Last night, fans of AC/DC were thunderstruck when the legendary Australian hard rock band announced they were postponed 10 upcoming North American gigs due to the declining hearing of frontman Brian Johnson. Doctors have told the singer/screamer/grunter/prowler, who has fronted AC/DC since 1980, when he replaced the late Bon Scott, that he was at risk for “total hearing loss” if he did not stop touring immediately.
Given the age and various other health and legal issues surrounding AC/DC — founding guitarist Malcolm Young left in 2014 due to increased dementia, while last year, drummer Phil Rudd was sentenced to eight months of home confinement on drug charges and being found guilty of threatening to kill a former employee — Johnson’s ailment appears to spell the end for the veteran group. But when AC/DC revealed the news last night, they stressed that the axed gigs were postponements and not cancellations. A press release declared that the stateside shows would be rescheduled for later in the year — and, here is the bombshell, “likely with a guest vocalist.”
So, who should that vocalist be? This morning, we asked the Vanyaland staff who they think would be a perfect candidate to replace Johnson, and the responses ranged from the serious to the humorous to the most dangerous “candidate” of them all. Of course, this is all in good fun — we all know Myles Kennedy will get the gig once he locks in the Stone Temple Pilots job.
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Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl
By Michael Christopher
Almost two decades ago, hard rock rednecks Jackyl, best known for that awful song “The Lumberjack” which had a chainsaw solo (seriously), somehow managed to convince Brian Johnson to guest on their third album, Cut the Crap. The track which he and frontman Jesse James Dupree linked up on was “Locked and Loaded,” and damn if it didn’t make people perk up and say, “Whoa — those guys sound similar, like, really similar.” Since then, Jackyl has toiled away in obscurity performing in dive bars, while Johnson continued to front AC/DC and tour the world. Now that Johnson is on the shelf, the rest of his bandmates should look no further than Dupree if they insist on moving forward with the ludicrous plan to restart the tour with a guest singer. Besides having the ability to sound exactly like Johnson, Dupree’s songwriting is cut from the same cloth, the two have an affinity for writing best about one thing: Sex. Both are fairly direct in telling you what the song is about from the title; Johnson has “Sink the Pink” and “Inject the Venom” in his back, errrr, front pocket, while Dupree has a classy oeuvre made up of “Down on Me” and “She Loves My Cock.” It’s like they’re brothers or soulmates or something.