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Brian Johnson on his 36-year tenure with AC/DC: ‘I had a great run’

Brian Johnson © PA Images

In a fresh interview, Brian Johnson has described his career with AC/DC as “a great run.”

The rock legend and car aficionado spoke to The Sunday Times recently about his passion for motors and he also touched upon devastating hearing problems that spelled the end his 36-year tenure with AC/DC.

Brian, of course, was replaced by Axl Rose for the final European and North American dates of AC/DC’s Rock or Bust World Tour in 2016 after doctors told him to quit performing live or risk total hearing loss.

“On stage, it was getting harder and harder to hear the guitars, even hear the keys, and I was basically going on muscle memory,” Brian told The Sunday Times.

“And I’m not the kind of guy who likes to cheat. The way I look at it, I had a great run.”

AC/DC in 2011 © PA Images

Elsewhere in his interview, 70-year-old Brian revealed he uses his vintage Bentley to collect his morning paper and he also spoke about flipping his Austin A35 car during qualifying for the Celebrity Challenge Trophy race at Silverstone Classic last July.  

“It was so sudden,” Brian said of the crash. “I was going good and then I was rolling over. I felt bad about it; I don’t roll cars and it was a cute little thing.”

Fortunately, he was completely unscathed as he says “I’m made of sterner stuff.”

Since retiring from AC/DC, Brian hosted a series on Planet Rock in the summer of 2016 called ‘The Producers’ and last year he presented a six-part TV show on Sky One called Brian Johnson's Life On The Road featuring interviews with The Who’s Roger Daltrey, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Sting, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant.

Brian Johnson in the Planet Rock studio

In the wake of Malcolm Young’s death last November, Brian released a heartfelt statement in tribute to his friend, saying: "For 32 years we stood side by side on stage. I am saddened by the passing of my friend Malcolm Young, I can’t believe he's gone.

"We had such great times on the road. I was always aware that he was a genius on guitar, his riffs have become legend, as has he. I send out my love and sympathy to his wife Linda, his children Kara and Ross, and Angus, who will all be devastated, as we all are. He has left a legacy that I don’t think many can match.

"He never liked the celebrity side of fame, he was too humble for that. He was the man who created AC/DC because he said there was no Rock & Roll out there.

"I am proud to have known him and call him a friend, and I'm going to miss him so much. I salute you, Malcolm Young."

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