next ten years whether it’s him or not. [Angus] wants to write another album and do one more tour. Who’s filling those shoes? How do you do that after forty years? It’s just really weird.”
Johnson has been the band’s singer since 1980, when he replaced Bon Scott. He made his recording debut with the group on the classic “Back In Black”.
AC/DC has been on the road since last year in support of its 16th studio album, “Rock Or Bust”, but this album cycle has been plagued with bad luck.
Founding guitarist Malcolm Young retired after he was diagnosed with dementia, while drummer Phil Rudd was arrested in late November 2014 on charges of drug possession and threatening to kill. The pair were replaced by Stevie Young and Chris Slade, respectively.