The rock-music world was abuzz last week when this video surfaced of former AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson showing up at Mick Fleetwood’s restaurant in Maui, Hawaii, to sing “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” during a jam session.
The song begins about the 1:40 mark after some chitchat:
The reason Johnson’s performance caused a lot of talk is because he left AC/DC last year due to hearing problems. The Ultimate Classic Rock website explained why this week’s jam session may be significant:
Johnson’s appearance, which you can watch above in fan-shot video, serves as the latest indication that he may be finding a way to work back from the debilitating physical problems that threatened to end his singing career. He’s expressed hope that a new type of in-ear monitor might alleviate that issue, but he’s also hinted that pride may have played a part in his exit from AC/DC, suggesting in a recent interview that he wanted to walk off on his own terms before he really couldn’t perform anymore.
“Onstage it was getting harder and harder to hear the guitars, even hear the keys, and I was basically going on muscle memory,” Johnson admitted. “And I’m not the kind of guy who likes to cheat. The way I look at it, I had a great run.”
New technology for the hearing-impaired has come a long way in the last decade. So Johnson may feel confident he can rejoin his old mates at AC/DC.
For now, Guns ‘n’ Roses frontman Axl Rose has taken over the lead-singing duties.
This isn’t the first time Johnson has performed Bobby Troup’s song. He’s been singing it since his days with the band Geordie in the 1970s. And a few versions can be found from various rock jams on YouTube, including this one in Los Angeles in 2004:
(Image of Brian Johnson with AC/DC in 2010 by Dena Flows via Flickr)