Axl Rose Debuts With AC/DC This Weekend

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AC_DC with Axl (photo by Roger Sargent)

Photo by Roger Sargent

“I wasn’t looking at it like, ‘I’m singing for AC/DC.’ I was looking at it like, ‘y’know, if I can, and if they think I’m able to do it.'”

Axl Rose, a man who has never been accused of a small ego, is being surprisingly modest as he embarks on his first 12 shows in Europe filling in for Brian Johnson as the singer for the hard rock superstars. And he has finally opened up to the media regarding his role in helping the band finish its “Rock Or Bust” tour in an interview with BBC 6’s Music Breakfast show that aired this morning (5/6).

“I’m happy and excited in one sense, but I think it would be inappropriate to be celebrating, in a certain way, at someone else’s expense,” Rose told interviewer Matt Everitt. “That’s not what I’m here to do.” Johnson was advised to stop singing onstage with AC/DC or possibly suffer total hearing loss. Rose plays his debut concert with the group on Saturday (5/7) in Lisbon, Portugal.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Rose observes. Although there have been rumors of bad blood between Johnson and AC/DC over the singers’s departure, guitarist Angus Young told the BBC that he and Johnson had extensively discussed the situation. “In his heart he wanted to finish [the tour] but because of that hearing factor he had to make the decision,” Young explains. “It’s a hard thing to do, and he’d had the problem since we kicked off touring. It was his call. It was a shock to us too. The last thing you want to do is walk away from something, but you don’t want someone in a tragic situation; being deaf, or any other affliction.” Johnson replaced singer Bon Scott after his death in 1980.

Rose says that as soon as he heard Johnson was leaving the tour he made contact with AC/DC. “I called the day I read about it in the news, that there was a situation going on with Brian’s hearing,” he says. “I called a guy who’s their production manager right now… because I knew there was going to be a problem with having dates on sale and dates sold and stuff like that. So if I could help, and if I was able to do it, and they were interested, I’d love to help. And that’s how it started.”

Several thousand European fans have taken up AC/DC on its offer to refund tickets if they now don’t want to see the group. They have quickly sold to other fans.

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After Rose finishes in Europe with AC/DC, he will then hit the road with Guns N’ Roses on June 23rd for their “Not in This Lifetime” summer stadium tour. After that he will rejoin AC/DC to play their rescheduled U.S. “Rock Or Bust” shows.

Rose is hoping that he can “A lot of the Back In Black stuff is really challenging. I’m not here in any way out of any disrespect to Brian. I can’t take anything away from his singing at all,” he said. “He’s a great singer and it’s really challenging to sing it. I’m just trying to do it justice for the fans.”

AC/DC European Tour Dates

May 07 – Lisbon, Portugal – Passeio Maritimo De Alges
May 10 – Seville, Spain – Estadio De La Cartuja
May 13 – Marseille, France – Stade Velodrome
May 16 – Werchter, Belgium – Werchter Site
May 19 – Vienna, Austria – Erns-Happel Stadium
May 22 – Prague, Czech Republic – Letnany Airport
May 26 – Hamburg, Germany – Volksparkstadion
May 29 – Berne, Switzerland – Stade De Suisse
June 1 – Leipzig, Germany – Red Bull Arena
June 4 – London, England – The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
June 9 – Manchester, England – Etihad Stadium
June 12 – Aarhus, Denmark – Ceres Park

Best Classic Bands Staff

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