Among the more thrilling moments at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert on August 3 was Brian Johnson and Lars Ulrich being joined by the Foo Fighters for two AC/DC songs, “Back in Black” and “Let There Be Rock.”
But there was also another artist on the stage – the Darkness front man Justin Hawkins, who shared the mic with Johnson during the second verse of “Back in Black” – a moment that some viewers found questionable.
After Hawkins was criticized by some for seemingly grabbing the microphone from the AC/DC legend, the singer took to Twitter to explain the situation.
“10 minutes before the AC/DC segment of the tribute, Brian Johnson asked me to come up and sing the second verse of 'Back in Black,' ” he began. “I initially refused, I've never sung it before and I didn't want it to seem like I was gatecrashing. However, Brian really was insistent and Dave Grohl told me that 'If Brian tells you to do something, you fucking do it.'
Hawkins continued, "I had Rufus [Taylor, The Darkness drummer] pull up the lyrics on his phone and I gave it a go, but in all honesty I think Brian just wanted to create a memorable spontaneous moment and have a laugh so he could really push on and smash the rest of his set. The stage manager scrambled to prepare a microphone for me, but I didn't know which one I was supposed to take and I ended up have to steal Brian's, which looked a bit awkward.”
He concluded, “Brian Johnson is an absolutely legend and Dave was right, I couldn't turn it down.”
You can check out the full set, complete with mic grab, above.