Australia's venerable hard rock band AC/DC is postponing all eleven dates of the US leg of its "Rock or Bust" tour, choosing not to bust lead singer Brian Johnson's eardrums.

A statement on the band's website says, "AC/DC are forced to reschedule the 10 upcoming dates on the U.S. leg of their "Rock or Bust" World Tour. AC/DC’s lead singer, Brian Johnson, has been advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss."

It starts with Tuesday's concert in Atlanta, as well as stops in Washington, D.C., Detroit and Philadelphia, leading up to 4 April's scheduled show at New York City's Madison Square Garden.  The band says it is prepared to make-up the dates with one or more "guest" vocalists standing in for the 68-year old Mr. Johnson, who stepped in for the late Bon Scott in 1980 and fronted the band during its most successful decades.  This would be the third major personnel change for AC/DC, which lost Malcolm Young to dementia in 2014 and drummer Phil Rudd to legal and personal troubles in 2015.

Hearing loss is not a new problem to the world of rock and roll.  Phil Collins quit the business in 2011 because of hearing damage.  Ozzy Osbourne, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck lost part of their hearing.  One of the more famous cases is The Who guitarist Pete Townshend

"I have severe hearing damage," Mr. Townshend said in an interview some years ago.  "It's manifested itself as tinnitus, ringing in the ears at frequencies that I play guitar.  It hurts, it's painful, and it's frustrating."  Tell me about it!  Even your humble CareerSpot News Monkey wrote this with a Fast and Furious movie turned up to cover the inconvenient, high-pitched whistle of tinnitus caused by years of blasting guitars through a dimed '71 Fender Twin Reverb. 

Pete Townshend eventually helped form the Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.), a US non-profit "dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of noise exposure that can lead to permanent hearing loss and tinnitus". 

German researchers recently analyzed the health insurance records of 7 million people from 2004 to 2008, and found that working musicians topped the charts for hearing loss.  Whether it's orchestra players on stage, or in the pit or a musical, or rock musicians in the spotlights near loud speakers, professionals are constantly exposed to levels of sound loud enough to threaten or actually harm hearing.  Hell, even a flute player is at risk if continually positioned next to the cymbals of a drum kit.

Musicians, mechanics, industrial workers, anyone who is exposed to constant or explosive loud noises:  Please, wear earplugs!  They're available at most music stores and chemists.