“I called the day I read about it in the news,” Rose said in interview with BBC News, “that there was a situation going on with Brian’s hearing.”
“I called a guy who’s their production manager right now… because I knew there was going to be a problem with having dates on sale and dates sold and stuff like that. So if I could help, and if I was able to do it, and they were interested, I’d love to help. And that’s how it started.
“I wasn’t looking at it like, ‘I’m singing for AC/DC.’ I was looking at it like, ‘Y’know, if I can, and if they think I’m able to do it.”
And they did. Rose plays his first show of the band’s European tour tomorrow in Lisbon, Portugal – the lucky recipient of this unbearably awkward video featuring the current lineup of the band in their first public appearance together.
Rose kept it humble in the BBC interview, saying he didn’t know if he’d be able to hit some of the notes that Johnson had in his last tour dates.
“A lot of the Back In Black stuff is really challenging,” he said. “I’m not here in any way out of any disrespect to Brian. I can’t take anything away from his singing at all. He’s a great singer and it’s really challenging to sing it. I’m just trying to do it justice for the fans.”
Oh dear, the fans. 7000 of whom just asked for ticket refunds for a show in Belgium after hearing that Rose would be fronting the band.
Judging by recent footage of the band’s rehearsal, though, remaining fans might get a better deal than they bargained for.
Listen: AC/DC rehearsal with Axl Rose