Thursday, May 5, 2016
Axl Rose reveals how he landed a gig with AC/DC in a new interview with BBC 6 Music.
Rose will make his debut with the Australian rockers this Saturday, May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal after AC/DC postponed 10 remaining spring US tour dates following news that Brian Johnson was advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss.
"I called the day I read about it in the news, that there was a situation going on with Brian's hearing," explains Rose. “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.
"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."
Rose wasn’t sure if would be able to sing some of the songs in the set.
"A lot of the 'Back In Black' stuff is really challenging,” he reveals. “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's a great singer and it's really challenging to sing it. I'm just trying to do it justice for the fans."
The Guns N’ Roses leader is very aware of the unique situation that both he and AC/DC are experiencing as they prepare for the 12-date European spring run.
"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," says Rose. “That's not what I'm here to do. It's an unfortunate situation."
AC/DC auditioned Rose in Atlanta in March alongside tribute band singers from Texas and North Carolina.
Guitarist and sole remaining founding member Angus Young says he had spoken to Johnson extensively before he decided to leave the group.
"In his heart he wanted to finish [the tour] but because of that hearing factor he had to make the decision," he told the BBC. “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."
Young said the band had "seen our fair share of tragedies", including the departure of his brother, guitarist Malcolm Young, after he developed dementia, and the death of original singer Bon Scott in 1980.
"After that you're doubly careful," he said. "You want [band members] to be leaving in full body shape, not in a tragic way."
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