AC/DC’s Brian Johnson almost joined his predecessor Bon Scott on the “Highway to Hell” at a celebrity race at the Silverstone Classic on Saturday, July 29th. Johnson was in one of five teams of celebrities competing in a qualifying heat at the iconic British race track. His vintage Austin A35 flipped over completely before landing back on its wheels. The driver’s side door flew open and the car lost its windscreen, but Johnson walked away from the accident with no injuries after being attended to by medical staff.
Johnson is a keen car enthusiast and recently hosted “Cars That Rock”, a TV show where he got under the hood of the world’s most iconic cars. His love of speed almost ended his career, however – his recent hearing problems owe more to engine noise than the high voltage rock and roll of the band. He discussed his hearing loss with radio host Howard Stern in 2014 saying: “I didn’t get it from music. I got it from sitting in a race car too long without earplugs. I heard my eardrum burst because I forgot to put my plugs in under my helmet. That’s how it happened. Music had nothing to do with it.” After a lengthy lay off, he made his return to the stage at a Paul Rodgers gig in Oxford on May 14th this year, where he joined the former Free and Bad Company frontman and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant for an encore jam of Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want)”
The future of AC/DC hangs in the balance – long-time member Malcolm Young retired from the band due to dementia, drummer Phil Rudd had some rather colourful brushes with the law, whilst the band’s bassist since 1978, Cliff Williams, bowed out after a lifetime of touring.