Comedian Jim Breuer says Brian Johnson’s status with AC/DC remains unknown following word that the singer has been advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss.
The Canton Repository reports Breuer updated listeners of Johnson’s situation via his podcast, “The Metal In Me,” after recently spending time with the singer last week in Florida.
“(Brian) said that he called and let AC/DC mainman Angus 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,’" explained Breuer. “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,” added Breuer. “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.’
Breuer explained that Johnson’s doctor informed the singer that he had lost a percentage of his hearing during the first run of the Rock Or Bust tour during “open air” stadium shows, and it raised a “red flag” for future plans.
“(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 explained of the doctor’s diagnosis.
The news led to AC/DC postponing ten US dates, with plans to make them up later in the year… but ahead of those shows, however, is 12-date European tour set to start May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal.
While Johnson was optimistic about finishing as many remaining dates on the AC/DC schedule as possible, the singer’s tour luggage showed up on his driveway.
“(Brian said) 'I would really like to finish and do some shows. I think we can knock this out.’ ” Breuer continued. “Then all his luggage that he toured with showed up at his driveway. There’s been no calls. No, ‘How’s your hearing? How’s your health?’ Boom. Here’s your (stuff), nice to know you.”
Johnson joined AC/DC in 1980 following the death of longtime singer Bon Scott.
His first record with the group, 1980’s “Back In Black”, is the biggest selling rock album of all time – with sales of more than 50 million copies worldwide – placing it second on the all-time sales list behind only Michael Jackson’s 1982 smash, “Thriller.”
Johnson has recorded a total of 11 studio albums with the band – from “Back In Black” to 2014’s “Rock Or Bust.”
As Breuer’s comments made international headlines, the comedian has since clarified his position.
“I have seen some stories circulating about my podcast,” he writes. “As a friend, I saw Brian withdrawn for the first time in my life. He's not a quitter, he seemed hurt by the situation of being between a rock and a hard place. I spoke as a true fan and friend, simply venting as if he was a brother of mine. I hope to see him Rock Out one more time.
“You have to remember I'm a comedian & a storyteller. I definitely exaggerate and sometimes I get a little carried away!! And this was one of those times!
“Just to clear the air - I was NOT quoting Brian Johnson - I was sad to see him depressed. I was venting things I felt to a friend. All Brian said was "I feel down & want to finish the job and hope it happens!" The rest was me going off…”
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