By Brian Ives
Now that it seems clear that AC/DC is, in fact, moving on without longtime frontman Brian Johnson, there’s been a lot of speculation as to who will belt out “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Hells Bells” for the Australian band on the next leg of their tour.
In fact, we speculated about that very topic in our story “8 Singers Who Could Fill in for AC/DC’s Brian Johnson,” although we were kind of kidding: we weren’t seriously suggesting that, say, Bruce Springsteen or P!nk or Jack Black or Shakira should be the new singer of AC/DC.
Another singer we weren’t totally serious about was Axl Rose. But now, the rumor that the Guns N Roses frontman will fill in for the band is trending on social media. Apparently a radio DJ said that this will happen, other websites and blogs ran with that rumor and now it’s a “thing.” (Of course, starting a rumor on the internet is about as difficult as changing a wikipedia entry.)
The aforementioned radio DJ, from the Atlanta area, said (via Alternative Nation) “This is what I’m being told, Axl was meeting with the AC/DC group, because it’s all but a done deal that Axl will front AC/DC for the 10 remaining shows.”
England’s NME reported that they reached out to AC/DC’s management who responded “Nothing official to announce. Will update you if that changes.”
This seems implausible for a few reasons: the first being that Guns N Roses are expected to announce dates for a summer tour any day now. They’re already headlining Coachella, playing two dates in Las Vegas and one in Mexico City. These concerts are going to get more attention than anything that GNR has done in years, because founding members Slash and Duff McKagan are back in the fold. So, would Axl really want to split his time and attention between two massive high profile tours? Also, Rose is known as a guy who (to put it lightly) likes to be in control. If he joins AC/DC, he’s essentially an employee. It just doesn’t seem plausible.
On the other hand, we know he’s an AC/DC fan, and that he can sing the hell out of “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Maybe after years of singing mostly the same repertoire, he’d like the challenge of tacking an entirely different discography. Maybe he’d even like to not have to be in charge (for a brief tour). And hey, maybe he’s just like you or me. Let’s be real: who wouldn’t want to be the singer of AC/DC for a few weeks.
But maybe it is just a rumor. And who knows: maybe Shakira or Pink or Jack Black or Bruce Springsteen have a few weeks in their schedule to pencil in the legendary hard rock band.