Lee Robinson, the vocalist for North Carolina-based AC/DC tribute band THUNDERSTRUCK, has spoken out about his chance to audition for the legendary group following the departure of longtime frontman Brian Johnson as Brian battled hearing loss. While the job ultimately went to a name-brand pro, Axl Rose from GUNS N' ROSES, AC/DC did try out a couple of unknowns when they held auditions in Atlanta last month.
"I love GUNS N' ROSES," Lee told IndyWeek.com. "But I hate Axl for AC/DC, and I may be a bit biased because I wanted the job, but the same time, AC/DC and GUNS N' ROSES are two separate bands completely, and they're two separate attitudes. It's not a good fit.
"If they'd have picked some other poor kid from the country, that would have been a lot worse," he continued. "They picked a big name; they picked a good singer and a great frontman. So that makes me feel better about the way they went, versus somebody else like myself out of the streets. I would have felt like they had no respect for my skills as a vocalist if they had gone in the other direction."
Robinson entered the Atlanta studio on March 14 and jammed with the AC/DC road crew before the members of the band entered the space. Robinson said that bassist Cliff Williams discovered THUNDERSTRUCK on YouTube and thought that Robinson deserved a tryout.
Robinson said that after having lunch, the band began to play. He explained, "Once they started playing, I was just excited and was just standing there, like, 'What the hell? I'm playing with AC/DC!'"
Like vocalist Darren Caperna of the Dallas-based AC/DC tribute band BACK IN BLACK, Robinson sang most of the current tour set, also adding numbers like "What Do You Do For Money, Honey", "Given The Dog A Bone", "Sin City", "Guns For Hire" and a few more.
Guitarist Angus Young told Robinson at the end: "Whatever happens, you've got a hell of a voice."
Both Robinson and Caperna agreed not to tell their stories until the band made an official announcement — which turned out to be that Axl had landed the job for 22 shows, including 10 rescheduled dates in the U.S.
Photo by Chris Formont