AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson says retired guitarist and band founder Malcolm Young inspired the group to the record their latest album, “Rock Or Bust”, and head out on a world tour.
Last year, the group announced Young’s retirement after he was diagnosed with dementia.
Now, as AC/DC hits the road in support of the album – they headlined Coachella last Friday and will do so again this Friday – Johnson reveals it was Malcolm who inspired the group to carry on.
AC/DC did just that, bringing in Malcolm and Angus Young’s nephew, Stevie, to handle rhythm guitar and, after recording “Rock Or Bust” with drummer Phil Rudd, hired former member Chris Slade following a series of events that have led to legal issues for Rudd in his current homeland of New Zealand.
“It’s just given us that impetus to just do it for him,” the singer tells the Telegraph about Malcolm, “because you know before the dementia really took hold of him he said ‘just get out and make music lads, just for me one more time’. I don’t want to be sentimental about this because, boy oh boy, I’m not a sentimental kind of guy. But that’s what we’re doing.”
Johnson faced his own health issue with a cancer scare in 2009 that forced AC/DC to cancel several shows.
“At this time of my life, you know,” he says, “I just keep reading the newspaper and saying ‘Oh My God. When I read about Joe Cocker I went but that’s impossible; he cannot be dead; he’s only 70.
“I mean I’m aware of the fact that I’m not long for the world but, I guess, I’m just not afraid of death. I don’t believe in anything so therefore I’m not afraid what’s gonna happen afterwards.”
Following their Coachella appearance this weekend, AC/DC will launch a European tour May 5 in Arnhem, Netherlands and a late summer/early fall tour of North America in August.
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