By Brian Ives
UPDATE: Jim Breuer has issued the following statement re: his Brian Johnson comments via his official Facebook page:
I have seen some stories circulating about my podcast. As a friend, I saw Brian withdrawn for the first time in my life. He’s not a quitter, he seemed hurt by the situation of being between a rock and a hard place. I spoke as a true fan and friend, simply venting as if he was a brother of mine. I hope to see him Rock Out one more time. You have to remember I’m a comedian & a storyteller. I definitely exaggerate and sometimes I get a little carried away!! And this was one of those times!
Brian Johnson has broken his silence regarding his status with AC/DC, saying that he feels “kicked to the curb” by the band he fronted for over three decades. This revelation comes via comedian and Saturday Night Live alumni Jim Breuer’s podcast.
To recap the situation: the band recently issued a press release saying that their upcoming tour dates would be rescheduled, probably with a replacement frontman, because Johnson “has been advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss.”
Breuer said that when he was in Sarasota, Florida, doing a standup comedy gig, Brian Johnson’s family was in attendance at the show. Johnson’s wife told Breuer that the frontman was “really depressed.” She said he didn’t want to talk to the press, or answer questions. “He doesn’t want to talk to people, but he’d like you to come over to the house.”
The comedian obliged, and when he got there, Breuer said with some surprise, “He was depressed! I’ve never seen him ‘down’ before. So I walked in and said, ‘How you doin’?’ And he said, ‘Not good. Not good, me son,’” mimicking Johnson’s Geordie accent.
“But he wasn’t upset about his health.” Breuer stressed. “But he feels like he just kinda got kicked to the curb.”
He said that Johnson said he saw an audiologist (or a “hearing doctor,” as Breuer phrased it) and that the doctor noted that Johnson had lost some of his hearing during the band’s latest tour, which took place in outdoor stadiums. The doctor strongly advised against continuing on for the band’s upcoming tour of indoor arenas (as indoor venues can be more harmful to hearing than open-air venues).
“This is where it gets weird and tricky,” Breuer said. “From what I gather, and I don’t have all of the information… he called [the band] and let them know, ‘This is what the doctor said, but let’s try to figure this out. I don’t think it’s as bad as he says it is.’”
“And literally the next day in the press, it was: ‘Tour cancelled: he’s losing his hearing.’”
He said that Johnson expressed that he wanted to do more shows, “And then all his luggage that he toured with showed up in his driveway. There’s been no calls, no ‘How’s your hearing? How’s your health? What’s goin’ on?’” Instead: “Boom: ‘Here’s your s—, nice to know ya.’”
Breuer exclaimed, “I can’t wrap my head around that.” Johnson told Breuer that he’d had a conversion with the band’s guitarist and founder, Angus Young, “But Angus doesn’t speak!” Johnson told Young that, while he felt he couldn’t do all of the band’s upcoming shows, he’d like to do some of them. Young, he says, didn’t answer.
Read more and listen to the full podcast at Radio.com