After all the rumors, speculation and sightings, it was confirmed last weekend that Axl Rose will be the singer in AC/DC for European dates in May and June.
The band postponed the last ten dates of its recent North American tour after doctors told longtime AC/DC singer Brian Johnson he faced “total hearing loss.” Those dates will be rescheduled, also with Rose on vocals.
Asked for his opinion on the Axl Rose–AC/DC pairing, SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker told the SiriusXM satellite radio show “Eddie Trunk Live”: “When I heard about this AC/DC thing, I felt very sorry about Brian, because Brian is a fantastic guy. I think he has to go into the comedian land, because, I mean, we spent a few nights until the morning — four, six o’clock at the Rihga Royal Hotel in New York — with Brian. It was fantastic. And when he talks, when he explains you something, he tells stories, it’s a journey where you are so completely connected [to] what he is saying. So, in this case, I feel very sorry for him. I think he still even it was a hard time for him to take over from Bon Scott, but he did a fantastic job.”
He continued: “I don’t know. It feels for me a little bit like… You remember the time when DEEP PURPLE‘s Ian Gillan became the singer of BLACK SABBATH? I’ll tell you one thing: it’s somehow strange, but in this situation, I think Axl will go a good job when he is in the right mood, because I think he can sing the stuff. But somehow, after seeing Brian singing so often with AC/DC, he always, even when he had a party night, he did a great job. And I feel very sorry, I feel very unhappy that Brian can’t do the job. And, yeah, whether Axl can do it… I don’t know.”
Rudolf went on to say: “I heard always good things about appearances by Axl and GUNS N’ ROSES. I met very often [GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist] Slash and I always asked him, ‘Hey, guys, you guys have to be together again.’ And he said, ‘Yeah. Then ask Axl.’ So now they are playing together and then you’re hearing this news that feels for me a little bit strange. Because, on one hand, it’s great that the band is back again, GUNS N’ ROSES. On the other hand, the singer already confirms to AC/DC. It’s a little bit strange, in one way. For me, as a rock musician, as a guy who knows the history of GUNS N’ ROSES and also the history of AC/DC especially… We had a very, very, very good relationship with AC/DC, because AC/DC was very complicated in handling with other bands. But we always were in a fantastic way. So I hope, yeah, that everything works well for both — for GUNS N’ ROSES and also for AC/DC.”
Johnson released a statement earlier in the week in which he stopped short of saying that his departure from AC/DC was permanent, although he also did not say specifically that he hoped to continue to record and eventually tour again with the band.
Meanwhile, sources close to AC/DC told The Sydney Morning Herald that the choice of Rose for the upcoming tour was “financially motivated.”
Fan reaction to Rose replacing Johnson — even temporarily — has been largely negative. The fan site AC/DC Italia announced it was shutting down in protest, while AC/DC biographer Jesse Fink called it “the worst decision AC/DC has ever made. Fans are pretty disgusted… AC/DC is all about the money now.”
AC/DC guitarist Angus Young made a guest appearance with GUNS N’ ROSES at the Coachella festival in California this past weekend, to tie in with the official confirmation of Rose‘s involvement.