AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young has died at the age of 64. The band confirmed the passing of Young in a statement, saying, “It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. Malcolm had been suffering from dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.”
The statement continued, “Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many. From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans. Malcolm is survived by his loving wife O’Linda, children Cara and Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, sister and brother.”
Lead guitarist Angus Young said in a separate statement, “As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life. The bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”
Malcolm retired from AC/DC, the group he formed in 1973 with Angus, in 2014 after it was made public that he was suffering from dementia.
Angus carried on as the sole original member of AC/DC, with his and Malcolm’s nephew Stevie replacing Malcolm in the lineup for the recent Rock Or Bust LP and tour.
Malcolm and Angus’ older brother George, a member of “Friday On My Mind” pop act The Easybeats and co-producer of many of AC/DC’s now-classic early albums, preceded Malcolm in death last month at the age of 70.
Malcolm was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1953 and moved with his family to Australia 10 years later. He formed AC/DC in 1973 with Angus and led the band until his retirement, playing on every album except Rock Or Bust. He and Angus are co-credited with every song in the AC/DC catalog.
AC/DC rose from its beginnings in Australia to become one of the biggest and most enduring rock bands in the world on the strength of its live show and iconic albums like Highway To Hell, Back In Black — which remains one of the highest selling LPs of all time — and The Razor’s Edge.
Malcolm told us years back told us that AC/DC always wanted to give its fans a spectacular show: “They pay good money for a ticket. They want to see things. They want lights, and they want bigger. They want this and that. We understood that. The band’s all about entertaining.”
Malcolm’s exit ended up being the first in a string of departures that included longtime drummer Phil Rudd, who was confined to house arrest after being found guilty of drug charges, and Brian Johnson, who faced total hearing loss if he stayed on the road. Bassist Cliff Williams also announced his retirement after a nearly 40-year run with the band at the end of the Rock Or Bust tour.
Angus did assemble a new lineup to complete the band’s touring commitments last year, including Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose on the mic, but has not made any public announcements yet about the group’s future.
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