Brian Johnson classy, Angus Young cold over AC/DC split, says singer's friend

Brian Johnson and Angus Young
Brian Johnson and Angus Young (Image credit: Getty)

Brian Johnson’s friend Jim Breuer believes AC/DC should have announced their split with the singer at a press conference featuring the whole band – and that guitarist Angus Young “came off cold” by not doing so.

Johnson was forced to bow out in March over the risk of immediate hearing loss, a situation that was explained with a brief announcement from the band. They’ve since confirmed Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose as his replacement for the last 10 shows of their Rock Or Bust world tour.

Last month Johnson release a statement saying he was “crushed” by his departure from the band, but that he hoped medical attention might allow him to return to performing at some point.

Comedian Breuer caused controversy in the days after the split by suggesting the band had dumped Johnson’s gear in his driveway without a word. He later explained he’d been speaking figuratively.

Now he tells Talk Toomey: “Me as a fan, and I think most fans, would think you’d see the band together in a press conference, like, ‘We feel horrible for Brian here. We put so many years together.

“‘Brian’s going to try and get help and we’re going to look for a singer and move on. We all love Brian, and this is kind of a goodbye-to-Brian tour.’

“To not see that, and just read a headline that says, ‘We’re looking for new singers,’ it’s a little weird.”

He adds he was “hurt” by the way AC/DC dealt with the situation, continuing: “You could have made it a celebration. When it was all said and done, Brian came off very classy and Angus came off cold. Like Wal-mart just replacing a cashier.”

Breuer says of Young: “He needs to know his audience. He needs to know how much love, time, investment and money we put into Brian Johnson.”

An AC/DC spokesperson this week told TeamRock that the band themselves had chosen to offer refunds to those who don’t want to attend Rose-fronted shows, saying: “They care about their fans and wanted to do right by them.” The rescheduled performances begin this weekend.

AC/DC are the cover stars of the current edition of Classic Rock, on sale now in print, digital and via TeamRock+.

Brian Johnson: My AC/DC debut hell

AC/DC European tour dates with Axl Rose

May 07: Lisbon Passeio Maritimo De Alges, Portugal
May 10: Seville Estadio De La Cartuja, Spain
May 13: Marseille Stade Velodrome, France
May 16: Werchter Site, Belgium
May 19: Vienna Erns-Happel Stadium, Austria
May 22: Prague Letnany Airport, Czech Republic
May 26: Hamburg Volksparkstadion, Germany
May 29: Berne Stade De Suisse, Switzerland
Jun 01: Leipzig Red Bull Arena, Germany
Jun 04: London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, UK
Jun 09: Manchester Etihad Stadium, UK
Jun 12: Aarhus Ceres Park, Denmark

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.