Def Leppard wouldn’t have replaced their singer with Axl Rose like AC/DC did

"It's basically just Angus and the other four now."

Def Leppard‘s Joe Elliott has suggested that he was uncomfortable with the way AC/DC so quickly replaced frontman Brian Johnson with Axl Rose.

As well as reuniting with Slash for a proper Guns ‘N Roses comeback, Axl last year also joined AC/DC as a guest vocalist when Brian Johnson was forced to take time out, possibly indefinitely, due to hearing problems.

Talking to the Life In The Stocks podcast, Def Leppard’s frontman said: “I wouldn’t have done it like that.


“I can’t speak for [AC/DC guitarist] Angus [Young] and his team as to what their reasons were for doing what they did.

“But considering that we had a drummer lose and arm and we waited for him, the way that they dealt with it was not the way I would have done it, put it that way.”

Drummer Rick Allen joined Def Leppard in 1979 when he was just 15, but lost his arm in car accident on New Year’s Eve five years later.

The band didn’t replace him, but instead waited till he had re-learned how to play on an adapted kit, and he has continued to tour and record with the band to this day.

Def Leppard have a history with AC/DC, having supported them back in the late 1970s.


While Elliott clearly wouldn’t have been as quick to replace a member as AC/DC seemed to be, he didn’t dislike Axl’s guest role.

Malcolm Young
Malcolm Young (Corbis via Getty Images)

“I saw some stuff on YouTube, and I think he did a pretty good job, actually,” he said, acknowledging that Rose was always a big fan of AC/DC.

Johnson was not the first AC/DC singer, with Bon Scott fronting the band for its first six studio albums before his death in 1980. He had replaced the band’s first singer Dave Evans who only appeared on their first single.

But while he admitted to being a big fan of the Johnson era, Elliott added that the last touring lineup of AC/DC wasn’t “really AC/DC anymore”, calling it “basically just Angus and the other four now”.

Guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young left the band in 2014 and passed away earlier this year, prompting an outpouring of tributes from across the world of music.

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