The rattle-tossing bitterness over my Metal Hammer article, in defense of Axl fronting AC/DC for the remainder of their tour, was thunderous. It sounded like this: “Waah! Waah! Axl! Waah!” Whiny, analysis-free bleats from lazy, self-righteous posters entirely incapable of analyzing the obvious and tremendous upside to the GNR frontman replacing Brian Johnson for the remaining shows. I’ve never defended nor even attempted to justify Brian’s ouster from the band but AC/DC acting like greedy, conflict-dodging toddlers should be about as surprising as the sun rising and setting. Since Day 1, Acca Dacca have displayed as heroic a proclivity for shitting on the good people within their ranks as they have for crafting the most timeless riffs in heavy music. Men like Bon Scott, Mark Evans and Chris Slade, to name a few.
Anyhoo, Axl made his debut with the band in Lisbon a couple nights ago — broken wheel and all — and the reviews have been uniformly effusive:
I said it before and I’ll say it again – Axl knows what time it is and he’s surely noticing that for the first time in years, the press have gathered in praise at his feet. He’s not fucking this one up. Pick up your tickets now for the rest of this tour because it’s only getting better.
As for Brian, AC/DC still owe both him and the fans the very basic dignity of a formal statement and a sincere acknowledgement of what he has meant not just to the band’s legacy, but to them as thinking, feeling people. That said, I’m not holding my breath.