A moral maze with legal questions

AC/DC. One of my top three bands. Singer Brian Johnson has been told that if he continues playing live he will become deaf. The band cancelled dates and has replaced him with Axl Rose for the remaining US dates and the European tour.

This leads to the question of what is a band, specifically what is this band? When you buy a ticket to see AC/DC what are you actually buying? A very good friend of mine said you are really buying a ticket to see Angus. In fact he said that the biggest loss was when Angus’s brother, Malcolm, left the band last year due to his diagnosis with dementia. 

If you have bought a ticket and you expect and want Brian Johnson to be singing, do you have a right to get your money back? It is very likely that the terms and conditions say that you are entering into any agreement to see the band, not the performers. What would happen if it was Angus who could not play? The gig would not take place. A neighbour said that she would not want to see Axl Rose, and that she would sell the ticket online; there being many people who would love to see Rose perform with the band.

I have seen them a couple of times and I like Brian Johnson. Is it morally right to continue with the band? How does it make Brian Johnson feel? Here is a press release from him. You can read how it hurts. He also says he understands that people may feel disappointed; of course it is not business as usual:

Brian’s statement 

The band continued after Bon Scott’s death. Maybe it is ok to keep going? Difference is Brian Johnson is still alive.

Could a ticketholder sue the promoters for deceptive selling, even if the terms and conditions said that the agreement is to see the band and not the performers?

The press release is quite bizarre, sending more like an announcement of a corporate CFO leaving a snack foods company. Not even a quote from Angus saying how cool things have been over the past years, and a few anecdotes. Looks like the band’s management got involved:

Press release
If you fancy listening to Whole Lotta Rosie, here it is:


Interestingly one of my other top three favourite bands, Whitesnake, has had 39 members, but always David Coverdale.

Author: Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

2 thoughts on “A moral maze with legal questions”

  1. Usually, there is a refund policy provided for that is printed on the ticket or referred to in some way (e.g., a reference to a policy on a website). That would likely control any issue here. Absent a policy, there is an argument that there is a failure of consideration where a material component of the agreed to consideration is not provided (here, Brian Johnson). No charge for that advice by the way.

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