BRIAN JOHNSON Says New AC/DC Album, Tour Are In The Works

AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson recently spoke to about his participation in the Classic Rock Cares tour, which raises money for the John Entwistle Foundation. The Fort Myers, Fla.-based charity, which is primarily dedicated to promoting musical education for disadvantaged children, is named in memory of the legendary WHO bassist who died in 2002 at age 57 on the eve of the band's U.S. tour.

"We're not gonna change the world," admitted Johnson, "but it's a start. It's good to help (people in other lands), but sometimes, you gotta look at (what's happening) in your own country."

"Classic Rock Cares" is the collective handle of a group headlined by Johnson and his AC/DC bandmate, bassist Cliff Williams. They're joined by guitarist Mark Farner of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, former DEEP PURPLE/RAINBOW frontman Joe Lynn Turner, and JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND drummer Steve Luongo, who is the foundation's founder and executive director. According to Johnson, 59, there are few causes more worthy than this one.

"When you got nothing' you got nothing," he growls in a thick Australian accent. "We're not just talkin' money. We're talkin' pride and self-respect. Being in a band gives kids a sense of purpose. It's a wonderful thing when you're meetin' with guys and learnin' new songs instead of (getting in trouble)."

It's no secret the tour's major lure is a chance to see Johnson and Williams; it's been five years since AC/DC last hit the road. Johnson promises fans of the superstar hard-rock outfit won't be disappointed, as the set will include some AC/DC favorites as well as "four or five new songs."

"We're definitely doin' AC/DC, and trying to cram as many (tunes) in as possible," he offered. "We want to give people something to thank them for comin'. We want to prove we're making the effort. I haven't sung in anger in 5½ years."

So, does this portend a full-blown AC/DC project anytime soon?

"Malcolm and Angus (Young, the brothers who are the group's co-founders and chief composers) are in the studio," he reported. "There's an album in the works, and a tour, too, I think. The boys are working' on something special. They don't want to do just another album."


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