Starting on Monday, media reports began to trickle out from Australia and New Zealand that AC/DC will soon be retiring. Entertainment reporter Peter Ford told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Monday that the band may never perform or record again, and then Perth radio station 6PR said the split was due to the fact that guitarist Malcolm Young is in poor health. However, AC/DC has certainly been the subject of retirement speculation in the past, and a report today from Billboard says there's no truth to the rumor. There also has been no official statement from the group's management or label, Columbia Records.
If the rumor is true, it would be quite an about-face from what singer Brian Johnson told WKGR (Gater 98.7)/West Palm Beach in February. At the time, Johnson said: "I think we'll be going into the studio in May in Vancouver. It's been 40 years of the band's existence, so I think we're gonna try to do 40 gigs, 40 shows, to thank the fans for their undying loyalty. I mean, honestly, our fans are just the best in the world, and we appreciate every one of them. So, like I said, we'll have to go out, even though we're getting a bit long in the tooth. It's been four years [since we last went out on the road], and I'm really looking forward to it."
A report from The Australian also backed up Johnson's claim, saying that AC/DC has booked six weeks of studio time in Vancouver to work on the follow-up to 2008's Black Ice. That album also was recorded in Vancouver with producer Brendan O'Brien.