The incredible, storied, 43-year career of Australian rockers AC/DC may finally be coming to an end, with frontman Brian Johnson told by doctors to stop touring immediately to avoid total hearing loss.
The band posted a statement on their website on Tuesday advising the rescheduling of 10 dates on their current American tour, and giving information on Johnson's health.
"AC/DC are forced to reschedule the 10 upcoming dates on the U.S. leg of their “Rock or Bust” World Tour. AC/DC’s lead singer, Brian Johnson, has been advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss," the statement read.
"Tomorrow's show in Atlanta through Madison Square Garden in New York, NY in early April will be made up later in the year, likely with a guest vocalist."
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Johnson is a racing car buff, and there is speculation his high octane obsession may have contributed to his hearing issues.
The announcement of Johnson's health, as well as the note that future shows would "likely" feature a guest vocalist in his place, place a large question mark over the band's future. AC/DC formed in 1973, with its youngest member almost 60 years of age and drummer Chris Slade aged 69. Speculation has bubbled for years over how long the seemingly indefatigable group could continue to tour together.
Back in 2009, Johnson said he would retire if he could not perform a whole set as singer of the band.
"People have been talking about it, but it's not me that wants to retire. I'll go as long as I keep going, but I only have one gear as a singer. I don't want to break down in the middle of a set, or only perform for half the show," he told The Scotsman.
It is the latest setback for the group, after guitarist Malcolm Young was recently diagnosed with dementia and former drummer Phil Rudd was arrested and charged with drug possession and threatening to kill a former staff member.
When AC/DC last played Sydney, in November 2015, we called their barnstorming show "two hours of balls-out, throat-shredding, duck-stepping, guitar-screaming rock that no other group even attempts to manage today -- let alone at a combined age of 320 years old."