Monday, 18 April 2016

Axl Rose joins AC/DC

Yes it's true.

Yes ok, it was reported on recently, someone having seen Axl leaving AC/DC's rehearsal space in Atlanta, but so what? That was speculation then, and I don't generally buy into speculation.

Now it has been confirmed by AC/DC's management and their label. Axl has only just decided to accept Slash and Duff McKagan back into the Guns n' Roses camp for a few gigs. While he was in pretty decent voice at recent shows, despite being immobilised with a broken foot. However, the prevailing opinion (and I tend to agree with it) is that Axl is an ill fit for AC/DC. Being a mega-fan of the band, as he is, is not enough of a pre-requisite for joining a band. He just isn't the right voice for the band.

I guess AC/DC need to be aware of the Latin term caveat emptor: "Let the buyer beware". Axl has some form, with his megalomaniac outbursts, turning up late, starting riots, bad behaviour towards fans and so on as a member of his own band. As a hired gun in someone else's outfit, technically there is no room for that sort of thing, but will he try it on? It's certainly possible, given his history.

AC/DC have been a massive concert draw and record seller for years, despite many people thinking that Brian Johnson was an ill fit for the band. Brian made it work, however. Loads of fans loved his voice fronting the band. Indeed his first appearance on record with them, "Back In Black", is the biggest selling rock album ever released at the time of writing. Since "Who Made Who" in 1986 they've been rather pedestrian on record, in this writer's opinion. The Bon Scott albums, all of them, are unimpeachable. A large number of what has come since is interchangeable at best and disposable at worst. What value is Axl Rose going to add to the band? Sure he's a famous name, but that's not enough.

It was like adding Terence Trent D'Arby as vocalist to replace Michael Hutchence in INXS. A big name, a great voice, but not the right fit. It remains to be seen if this can be pulled off...

Heat the popcorn, it will be very interesting...

Brian Johnson Leaves AC/DC

It's been news for a while now that Brian Johnson, longest serving vocalist for AC/DC, is no longer singing for the band.

Notice I didn't say "left the band". It depends on whose side of the story you hear as to whether he left for of his own accord, or he was pushed. A rather contentious podcast recently suggested Brian was forcefully ejected after disclosing his serious hearing loss, however the official press release from the band suggests he left.

We'll probably never know for certain. Suffice to say that the band have now been through their 3rd singer in their 40 year career and they are now looking for another one.

The question that I need to ask is why wasn't hearing protection ever considered at some stage in the past? It's not that big a deal, really. It shouldn't have come to this. Iggy Pop may reckon hearing protection is for chumps, but if you're onstage every night for 40 years dealing with volume at that level, seems fair to use it, doesn't it?

Now I hear Angus on the lookout for a new replacement singer to complete the last 10 dates on the Rock or Bust tour. Initial signs are not promising but more on that later...