Metal journalist and TV host Eddie Trunk has alleged in his blog that Johnson’s hearing loss may not have been the real reason for his leaving the band. “What really happened with Brian is anyone’s guess,” Trunk said. “But nobody is buying the hearing thing that I know. My sources tell me Brian was slowing down and didn’t want to work as hard as Angus (who is younger) did.”
He suggested that it wouldn’t have been cost effective for AC/DC to continue touring at the reduced rate that Johnson desired. “I also know that on the latest tour Brian only wanted to do 2-3 shows max a week. Something that is expensive for a band when off that much on the road (Aerosmith has to do this with Tyler). It comes with age and guys slowing,” he said.
“I can’t believe after 36 years AC/DC would say goodbye to their singer and not find a work around. MANY (musicians) have hearing issues and find a way to make it work in rock. And until Brian speaks, we will never know. Brian is a total class act. So very possible he takes the high road here,” Trunk said. “I suspect it reached a breaking point and that was that. I can not believe it was a sudden hearing issue. Maybe it played a small role, but no way is it the real story in full.”
Trunk is also of the firm belief that although the departure of Johnson has been touted as temporary – that it is in fact a permanent axing. He also took the time to question the loyalty of most fans, who haven’t stood behind Johnson through the saga. It’s “pretty clear they are done with Brian Johnson” he wrote. “But it still blows me away how so many fans are not demanding a real answer on Brian and are so quick to move on.”
Earlier this year, comedian Jim Breuer, a close friend of Johnson’s, commented that Johnson was “kicked to the curb” by his bandmates, before later retracting his comments saying they were just his personal opinion.
This latest speculation as to why Johnson really left the band comes just days after new lead singer Axl Rose performed at Coachella with Gun N’ Roses and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young, delighting fans with a snippet of what they might expect when Rose joins Acca Dacca on the remainder of their tour.
Update 20/04/2016: Brian Johnson breaks his silence on his departure from the AC/DC – reveals the true extent of his hearing loss and how it was affecting him and the band.
Watch: Guns N’ Roses Play With Angus Young At Coachella 2016