PHOTO: Suzi Pratt | Getty Images
Brian Johnson has made his first recorded appearance since leaving AC/DC earlier this year due to hearing problems.
The singer appears on the Greg Billings Band’s track “Old Friends Don’t Come Easy,” the latest in a long series of collaborations between Johnson and Billings, who has been a fixture on the Florida music scene since the early Eighties. The song is featured on the group’s upcoming album, Boom Boom All Night! which also includes a guest appearance from Cheap Trick frontman Robin Zander.
Johnson was forced to take time off from AC/DC last March after doctors told him he would go deaf if he continued to perform. The group carried on with Axl Rose and concluded its world tour this past September with a series of U.S. make-up dates for the concerts cancelled due to Johnson’s health issue. (Johnson did make an appearance in May on the new album from Saturday Night Live alum Jim Breuer, but that was most likely recorded before his hearing damage was detected.)
Since leaving AC/DC, Johnson has tried out a new hearing aid that delivers louder and better sound while minimizing the risk of hearing damage. The singer says he was “amazed” after testing the product.
In addition to his work with Billings, Johnson is busy as the host of The Producers, a new online radio program from Planet Rock that explores the lives and careers of some of rock’s best-known producers.