Turns Out AC/DC Auditioned A Tribute Band Singer Before Hiring Axl Rose

It’s just been revealed that AC/DC almost pulled a Judas Priest (a.k.a. Mark Wahlberg’s Rockstar) by recruiting a tribute band singer to replace their ailing frontman Brian Johnson.


Prior to naming Axl Rose as stand-in for the remainder of their Rock Or Bust world tour dates, Acca Dacca auditioned Darren Caperna, who portrays BJ in the Texas-based tribute band Back In Black.

As Caperna explains, he got a random call from the band’s reps and before he knew it, he and Back In Black guitarist Mike Mroz were being flown to Atlanta, Georgia to try out.

“After the soundcheck, Darren and I were talking to the guitar techs, and all of a sudden I look over my shoulder and Angus Young was standing behind me waiting to say hi!” Mroz told Henne Music.

Then, after meeting the Aussie rock ledges and having a cuppa, AC/DC put Caperna to work. And – as he tells it – what was supposed to be three or four song audition turned into a 21-song marathon.

Caperna ended up belting out the entire Rock Or Bust tour set, plus two additional classics that Angus wanted to play: Dog Eat Dog and Riff Raff.

“Before we started Riff Raff, Angus came up to me, and said: ‘I’m warning you in advance that we are still a little rusty on this song!’,” Caperna recalled. “Did I just hear Angus apologizing to me?!”

Altogether, the tribute bandmates spent over four hours jamming with their idols.

“It was all so surreal. We had a couple of breaks, and Angus told me some great Bon Scott stories. They were all so friendly, and treated us as their peers. I still can’t believe that I sang with AC/DC!” Caperna said.

“Even though I did not get the job, it was the experience of a lifetime! Being in a tribute band for 16 years, we were hoping that we would be able to meet AC/DC one day — but this goes way beyond our expectations! Now, I have a great story to tell my grandchildren, and the guitar students that I teach.”

Not to toot our own horn, but we actually suggested a couple of tribute band singers in our list of the 12 best candidates to replace Brian Johnson in AC/DC, although one was an Aussie (Chad Towns from Dirty Deeds) and the other was a lady (Bonnie Scott from AC/DShe).

After all, it worked for Judas Priest when they recruited tribute band singer Tim “Ripper” Owens to replace Rob Halford in 1996.

But we never in our wildest dreams expected Axl Rose to get the call-up, since he already had a seemingly choc-a-bloc sched with the current juggernaut Guns N’ Roses reunion tour.

But nevertheless, like it or not, Axl Dacca is GO.

AC/DC confirmed the rumours this week prior to Gunners’ headlining set at Coachella 2016, during which Angus Young made a surprise cameo for the band’s trademark cover of Whole Lotta Rosie.

Check out footage of the collab below, alongside a clip of the dudes from Back In Black doing their thing.

Update 19/04/2016: Rumours have since emerged that Brian Johnson’s departure from AC/DC was a because he was “slowing down and didn’t want to work as hard as Angus (Young)”, not solely due to the official reason given by the band – his hearing loss.

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 Feat. Angus Young – Whole Lotta Rosie Live @ Coachella 2016

Watch: Back In Black Promo Vid 2014

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