Brian Johnson has spoken in-depth following his decision to leave AC/DC mid-tour on doctor’s advice that he could completely lose his hearing if he continued.
AC/DC are currently touring with Guns ‘N Roses’ Axl Rose at the helm with Johnson forced to sit this one out as doctors told him, “You’re killing your ears.”
Speaking with SiriusXM (via Blabbermouth) Jonhnson explained where his ear problems started, telling the program that his ear burst when he forgot to put on ear plugs while racing an automobile in New York eight years ago.
He suffered tinnitus for six or seven months but apart from that he was fine until he started touring with the band again.
“And I think just age and that industrial noise every night on stage… I mean, you’re in a rock and roll band. What the hell do you expect?” he said.
Things worsened when he flew with a fever, causing his ears to block. As it turned out, fluids in his ear had “crystalized” and had been eating away at his ear, something he discovered while in Australia for 2015’s Rock Or Bust tour.
He permanently lost some of his hearing in his ear and while he was able to continue touring after the Australian tour and shows in America, the doctor told him he could not perform at arenas or stadiums because the sound levels were beyond his tolerance.
“There was every possibility that I would never hear again,” he said.
While there hasn’t been any official announcement as to whether he’ll rejoin the band or not in the future, Johnson spoke as if he may never step up on stage with AC/DC again.
“I’m 68 — I’m 69 later this year — and I’ve had a pretty good run,” he said.
“I’ve been in one of the best bands in the world…And I had so many good times with the boys and I’ve had such a lucky and great life, and I’m just thankful, really, that I came out of it in one piece.”
Listen: AC/DC Legend Brian Johnson Reflects Upon His Career