|AC/DC's new lineup (and it's not photoshop) from Blitz.sapo.pt|
It has been a painful month for many AC/DC fans. First the cancellation of the final shows of the US tour, the shocking news of Brian's health issues and AC/DC's willingness to get a "guest singer". Then, the announcement of Axl Rose as vocalist, a surprising decision which is still difficult to accept for many, especially for some hard core fans.
Brian has been the respected vocalist of AC/DC for 36 years, since Back in Black, one of AC/DC's masterpieces and most successful albums. Many think he hasn't been treated fairly by the band who replaced him in a matter of weeks after a couple of unfriendly press releases on acdc.com.
After reading Brian's "official" announcement (and unofficial comments by his friend Jim Breuer) it has become a possibility that the relationship with Angus and the other decision makers in AC/DC got damaged irreversibly, in some way.
Today, after Angus and Cliff just released a short interview explaining Brian clarifying the situation.
Probably we will never know the whole truth. But these are some of the elements of this equation that we know for sure.
Brian had a serious hearing problem on his left hear. We had noticed this since Coachella when we met him for the first time last year. He confirmed it to us in Paris and Zurich, last year. Many fans complained that Brian was very reserved and often avoided meeting fans during this tour (unlike in the past). We always said that for us Brian was a hero during the Rock or Bust Tour considering this health issue which was making his performing on stage more challenging for him.
Brian wanted to stop
Well, we were almost sure the tour would end in Australia. At least we were told so and it sounded reasonable, considering Malcolm was not there and Brian was not in ideal shape. Plus there was the "Phil Rudd" situation...
Brian had been mentioning the "40 concerts ONLY for the next tour" well before the announcement of Rock or Bust. During the Black Ice Tour he had complained a lot about the stress and the fatigue of being on stage every two night for 2 hours, doing things a 30-year old singer does. We never took him too seriously because we know he loves to complain about work, just like Italians do.
We didn't pay too much attention when he told us in Zurich that that "the boys can continue with someone else, if they want to continue. I am quitting after this tour". How could AC/DC continue without Brian? We just laughed.
Angus didn't want to stop
This was also clear during the tour. Angus has been unbelievably energetic on stage and off stage. Without Malcolm next to him he had to fill in for him and for his charisma, and we are sure this has been pretty challenging and stressful. He confirmed to us several times, including during our cigarette with him in Zurich that he would keep playing but the future of the tour was up to Brian and his voice... After this tour, well that's probably the end of AC/DC.
Axl Rose's Voice
From the latest G'N'R concerts in America and the audio recordings of the studio rehearsals of AC/DC in Lisbon it appears that Axl's voice could fit perfectly in AC/DC's music. Vocally and musically, it has been said that it can reach the same tone/high pitch that Brian used to have in the 1980's. Never underestimate Angus as a musician!
According to BBC, Axl supposedly volunteered for the position as soon as he knew that Brian could not continue. From our sources he was eager and honored to play for one of his heroes, Angus Young and always behaved very professionally with AC/DC.
Maybe the voice will fit in but his persona, culture and style... not really. Worst case scenario we will just close our eyes and listen.
What Brian once told us about Axl Rose...
In Brian's statement Axl's name is not mentioned, and we think it was not by chance. Brian is a real gentleman and classy person, always kind and available to fans. Humble but always professional, on stage and off stage. Those who have met him know how much he can make you feel important and leave you with memories that would last forever.
Not exactly the same can be said about Axl Rose. In Stockholm in 2009 we spent 2 hours drinking with Brian and Cliff. After all the usual stories about rock'n'roll, sports cars, food and girls, the name of Axl came out during one of Brian's stories. Brian was telling us about Steven Tyler, a friend of his (and of AC/DC's) who had relapsed in that period (2007-2009) plus he had fallen off stage during a show. After speaking in very good terms about Steven, Brian told us about an incident backstage with AXL when they got into a fight (apparently physical) saying that he had an aggressive and dislikable attitude, completely different from a nice guy like Steven or Slash, another friend of his. Despite the drinks we clearly recall this "fight incident" story and now, after 6 years we suspect that seeing Axl in AC/DC would not even be the most pleasant thing to remember for Brian.
|With Brian in Stockholm|
We will miss Brian
No doubt here. But nothing we can do, as fans. We grew up with Brian and for us Brian was AC/DC, as much as Angus and Malcolm. Irreplaceable. But for those who have been closer to the band, especially in the last tours the idea that Brian could be replaced one day was not an impossibility or a contradiction in terms. We will miss Brian.
1 day to the Lisbon show
Angus must know what he is doing and we are still willing to support him as we trust him, despite the fact that there are many things we didn't like in this whole story. It's a big leap of faith. One more day and we'll see...
|New AC/DC Official Photo published yesterday|
UPDATE FROM LISBON
The band inspected the stage yesterday as you can see in our exclusive video below. Axl can walk but most probably he will sit on a chair (apparently not the Dave Grohl's throne).
Two days ago the band rehearsed in a Lisbon studio for several hours. According to our sources, beside the usual setlist (minus Playball and Baptism By Fire) they rehearsed also these songs, among others:
If You Want Blood
What's Next to the Moon
Gimme a Bullet
Touch Too Much (!!!)