Def Leppard Criticizes AC/DC For Replacing Lead Singer

Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott revealed in an interview with podcast Life In The Stocks earlier this month that he disagrees with how quickly AC/DC replaced frontman Brian Johnson with Axl Rose.

Along with reuniting with Slash for a Guns N’ Roses comeback, Rose was recruited by AC/DC last year to step in for Johnson – possibly for good – after the lead singer began suffering hearing problems. 

“I wouldn’t have done it like that.” Elliott said during the interview. “I can’t speak for [AC/DC guitarist] Angus [Young] and his team as to what their reasons were for doing what they did. 

“But considering that we had a drummer lose and arm and we waited for him, the way that they dealt with it was not the way I would have done it, put it that way.”

In 1984, Def Leppard suffered a tragedy when drummer Rick Allen was involved in a car crash while on his way to a New Year’s Eve party and lost his left arm.

Instead of replacing the drummer, the band waited until he could re-learn how to play with an adapted drum set. Allen successfully continued to tour and record, and is still with the band today.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Longtime fans of AC/DC will recall that Johnson was not the first lead singer of the band. Bon Scott was the frontman for the band’s first six studio albums, before his tragic death in 1980 due to alcohol poisoning and/or choking on his own vomit.

Earlier this year, the “Highway To Hell” band lost one of their founding members, guitarist Malcolm Young. 

After seeing the latest performances, Elliott alluded that AC/DC isn’t “really AC/DC anymore,” and added that it’s “basically just Angus and the other four now.”

Watch a 2016 performance of "Thunderstruck" with Rose and AC/DC below: