It’s a good day for anyone who had 2016 in the “What year will Axl let Duff and Slash back in GNR and replace Brian Johnson in AC/DC” pool. Vegas has been known to take some crazy bets. If someone came up to the counter and said, “I would like wager a 100K Axl reunites with Slash and Duff for a tour as well as replaces Brian Johnson in AC/DC in 2016.” They would gladly give whatever odds that person wanted as they took their money. Cobras & Fire Podcast hosts Loose Canon and Bakko, two of their generations brightest rock n’ roll minds, take a break from their podcast duties to discuss this unlikely turn of events in the world(s) of Guns N Roses and AC/DC.
Loose Canon: There’s not a bookie in the world that would’ve turned down this bet. But it happened. And all because Brian Johnson supposedly has hearing issues? I’m calling bullshit.
Bakko: You don’t think the story of the potential damage to his hearing is legit?
LC: It’s probably legit but I think they could’ve found a way to finish the tour. I don’t think any member of AC/DC can hear. It certainly explains BallBreaker, Stiff Upper Lip… OK it explains everything since Razor’s Edge.
B: Can we please also include Razors Edge?
LC: Whatever. You’re right. Overall it hasn’t aged well less a few obvious tracks.
B: “Mistress for Christmas”?
LC: Uh, no. Except for 10-15 tracks, I can exclude almost everything from Back in Black forward but that’s because I love Bon Scott-led AC/DC. I’m biased. And Back in Black is the last great album because Bon Scott had to be part of the writing process before he died. But back to Brian. He has to leave the band because of his ears? Peeeeple! If we can put a man on the moon, we can work around Brian’s hearing.
B: So Axl singing “Thunderstruck” does nothing for you?
LC: Axl is not the right fit for AC/DC. I am a massive GNR fan but no other band needs to go on stage 3 hours late and end every song with “Take that one to heart!” or “Yowza!”
B: Is Angus even awake that late?
LC: He can’t duck walk past midnight. It’s a fact. Why? Do you want to see AXL/DC?
B: Not enough to pay for it. But unlike a lot of people, I think Axl will sound fine. I just don’t see the point. Are the taxes that bad in Australia? Part of me is rooting for a classic 90’s era Axl Rose train wreck complete with a riot that ends with a deflating Rosie falling into the crowd as the audience tries to flee. After which Axl finds a way to make it Slash’s fault and kicks him out of GNR.
LC: Axl sitting on the Dave of Thrones thing with a broken foot is already ridiculous. Have you watched the Coachella vids with Angus on stage?
B: Not yet.
LC: You are in for a treat. While you hope for a NighTrainwreck, here are some of my solutions. All are better than the current reality.
Use custom earplugs that seal his ears from all sound. I am sure they exist in a laboratory somewhere that allows zero decibels to enter his earholes. Double the protection by placing him in a soundproof pod like the ones in Spinal Tap that Derek Smalls couldn’t get out of. Then you just zip ‘ol Johnson around the stage like whatever that thing was that Dave Grohl used when he broke this leg. I’m sure it’s in a storage locker somewhere just like all of KISS‘s unsold Monster books and Asshole CDs.
B: Here we go.
LC: I am a big fan of the hologram. Brian can sing from the safety of his home in Sarasota or on the golf course. Whatever. The vocals are still live and the old folks in the audience will be impressed with this new fangled technology.
B: More like confused. What else you got?
LC: Chuck E. Johnson. Throw a newsboy hat and a wife beater on an animatronic version of Brian, pipe in the vocals and be done with it. Chuck E. Cheese can do a cross promotion and offer free tokens and skeeball tickets with any AC/DC merch purchase of $30 of more. He can move around on a train track or borrow that thing that Tommy Lee‘s drum set zipped around in.
B: The Cruecify? It broke down during Motley‘s last show.
B: The free skeeball might be enough for me to buy a ticket. Is there more?
LC: Next genius idea. Just like the “Whole Lotta Rosie” massive blowup doll or devil, make several of Brian that inflate throughout the concert. Some with him taking Rosie from behind, hanging out with the devil, whatever. Pipe in the vocals.
B: I kind of like that one. You could do one of Bon for that era of material. At the end, he could fall asleep on his back, choke on his own vomit and out comes blow-up doll-Brian. Inflatable Johnson!
LC: Always a way with words. I’ll pull your idea back a bit with the whole horrific death finale. Just have the whole stage go up in flames at the end of the Scott era. The hologram jumps on the motorcycle and drives away down the highway to hell while “Night Prowler” fades out and the crowd hears Shazbot, NaNu Nanu. Then out comes inflatable Johnson. Don’t you honestly think these all represent a better option than having Axl Rose join?
B: Did you know Axl Rose is an anagram for Oral Sex?
LC: (long sigh).
B: In all seriousness this is being talked about quite a bit. I think they should just call it a day. Do we need AC/DC, arguably the greatest band in rock history, in our life so much, that in the span of an album tour/cycle they lose Malcolm to old age, Phil for trying to have someone killed and now Brian for, well, old age again. How many more signs do the Gods of Rock need to send Angus before he gets the message? Before WE get the message. And anyone who thinks this is OK because Brian replaced Bon, just stop talking. This is nothing like that situation. I said it two years ago and I’ll say it now. Thank you for all you have given us AC/DC. But it’s time to flick off the switch. Any last thoughts from you Loose?
LC: Yes. They should’ve named their latest album and this tour ROCK BALLS not Rock or Bust, and included a bonus disc full of all songs that have “Rock” or “Balls” in the title. Gotta be at least twenty tracks. There was three songs with “Rock” on Black Ice alone. Yet another missed opportunity. And I’m placing a bet right now that in 2021 Angus fires Axl, quits AC/DC, calls his new band ANGUS and hires Myles Kennedy.
B: Just what the world needs. Myles Kennedy in another band.
You can hear Loose Canon and Bakko talk about just about anything in rock on their somewhat regular Cobras & Fire Podcast. Bakko is a regular contributor to Decibel Geek while Loose Canon is a less regular contributor.