With the inevitable passing of AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young Saturday following declining health due to dementia, the Scottish/Austrailian band appear to have put an epitaph on their career.
A statement released by Young’s family said “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 on Saturday with his family by his bedside.”
“From the onset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and along with his younger brother (Angus), took to the world stage, giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.”
Formed in 1973 after emigrated from Glasgow Scotland to Sydney Australia in their teens, Malcolm and Angus joined forces with lead singer Bon Scott, original bassist Mark Evans and drummer Phil Rudd to release their debut `High Voltage’ album in 1975. Cliff Williams replaced Evans for their second release, Powerage. The band hit the charts internationally with their Highway To Hell release in 1979 but the untimely death of Scott February 19, 1980, choking on his own vomit following a vast amount of alcohol consumption was a major setback.
However, Newcastle England and former Budgie front man, Brian Johnson was recruited as a replacement and the band release “Back In Black” later in 1980 which proved to be their biggest selling record, over 50 million copies sold.
But even though AC/DC went on to sell over 200,000 units, recorded 16 studio albums in total and were inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame in 2003, years of hard touring eventually took their toll. Malcolm Young needed to attend rehab for an alcohol problem in 1988 and a developing dementia problem ended his tenure with the band in 2004, replaced by cousin Stevie Young for the band’s 2016 Rock Or Bust tour.
Bassist Cliff Williams retired after that tour but the biggest shock was the loss of lead vocalist Brian Johnson due to an acute hearing problem’ forcing him to miss the band’s last 10 tour dates. Guns N Roses’s front man Axl Rose was drafted in as a surprise replacement for Johnson for those dates with AC/DC.
Yet it was well established that without a permanent front man considering Johnson unable to return to the band, AC/DC were finished as a functioning band, regardless of Malcolm Young’s passing on Saturday.