Ever Been Burned By A Cannon? AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Been Doing It For 30 Years
It takes more than stamina and handling the pressures of fame to be the singer for one of the world’s most successful rock bands. You’ve got to be able to handle the cannon fire too.
AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson has recently revealed to Classic Rock that he’s spent three decades being burned by the cannon fire during their live performance of “For Those About To Rock We Salute You”. “I could write a book about about standing under the cannon for 30 years,” says Johnson, “these horrible sparks come out of them – at the end of the show I have burn marks all over my shoulders.”
Not only that, but during the performance of “Hell’s Bells”, he’s had a couple of near-misses with the titular stage prop. Talking about the giant bell that he swings off during the song, Johsnon says, “a couple of times it’s been raining and I’ve had to run to get up to the rope. There’s been a couple of dodgy times when I’ve slipped just before I launched myself.”
Despite the potential risk of accidents, Johnson says of AC/DC’s live show, “I try to give as much passion up there.”
Speaking on the Aussie rock titans’ future tour plans, Johnson dismissed the idea of another world tour, calling it “body-breaking” instead suggesting they were willing to dismiss their old ‘no festival’ policy. Having first broke their own rule to play the Download Festival at Donington, UK in 2010
The singer also told Fox News, “If we could do some festivals I wouldn’t mind that at all – that would be lovely.” Also adding that, “I wouldn’t like to do another [tour] like the last one. We never want to go on stage and have people saying, ‘Oh, you should have seen them ten years ago.’ So I doubt we’ll be doing a big one.”
Brian Johnson also spoke earlier in the year about the possibility of a new AC/DC record. Guitarist Angus Young however, explained that Johnson may have jumped the gun on the original plans to release the follow-up to 2008′s Black Ice this year.
“You know what Brian’s like,” Young explains, “he just says things and then walks away. It’ll be a little while – a year or two anyway.”
“I’ve been doing some jamming on some song ideas but I do that all the time, as do the rest of the band,” he continued. “We are still working. But we had a long rest between Stiff Upper Lip and Black Ice, so I think we need a couple of years to recuperate and work on it a bit more.”
AC/DC’s last studio LP debuted at number 1 in over 29 countries and has sold 6 million copies so far worldwide. Black Ice was also the first time the band had topped the Billboard 200 albums charts since their 1981 release For Those About to Rock We Salute You. The very same album that contains the song that keeps giving Johnson his burn marks.
Rock n’ roll can be a risky business – and that’s just in day to day life, let alone on the touring musician’s workplace, the stage. Whether it is the stage collapsing, parts of it falling on top of artists or even artists tripping and falling on it, it’s a place that wouldn’t pass muster with many OH&S inspections. That’s even before you get around to the fact that there’s live electricity all over the place and, bigger stages are often outdoors and then worst off all, you’ve got fans trying to get on stage. We take a look at some of the worst stage injuries suffered by rock n’ roll artists. Watch this slideshow »