Earlier this year, it was reported that Guns & Roses front man Axl Rose would finish the last 10 dates on the 2016 AC/DC North American Tour.

Earlier today, Brian Johnson, AC/DC’s frontman for the past 36 years, released a statement shedding further light on the situation.

It seems his hearing has been in a precarious state for some time, and he was finally advised by physicians that continued touring would deafen him entirely.

He added that he was “personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine. The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before. Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life’s work. I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice. The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person.”

This sad development underscores the need to properly monitor one’s hearing at loud music events, both onstage and in the audience.  Damage is cumulative, and over time the continued exposure to levels of sound that exceed the safe decibel range will erode hearing.  Other long-term rockers have suffered hearing loss as well.  Among the most-famous examples is Who guitarist Pete Townsend, whose battles with tinnitus have forced him to limit his touring and severely manage his on-stage sound mixes.