AC/DC Reportedly Auditioned Tribute Band Singer
While searching for a replacement for singer Brian Johnson, AC/DC possibly came close to following in the footsteps of Judas Priest. Although the group decided to go with Axl Rose to fill out their remaining tour obligations, Ultimate Classic Rock has learned that one of the people who auditioned for the group was Darren Caperna of the Dallas-based AC/DC tribute band Back in Black.
We received a press release via e-mail from the band stating that Caperna and guitarist Mike Mroz were flown by the band to a rehearsal studio in Atlanta. Following a soundcheck with the crew, the band came out and introduced themselves. Over the course of a four-hour audition, Caperna fronted the group through 21 songs, which included the standard set AC/DC have been performing on the Rock or Bust tour, plus two requests from Angus Young, “Dog Eat Dog” and “Riff Raff.”
“It was all so surreal," Caperna said. "We had a couple of breaks, and Angus told me some great Bon Scott stories. They were all so friendly, and treated us as their peers. I still can’t believe that I sang with AC/DC! Even though I did not get the job, it was the experience of a lifetime! Being in a tribute band for 16 years, we were hoping that we would be able to meet AC/DC one day -- but this goes way beyond our expectations!"
Last night, AC/DC confirmed the rumors that Axl Rose would front the group for 12 European dates and the 10 concerts that were postponed as a result of Johnson stepping down due to hearing problems. Shortly after the announcement was made, Young joined Guns N' Roses onstage at Coachella for two songs.
Had Caperna gotten his dream job, it wouldn't have been the first time a rock band found a new singer from a tribute band. In 1996, Judas Priest hired Tim "Ripper" Owens from British Steel, a Judas Priest tribute band. Owens recorded two albums with them, Jugulator (1997) and Demolition (2001), before reuniting with Rob Halford in 2003.
AC/DC Albums, Ranked Worst to Best