Longtime AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson was recently caught in Vancouver, BC, hanging around the same studio where the band recorded its last three albums. Sure Johnson could just be visiting, except that the sneaky photograph also appears to show drummer Phil Rudd!
Crystal Lambert is a resident of an apartment located near Warehouse Studios in Vancouver. Apparently she has a clear few of the studio's back deck, where artists often take breaks on nice days. Her photo appears to show Johnson and Rudd commiserating as Rudd takes a smoke break and Johnson opens the studio door.
AC/DC fans will draw one of two conclusions from this: either Johnson and Rudd are starting a new band together, or the pair are back in AC/DC after about three years!
Johnson stepped away from the band during its Rock or Bust Tour in 2016 after his doctors warned him that he would go deaf if he continued performing. Johnson has been frank about his hearing loss issues, which he says were caused not by rock and roll but by his auto-racing hobby. He reported feeling uncertain onstage due to his inability to hear and said he got through many shows on "muscle memory" alone.
In the months following his departure, a hearing expert offered his help, pledging to get the singer back onstage with a state-of-the-art set of in-ear monitors to protect him from AC/DC's incredible live volume. Johnson has since recorded with Jim Breuer and performed live with various artists, including Muse.
Rudd ran into a number of legal issues in 2014 and was replaced in AC/DC by Thunderstruck-era drummer Chris Slade in the band in 2015.
Slade told Chris Jericho earlier this summer that he had no idea if he was in AC/DC's plans moving forward.
AC/DC guitarist and band leader Angus Young is surely aware of the questions about the band's legacy that were stirred up by touring with Rose in Johnson's place. It makes sense that after Malcolm's death and bassist Cliff Williams' retirement, Angus would move to preserve the band's credibility by bringing back Johnson and Rudd.
Is it time to say goodbye to Axl/DC for good? We'll have to wait and see.
Photo: Getty Images