Why Justin Hawkins took the mic from Brian Johnson during the AC/DC cover at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute

The darknessJustin Hawkins has explained why he appeared to wrestle the microphone away from AC/DC singer Brian Johnson during their joint performance of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” with Foo Fighters by Taylor Hawkins Tribute Show in London this weekend. Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich joined in on drums for the song.

After some who watched the concert’s live stream on Saturday (September 3) commented on the awkward mic handover, The Darkness’ lead singer cleared the matter up. Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkinsno relation to Justin, died aged 50 in March. Saturday’s tribute to him saw the Foos lead Dave Grohl perform its first Foo Fighters song without Taylor.

Watch the fan-caught video at the bottom of this page.

Sunday (Sept. 4) was Justin explained on Twitter, “[Ten] seconds before the AC DC section Brian told me to get up for the second verse of BIB. I wouldn’t do it, never sang it before, but [Grohl] said “if Brian tells you to do something, you damn well do it.” Haha”

The Darkness singer too tweeted“To be honest, I feel like BJ just wanted to pull me up for a laugh and give his voice for a few seconds to recover in time for the rest of the number. I thought he did an AMAZING job and I’m always happy to help when needed.”

the darkness justin hawkins, ac/dc brian johnson, taylor hawkins tribute concert

YouTube: MTV

In a further reply, Justin listed“Everyone involved would trade it all in to get Taylor back, but I think The Hawkins Family and [Foo Fighters] created something very special in his honor.”

But why the microphone battle? The singer offered further explanation in a more substantive statement summarizing his remarks, which he subsequently shared on social media.

10 minutes before the AC/DC part of the tribute, Brian Johnson asked me to come up and sing the second verse of Back In Black. I refused at first, I’ve never sung it before and I didn’t want it to seem like I was about to crash. But Brian was really insistent and Dave Grohl told me that ‘if Brian tells you to do something, you damn well do it.’

I had [The Darkness drummer] Rufus [Taylor] pulled up the lyrics on his phone and I gave it a go but honestly I think Brian just wanted to create a memorable spontaneous moment and get a laugh so he could really push and smash the rest of his set . The stage manager sat down to prepare a microphone for me, but I didn’t know which one to take, and I ended up having to steal Brian’s, which looked a little awkward. [Face with tears of joy emoji]

Brian Johnson is an absolute legend and Dave was right, I couldn’t deny it.

The show also included a emotional opening speech from Grohl, a Van Halen tribute set with Wolfgang Van Halen and plenty of other outstanding achievements.

Foo Fighters feat. Brian Johnson, Justin Hawkins + Lars Ulrich – “Back in Black” (AC/DC Cover; September 3, 2022)

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