Airbourne's Joel O'Keeffe: Axl did a great job with AC/DC

A picture of Joel O'Keeffe
Joel O'Keeffe (Image credit: Getty)

Airbourne frontman Joel O’Keeffe says he’d have jumped at the chance to step in for Brian Johnson in AC/DC – but adds that Axl Rose “did a great job.”

When Johnson was ordered to stop touring and AC/DC said they would bring in a replacement to complete their Rock Or Bust tour, some fans called for the band to consider O’Keeffe.

In the end, Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose was brought in and went on to impress despite early scepticism.

Last week, O’Keeffe’s brother Ryan said Joel would have been “humbled” to be asked to join fellow Australians AC/DC, and now the singer has spoken about it himself.

Joel O’Keeffe tells My Global Mind: “I wasn’t called up but saw a lot of stuff online about it. We were in the studio at the time and I was really humbled by the online stuff that came out with me as a good fit.

“If the call had come through, I would have done it. I think Axl Rose did a great job, sung all the songs really well, and put on a great show. He has Brian’s range and the Bon Scott’s unpredictability and charisma.

“It was rock or bust…and it wasn’t bust.”

On how he would have handled it if he’d been asked, O’Keeffe adds: “I would have been as nervous as hell. I would have been scared shitless. But once you get in and get going I’d be alright. I know the songs.”

Airbourne recently released an explicit video for their track Rivalry which features on their fourth album Breakin’ Outta Hell which launched last month.

They are currently on tour in support of the follow-up to 2013’s Black Dog Barking.

Airbourne tour dates 2016

Oct 19: Herning Jyske Bank Boxen, Denmark
Oct 20: Malmo Arena, Sweden
Oct 21: Gothenburg Scandinavium, Sweden
Oct 22: Stockholm Ericsson Globe, Sweden
Oct 24: Helsinki Hartwall Arena, Finland
Oct 26: Oslo Spektrum, Norway
Oct 27: Copenhagen Forum, Denmark
Oct 28: Hamburg Barclaycard Arena, German
Oct 28: Hamburg Barclaycard Arena, Germany
Oct 29: Berlin Mercedes-Benz Arena, Germany
Oct 31: Munich Olympiahall, Germany
Nov 01: Linz Tipps Arena, Austria
Nov 02: Vienna Stadhalle, Austria
Nov 04: Innsbruck Olympiahalle, Austria
Nov 05: Geneva Arena, Switzerland
Nov 07: Stuttgart Schlayerhalle, Germany
Nov 08: Zurich Hallenstadion, Switzerland
Nov 09: Cologne Lanxess, Germany
Nov 10: Frankfurt Festhalle, Germany
Nov 12: Leipzig Arena, Germany
Nov 13: Oberhausen Koenig-Pilsener Arena, Germany
Nov 14: Brussels Forest National, Belgium
Nov 15: Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Netherlands
Nov 17: Portsmouth Pyramids, UK
Nov 18: Norwich UEA, UK
Nov 19: Nottingham Rock CIty, UK
Nov 21: Birmingham O2 Institute, UK
Nov 22: Leeds O2 Academy, UK
Nov 23: Newcastle O2 Academy, UK
Nov 24: Glasgow Barrowland, UK
Nov 26: Manchester O2 Ritz, UK
Nov 28: London Electric Ballroom, UK
Nov 29: London Electric Ballroom, UK

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.