Brian Johnson overcome his “crippling” hearing loss with experimental treatment.
In 2016, the AC/DC singer was told to “stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss”, but now he’s back in the ‘Thunderstruck’ band and ready to rock again after three years of treatment once a month.
The 73-year-old rocker – who was replaced by Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose on the band’s ‘Rock or Bust World Tour’ – got to the point where he was relying on “muscle memory and mouth shapes” and he felt at a loss when he was on stage and couldn’t do his job properly.
He told Rolling Stone: “I couldn’t hear the tone of the guitars at all.
It was a horrible kind of deafness. I was literally getting by on muscle memory and mouth shapes.
“I was starting to really feel bad about the performances in front of the boys, in front of the audience. It was crippling. There’s nothing worse than standing there and not being sure.”
The band’s bassist, Cliff Williams – who has returned to the band for a new album, ‘PWR UP’, along with drummer Phil Rudd – admitted his bandmate was “having a real hard time”.
Although Johnson couldn’t name the treatment he underwent, he explained that it uses “the bone structure in the skull as a receiver”.
He added: “The first time he came down he brought this thing that looked like a car battery.
“I went, ‘What in the hell is that?’ He said, ‘We’re going to miniaturise it.’
“We’d sit there and it was boring as s*** with all these wires and computer screens and noises. But it was well worth it.
“The only thing I can tell you is that it uses the bone structure in the skull as a receiver. That’s as much as I can tell you.”
The iconic rock group – which also comprises of guitarists Angus and Stevie Young – are back today (07.10.20) with their new single, ‘Shot in the Dark’, their first new music since their 2014 LP ‘Rock or Bust.
‘PWR UP’ will follow on November 13.