“I try to keep myself fit, and I love it being in this band…but the other lads are in their early fifties. I’m the old dog in the regiment. I don’t want for people to see me on stage and say, ‘Oh, poor old f**er, the band’s carrying him!’”
Those are the kinds of things that worry aging rockers. At least in the case of Brian Johnson, who has been fronting AC/DC for around three decades. At 61, Johnson is thinking that the Black Ice tour may be his last. There are others in the band that don’t seem willing to give up their long-time vocalist just yet, however.
Guitarist Malcolm Young responded to the news of Johnson’s possible retirement by saying: “What are you talkin’ about? We’re not gonna let you retire!” That’s surely a nice vote of confidence for Johnson, but it sounds as if Johnson just wants to go out on a high note, so to speak.
Being an aging rocker can present problems that seem a thousand years in the future when you’re a twenty-something rock sensation, but there’s no stopping the aging process, and the changes it imposes on all of us. Recent health problems that have plagued Aerosmith are a stark reminder of that fact.
After 30 years of singing AC/DC songs, it’s hard to fault the guy for wanting to hang it up. Perhaps he just wants to go home and relax and enjoy the rest of his life without the physical and emotional demands that go hand-in-hand with being the vocalist for a hard-rocking group like AC/DC. That’s got to be a pretty demanding job even for a young guy!
Although this is a development that may disappoint AC/DC fans, it seems there may still be a chance to see Johnson perform with the group again before he hangs up his microphone. He has agreed to remain at his post until the Black Ice tour is complete, and there is talk that it might be 2011 before that happens.
Johnson was recently interviewed by Classic Rock Magazine.