Many fans have lobbied for one obvious choice - Rob Liotti, the singer/actor who was slated to star as the late AC/DC singer, Bon Scott, in a biopic about his life and career.
"Hot Blooded Women" by Liotti and Farrar
"Jailbreak" by Young, Young, Scott
As fans know, founding member, Malcolm Young, was tragically diagnosed with dementia and heart issues prior to the recording of "Rock or Bust". Young's nephew and ex-Starfighters rhythm guitarist, Stevie Young was drafted for the second time to replace Malcolm this time rather than fill in. Then, drummer Phil Rudd ran into legal issues that brought back replacement drummer, Chris Slade, for the second time. Only Angus Young and longtime bassist, Cliff Williams remain.
But what about Liotti as a replacement for Johnson?
Many fans have mentioned him as the obvious choice or certainly high on the list, not as a tribute singer brought in to imitate Scott, but for the fact that he has written and performed other music, has his own style, and can competently pull off both Scott and Johnson era tunes. It is also noteworthy that the singer simply does not have the wear and tear on him and his voice that years of touring, racing, and smoking have brought to bear on Johnson.
"Unless fans are living in a bubble, Brian's voice has not been what it was since "For Those About To Rock", especially live", according to one music insider.
While it is true that the actor has performed in an AC/DC tribute in the past, it is also fair to mention that AC/DC's current drummer has also performed such gigs which has had no negative effect upon his performance. In fact, it is an advantage that Liotti is so well-versed and studied in those things AC/DC. One has to understand the dynamic of that band to pull off this replacement while injecting his own energy and style. But, fans expect to see AC/DC all the same. A Steven Tyler, Sammy Hagar, Sebastian Bach, etc. are not going to cut it with AC/DC. It's just not within their skillset.
Honestly, AC/DC could use the new blood and energy. Liotti is considerably younger than Johnson and it is public knowledge that he consumes no alcohol and does not smoke. He clearly hits the highs of Johnson and Scott past which should inject some new found life into the band. That's not a bad thing, and the reality is he is probably going to attract more female fans while maintaining their working-class grit.
Let's face it, AC/DC can still do it, but in fairness to Johnson, the vocalist is almost 70-years-old, and it is inevitable that these issues are going to arise. The truth is that no one thought Bon Scott could be replaced, and he was... Original singer, Dave Evans, was replaced by Scott. Cliff Williams replaced bassist, Mark Evans.
No one wants to see Brian Johnson go, but Rob Liotti can take his place and the band will go on until Angus Young calls it quits.