Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) says that he “couldn’t think of a better choice” than Axl Rose to front AC/DC for European dates in May and June.
The legendary Australian rock band postponed the last ten dates of its recent North American tour after doctors told Brian Johnson he faced “total hearing loss.” AC/DC has since announced that it will use the GUNS N’ ROSES singer as a “guest vocalist” when it resumes its tour next month, with Johnson apparently not returning to the band at all.
Wylde, who has performed a cover version of AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” with GUNS N’ ROSES in 2011 when BLACK LABEL SOCIETY opened for GN’R (see video below), says that while he certainly wants to see Johnson return to AC/DC, he believes that Rose will be the perfect guy to step in and do the job.
“We all want Brian to get better, as far as his hearing,” Zakk told Metal Wani in a new interview (hear audio below). “That’s terrible. I’ve met Brian, and he’s the sweetest guy on the planet. I mean, obviously, everybody’s rootin’ for Brian to get better. But in the meantime, while Brian’s recovering, I couldn’t think of a better choice. And Axl’s such a huge fan. [Late AC/DC singer] Bon Scott is, like, his guy.”
He continued: “When me and Axl would always talk about our favorite musicians and singers and guitar players… you know, whatever… We both love Elton John and everything like that. Whenever we talk about all the bands and musicians, Bon Scott was his… As far as singers go, he was, like, ‘That was my guy.’ So, for Axl, I’m sure he’s beyond honored that he could actually… you know, he’s gonna sing with the guys. It’s like Ozzy [Osbourne] playing with THE BEATLES, ‘cause of Ozzy’s love for John Lennon, and they’re gonna ask him to sit in for John Lennon’s parts. You know what I mean? Ozzy would be beyond… he’d be speechless. So, yeah, Axl’s gonna be beyond honored, and I think it’s gonna be awesome, ‘cause, I mean, Axl loves that stuff. So in the meantime, until Brian gets better, I couldn’t think of a better way to do it.”
Classic Rock magazine recently posted a story on its web site as to why Axl Rose is the “worst idea” to replace Johnson in AC/DC. Its sister publication, Metal Hammer, has since countered with why it is a “brilliant idea,” and here are some of their reasons:
1) “Various singers from bands ranging from KROKUS to THE HIVES have thrown their hat in the ring, but all along, there was only one viable direction, and that was pulling in a high-profile singer who knows the material, who has the range and who’s got the time.”
2) “Anybody who’s watched GUNS N’ ROSES‘ version of ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ on YouTube must grudgingly admit that he riotously delivers the punch and snarl of the original. There is no debate that Axl has the style and the range to handle the band’s current set list.”
3) “Say what you will about Axl, but he’s possessed of high intelligence and his own keen survival instinct; he acutely understands that before him lies a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to elevate his stature among his fans and peers and to carve his name on the wall of the AC/DC legacy for all time. No way will Axl blow this…”
4) “Finally, think about the ticket holders. If you had a ticket to one of these shows and word comes down that the band have hired the guy from KROKUS to front them, are you going to go? But put Axl Rose and now you’ve got something to see.”
AC/DC’s European tour kicks off on May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal and runs through June 12 in Aarhus, Denmark. Following that, Rose will head out on his previously announced summer reunion tour with GUNS N’ ROSES. AC/DC’s ten postponed U.S. dates will take place later in the year, also with Rose as frontman.