|Darren Caperna of AC/DC tribute band Back In Black|
AC/DC auditioned a singer from the Dallas, TX-based tribute band Back In Black before hiring Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose to replace Brian Johnson on their Rock Or Bust world tour.
Darren Caperna explains he was contacted by AC/DC via phone and he and guitarist Mike Mroz were flown out to a private rehearsal studio in Atlanta, GA the week of March 14.
The audition began with a sound check where Caperna was joined for a couple of songs by the group’s tech crew and, following a short break, AC/DC came in the room and greeted both Caperna and Mroz.
“After the soundcheck, Darren and I were talking to the guitar techs, and all of a sudden I look over my shoulder and Angus Young was standing behind me waiting to say hi!”, says Mroz.
After meeting the band and having some tea, AC/DC put Caperna to work: the 3-4 song audition turned into a 21-song concert with Caperna singing the entire Rock Or Bust tour set plus two additional songs that Angus wanted to play: “Dog Eat Dog” and “Riff Raff.”
“Before we started “Riff Raff”, Angus came up to me and said “I’m warning you in advance that we are still a little rusty on this song!”, says Caperna. “Did I just hear Angus apologizing to me?! It was all so surreal, we had a couple of breaks, and Angus told me some great Bon Scott stories. They were all so friendly, and treated us as their peers. I still can’t believe that I sang with AC/DC!
“Even though I did not get the job, it was the experience of a lifetime!,” he adds. “Being in a tribute band for 16 years, we were hoping that we would be able to meet AC/DC one day -- but this goes way beyond our expectations! Now, I have a great story to tell my grandchildren, and the guitar students that I teach at For Those About To Rock School in Southlake, Texas.”
“This experience was so inspiring and educational -- Plus, I had my own private AC/DC concert, fronted by my singer,” laughs Mroz. “At the end of the night I saw Angus outside, and he told me that Darren had done a great job. I thanked him again for the opportunity. I told him that when I first started our tribute band I was a little uncomfortable wearing his trademark schoolboy outfit. But then I realized that it drove the girls crazy!” Angus laughed and replied, “Don’t tell anyone our secret!”
AC/DC confirmed Rose will step in to replace Brian Johnson for the band’s European tour next month before rejoining Guns N’ Roses for their summer stadium tour of North America.
AC/DC will reschedule the postponed 10 U.S. dates with Rose fronting the group.
The Australian rockers released the news just hours before Angus Young joined Guns N’ Roses for a pair of AC/DC classics during their headlining set at Coachella on April 16.
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