Saturday, November 18, 2017

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young has died at the age of 64 following a long battle with dementia.

The guitarist retired from the band in 2014 before entering a full-time health care facility in Sydney, Australia that specialized in patients with dementia.

“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” said the band in a statement. “Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.”

“As his brother,” adds Angus, “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.”

“It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother,” said the Young family in a statement. “Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.”

“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.”

“While thanking all for their overwhelming support and heartfelt condolences, the family ask that you respect their privacy during this time of heartbreak and grief,” they add. “For those wishing to send messages to the family please visit the Sydney Morning Herald Malcolm Young Memorial website which will be available next week. The family have asked instead of flowers to send donations to The Salvation Army.”

Malcolm Young was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1953, as one in a family of eight children. Most of Young clan emigrated to Australia in 1963, with older brother George forming The Easybeats in Sydney a year later and going on to score a 1966 No. 1 hit in the members’ adopted homeland with “Friday On My Mind.”

George Young passed away on October 22 at the age of 70.

Following the breakup of his first band, the Newcastle-based Velvet Underground (not to be confused with the New York outfit of the same name), Malcolm formed AC/DC with younger brother Angus in Sydney in 1973.

A pair of 1975 Australia-only releases – “High Voltage” and “T.N.T.” – launched the group, with a 1976 international version of “High Voltage” delivering tracks from both projects. More classic albums followed in the 70s before AC/DC issued their commercial breakthrough, “Highway To Hell”, in 1979.

Following the loss of longtime singer Bon Scott in early 1980, AC/DC recruited Brian Johnson and released “Back In Black”, which took the band to new heights as the project went on to become the best-selling hard rock album in history.

AC/DC continued to release records as they performed regularly around the world. The band were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association's Hall of Fame in 1988 – the same year Malcom stepped aside for most of the group’s Blow Up Your Video tour to deal with alcohol dependency issues; the Young brothers brought in their nephew, Stevie, to handle rhythm guitar in his absence.

AC/DC were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2003.

During AC/DC’s Black Ice World Tour from 2008-2010, Malcolm started to show signs of memory loss, according to Angus, and he began to receive treatment for the issue. The guitarist was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of the tour; caught at an early stage, the cancer was removed following successful surgery but the rocker was also outfitted with a pacemaker as the result of an unspecified heart problem.

Following a series of 2014 news reports about Malcolm’s declining health, AC/DC announced his retirement from the band and confirmed dementia as the issue as he entered a full-time health care facility in Sydney.

The Young brothers brought in nephew Stevie on guitar once again as they recorded and released “Rock Or Bust” in 2014 with Malcom’s blessing. The ensuing 2-year tour saw singer Brian Johnson forced off the road by hearing-loss issues in 2016, with Guns N’ Roses leader Axl Rose stepping in to front the group for the final series of European and US concert dates.

AC/DC have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 71 million in the United States alone.

See also:

VIDEO: Guns N’ Roses perform tribute to late AC/DC producer George Young
Easybeats guitarist and AC/DC producer George Young dead at 70
Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd cancels European tour
VIDEO: Foo Fighters rock AC/DC classic on BBC Radio 1
Search AC/DC at hennemusic