Axl Rose may be joining forces with AC/DC: good fit or give it up?

Guns ‘n’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose has been making headlines recently, and it’s not even the 90s anymore. The singer was spotted leaving an Atlanta rehearsal facility with members of the legendary Aussie band AC/DC. Earlier this month, AC/DC’s lead singer Brian Johnson, 68, was told by his doctors that he needed to stop performing immediately or risk losing his hearing. Johnson told Howard Stern that his hearing loss is from racing cars without using earplugs, not performing specifically, although you can see how belting out “Back in Black” would worsen the condition. The remaining members of AC/DC have rescheduled the last 10 dates of its Rock or Bust World Tour and announced a “guest vocalist” will replace Brian. Could it be Axl?

Axl recently reunited with his G’n’R band mates, and just last week they announced a 21 city North American tour. So, these recent meetings do arouse a little curiosity. It’s unsure whether Axl was meeting with AC/DC’s Angus Young, Cliff Williams and Chris Slade to discuss filling in for Brian or the prospect of AC/DC opening for G’n’R on their tour. But, if Brian hasn’t recuperated, is Axl going to sing for both bands on the tour? That’s highly unlikely, as Axl already has a bad reputation when it comes to showing up late to concerts and his diva-meter could reach 11 if he were fronting 2 bands at the same time. Neither the rescheduled AC/DC dates nor the G’n’R dates have been announced yet, so the speculation is sure to continue.

I have issues with this. First of all, you don’t replace a singer with such a distinct voice as Brian Johnson. I would be miffed if I had gotten tickets to see the AC/DC, only to find a replacement lead singer. It’s like having an understudy take over the lead in a much anticipated Broadway show. However they could have done far worse in choosing someone to replicate Johnson’s gravelly vocals. Axl and the guys did a pretty cool cover of “Whole Lotta Rosie” – of course, this was back in 1987. I don’t know if 2016 Axl can still tear it up like that. Even if he could, I am still a Brian Johnson gal.

Should AC/DC just pack it in? With no Brian Johnson, no Phil Rudd and no Malcolm Young, I tend to think so – they’re venturing into tribute band territory, and that would be a sad end to such a great band.


Photo credit:, Getty Images

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

24 Responses to “Axl Rose may be joining forces with AC/DC: good fit or give it up?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Jules says:

    We were about to get tickets and the tour was postponed. I’m so glad we did not.

  2. Lilacflowers says:

    Axl Rose is still alive?

  3. paolanqar says:

    I can’t stand Axl Rose but I used to love Ac/Dc.
    So I hope not.
    I don’t know what’s creepier about Axl Rose, if the obvious plastic surgery or his past.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Nope. Dude is not dependable and not worth it. You can only hang on to the 80 and 90’s memories for so long.

  5. Kitten says:

    LOL. When I saw the headline I was like “GNR? This is not Kaiser and not C/B. Has to be Corey.”

    I used to LOVE Axl Rose so much. Sigh. I know what you’re saying about replacing a singer but this is AXL ROSE damn it! It’s not liked they plucked some nobody off the street.

    • Snazzy says:

      Fair enough. But, and honest question here, is Axl really capable of the energy and authenticity required for an AC/DC show? I mean, it’s not like he’s aged well, you know?

      • Anon33 says:

        I guess the SIXTY EIGHT year old would do a better job? I don’t understand this comment.

  6. PsychoCat says:

    And let’s hope someone asks him what the heck he’s done to his face…

  7. NorthernGirl_20 says:

    I think it should be a pass.. I loved Axl back in the day but I don’t think he can sing like that anymore, my husband and I listened to him singing Sweet Child O’ Mine recently (reunited with GNR) and I actually wept it was soooooo bad. Unless he gets it together and proves me wrong ..

  8. lucyinthesky says:

    Axl is the best frontmen in music history, hands down!

  9. InvaderTak says:

    How about no.

  10. Happy21 says:

    NO, NO, & NO!
    Leave it alone. Retire! I get it when they replaced Bon Scott with Brian after Bon’s death because they were still young, had a lot to offer their fans and weren’t yet a classic rock band. Now it’s time to hanging it up and call it good. They’ve had a great run, they’ve gotten rich beyond their wildest dreams and they have millions and millions of fans who worship them. Go out on top. Just don’t with Axl. While GNR were awesome, Axl is a trainwreck and this will never, ever end well.
    Would the Stones replace Mick if he had to leave or if he died? Not a flippin’ chance!

    • Snazzy says:

      Exactly. And I think when INXS tried to replace Micheal Hutchence that failed pretty badly as well. Sometimes, better just to reinvent, the way David Grohl did.

      • Caz says:

        cosign. When the lead singer is so talented and charismatic it leaves very big shoes to fill.

        Axl was hot waaay back in the day. This collaboration is a big NO from me.

        My boss is a huge AC/DC fan. He said Angus was the best part about their recent tour. Axl is a NO for him too.

  11. JenniferJustice says:

    Please No. Axl and Brian Johnson have very distinct but very different voices. I don’t see Axl doing Brian the way Brian does Brian. It might be okay if they had the same tone and range like the dude that replaced Journey’s Steve Perry and even then, fans didn’t like Steve Perry’s being replaced – it wouldn’t have matter who replaced him. I feel the same about AC/DC. Let them retire the way we remember them. Don’t drag it out ’til new bad memories replace the old good memories.

    What is shady about Axle’s past other than way too much plastic surgery and some kind of weight-gain that looked suspiciously like coke bloat? Somebody do tell.

    • Anon33 says:

      He has a history of being violently abusive with women, unfortunately.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Oh! Yikes! Then double No. He doesn’t need any more money if he’s that kind of a dirt bag.

  12. LeAnn Stinks says:

    No one can replace Brian Johnson, and I think AC/DC, unfortunately, should fold after these make up dates.

    If Angus wants to continue the band without Brian, Malcolm and Phil, the he should rename the band.

    If they need a singer to make up the postponed dates, and Johnson cannot perform in due time, use Joel O’Keefe of Airbourne. Plus, he is a fellow Aussie.

    Just my two cents.

  13. Katebush says:

    As much as I have loved acdc since my early teenage years I think it’s time for them to retire.. It’s not really acdc any more if Brisn is not in the band. There’s only a couple of original members left after poor Malcom got dementia and Phil Rudd got sacked..
    I saw them a couple of months ago and Angus still stole the show he has the most incredible energy for someone his age up there with Mick.

  14. mary simon says:

    NO. Axl Rose is burned out. I don’t think he could make it through a whole show. Back in the day this would have been an interesting collaboration, but it’s too late for Axl, and he’s not coming back. Look for a disaster if they actually go through with this.

  15. KiddVicious says:

    Axl is such a douche, but I love me some GnR, more so than AC/DC. I think it would be a fun one-off concert to see Axl sing for AC/DC, but I can’t imagine having to depend on him for a full tour. Sadly, it’s time for AC/DC to hang it up.

  16. SKF says:

    I think it’s rare for a replacement singer to work when the original is so iconic. Queen did it well when they toured with Adam Lambert. Apparently that was absolutely incredible. He didn’t try to imitate Freddie, he did the songs his own way, but he has a great voice and stage presence so the performances were wonderful.

    Axl used to be so amazing but I really don’t know if he has the chops anymore. Hmmmm…

    I can understand ACDC wanting to finish out the tour; but after that they should really retire.

    • KateBush says:

      One of the exceptions to this rule was of course when Brian Johnson replaced the late great Bon Scott 😉