Justin Hawkins explains taking mic from AC/DC’s Brian Johnson at Taylor Hawkins tribute show

"BJ just wanted to drag me up for a laugh," said The Darkness' frontman, who joined in a collaborative version of 'Back In Black'

Justin Hawkins has dismissed some fans’ suggestion that he took the microphone away from Brian Johnson during a joint performance at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert on Saturday (September 3).

The Darkness‘ frontman appeared onstage with Johnson and Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich to perform AC/DC‘s classic single ‘Back In Black’ at the special Wembley Stadium event. Hawkins was seen taking the mic from Johnson, before swapping lines with the singer.

Some viewers subsequently accused Hawkins of “stealing the mic” from the AC/DC frontman, a claim the former has since denied on social media.


One Twitter user defended Hawkins, writing: “Brian called him onto the stage!” In response, the musician said: “Yeah, 10 seconds before the AC DC section Brian told me to get up for the second verse of BIB.

“I didn’t want to do it, never sung that before but [Dave Grohl] said ‘if Brian tells you to do something, you fucking do it.’ Haha.”


Wolfgang Van Halen, who’d shared the stage with Hawkins, Grohl and Josh Freese earlier the the show, replied: “You’re goddamn right! And you killed it.” Hawkins wrote back: “Haha I wouldn’t say that ;).”

He continued: “To be honest, I feel like BJ just wanted to drag me up for a laugh and to give his voice a few seconds to recover in time for the rest of the track. I thought he did an AMAZING job and I’m always happy to help out when needed.”

Sharing a series of images from the event, Hawkins said it was “a privilege to be part of this show”.

He added: “Everybody involved would trade it in to have Taylor back, but [Foo Fighters] & The Hawkins Family created something beautiful in his honour.” You can see that post above.

Hawkins later posted a longer statement in which he recalled being invited to join Johnson onstage at the last minute: “The stage manager scrambled to prepare a microphone for me, but I didn’t know which one I was supposed to take and I ended up having to steal Brian’s, which looked a bit awkward [laughing face emoji].

“Brian Johnson is an absolute legend and Dave was right, I couldn’t turn it down.”

The Taylor Hawkins tribute concert also featured performances from the likes of Queen, Liam Gallagher, Supergrass, Rush and Dave Grohl’s daughter Violet. In a heartfelt opening speech, Grohl promised that the event would be “a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person”.

Elsewhere at the gig, Them Crooked Vultures – the supergroup comprising Grohl, Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones, and Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Josh Homme and Alain Johannesreunited for their first live appearance in 12 years.

The surviving members of Foo Fighters closed the six-hour show with an emotional greatest hits set. Grohl and co. were joined by a revolving cast of guest drummers, including Travis Barker, Nandi Bushell and Taylor Hawkins’ 16-year-old son Shane.

Roger Taylor‘s son Rufus – Taylor Hawkins’ godson and drummer for The Darkness – also stepped in as a temporary sticksman for the Foos. You can see the full setlist from the concert here.

A second tribute show will take place at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum on September 27.

Hawkins, who drummed with Foo Fighters from 1997 alongside performing in bands like Chevy Metal and Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Ridersdied on March 25. He was 50 years old.

You May Like