Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of AC/DC, died Saturday (November 18th) at the age of 64. Young had been suffering with dementia for the past three years, an illness that forced his retirement from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band he founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973.
“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” AC/DC wrote 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.”
Angus Young added, “As his brother it is hard to express in woThe Young brothers lost their older brother George Young, the Easybeats guitarist and AC/DC’s longtime producer, in October at the age of 70.”
In an additional statement from Malcolm Young’s family, the band said that Malcolm Young died peacefully Saturday with his family by his side.
“Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” the statement said. “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.”
As rhythm guitarist for the legendary rock band, Malcolm Young served as an indispensable foil to Angus Young’s arena-stuffing riffs. After forming AC/DC in 1973, the Young brothers would be credited as co-writers on every song the band recorded from their 1975 debut High Voltage through 2014’s Rock or Bust. That final album marked AC/DC’s first without Malcolm, who announced in September 2014 that he would permanently leave the band due to dementia.
“We miss Malcolm, obviously,” AC/DC singer Brian Johnson said in July 2014. “He’s a fighter. He’s in [the] hospital, but he’s a fighter. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll get strong again… Stevie, Malcolm’s nephew, was magnificent, but when you’re recording with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn’t well, it’s difficult. But I’m sure [Malcolm] was rooting for us.”
Malcolm Young last performed live with AC/DC when their tour for 2008’s Black Ice concluded in June 2010 with a concert in Bilbao, Spain.ds 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 Young, like his older brother George, [Dana’s note: who passed on October 23rd], and younger brother Angus, was born in Glasgow, Scotland before the whole Young family emigrated to Sydney, Australia in the early Sixties…
…Throughout AC/DC’s tenure, Malcolm and Angus Young served as the band’s main creative force, crafting the unmistakable riffs that would make AC/DC one of the biggest bands in music. Together, the brothers would create the music for hits like Back in Black, Hells Bells, Highway to Hell, Thunderstruck, For Those About to Rock (We Salute You), You Shook Me All Night Long and dozens more rock staples.
Eddie Van Halen wrote following Young’s death, “It is a sad day in rock and roll. Malcolm Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC. I had some of the best times of my life with him on our 1984 European tour. He will be missed and my deepest condolences to his family, bandmates and friends.”
Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, who regarded Malcolm as one of rock’s greatest rhythm guitarists, tweeted Saturday following Young’s death, “I have to go…I am losing it that Malcolm is gone. I hate this…” KISS’ Paul Stanley added, “The driving engine of AC/DC has died. A tragic end for a sometimes unsung icon. One of the true greats. RIP.”
The Young brothers and AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. With over 110 million albums sold, AC/DC is also the best-selling Australian act of all time.
additional source: Rolling Stone.