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AC/DC's Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson Reveals How He Overcame Permanent Hearing Loss To Return To AC/DC


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AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson‘s 2016 departure from the band appeared to be a sad endnote to a legendary career. Facing the prospect of permanent hearing loss at the time, he opted to leave the band to preserve the already diminished auditory range he had left. Interestingly, he attributed that condition more to his passion of partaking in motor sports over the years rather than decades of playing live concerts.

Around his departure, Johnson had been meeting with Asius Technologies and their founder Stephen Ambrose about their ADEL technology—which at the time was not yet at the stage where it was small enough to be viable for daily use.

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Four years removed from that, it would appear that the technology has advanced to the point where Johnson can return to the band. He recently told Rollingstone.com.

“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 miniaturize it.’ It took two and a half years. He came down once a month.

We’d sit there and it was boring as shit 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.”

Speaking of his 2016 exit from the band and the prospect of deafness he faced at the time, he responded:

“It was pretty serious. 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 docs said, ‘Deaf is deaf, son.’ Cliff and Angus didn’t want to be responsible for me damaging my ears any further. … Shit happens. At least it wasn’t terminal.”

A new album titled “PWR/UP” from AC/DC featuring Johnson as well as returning bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd will be out November 13th. The first single, “Shot In The Dark“, will be out tomorrow, October 07th.

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