AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Clears Up That “Awkward” Mic Grab at Taylor Hawkins Tribute Show

During a tribute concert for Taylor Hawkins in London, Brian Johnson appeared alongside The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich to perform AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” Toward the end of the performance, Hawkins was seen grabbing the mic from Johnson and taking over the vocals.

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After the show, some viewers accused Hawkins of “stealing the mic” from the AC/DC frontman. Hawkins took to social media soon after to explain, “10 seconds before the AC DC section Brian told me to get up for the second verse of [‘Back In Black’].”

Johnson has now given his own perspective of the event on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk. He revealed, “We were getting ready to go on. Justin came up, and he was going, ‘Brian, I cannot believe I’m here.’ He said, ‘Back In Black’ is my favorite of all songs in the world, and I’d love to be able to sing [it].’ And I said, ‘Come on and sing the second verse. Can you do that?’ And he went, ‘Oh, do you mean it?'”

He continued, “He turned… Dave Grohl was there. He said, ‘Dave, Brian has just asked [me] to sing the second verse of ‘Back In Black.’ ’ And Dave Grohl said, ‘If Brian Johnson asks you to sing the second verse of ‘Back In Black,’ you sing it.’ And he did. And then he got on. And I think he chickened out halfway through and I forgot the fucking words.”

“But the worst thing was he got so excited, he came out and he forgot to bring a microphone with him,” Johnson told the outlet. “So that’s why it looked so awkward, trying to sing with one microphone. And he’s, like, six-foot-fuckin’-two or something.”

Elsewhere in the same Hawkins tribute show were performances from Queen, Liam Gallagher, Supergrass, Rush, and Dave Grohl’s daughter Violet. Grohl opened the night with a speech that promised the show would be “a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person.”

The surviving members of Foo Fighters closed out the show with a set full of their greatest hits. Several drummers checked in and out of the performance, including Travis Barker, Nandi Bushell, and Taylor Hawkin’s 16-year-old son.

Photo by Suzi Pratt/

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