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.

13 Responses

  1. First of all, my heartfelt condolences to all the Young family, close friends and associates of AC/DC.
    I have had the pleasure of seeing this great band twice, once with Malcolm on guitar during the Black Ice tour at Wembley Stadium.

    I myself have had the unfortunate experience of having a relative suffer from this horrendous disease. My grandfather suffered from this from 1998 until his death in November 2000. The only way I can describe this illness is imagine your computer has lost connection to the internet. The computer is on, but there’s nothing there.

    As sad and terrible as this is, Malcolm’s passing will be a relief on his soul. He will no longer be suffering, and believe me the people that have Dementia are suffering.

    Let’s remember Malcolm for the songwriter and guitarist that he was, the joy he helped the band bring to the hundreds of millions of people that have bought AC/DC album for 45 years.

    Malcolm Young: Rest in Peace….We all salute you.

  2. Malcolm gone? I just cannot begin to fathom. As a musician, he was such a major inspiration to me. He held that spot onstage down like a boss and then some. He was infectious, you couldn’t help but to pump your fist in the air and scream along. Air guitar was invented because of this man. The Riff Meister, the glue…he wrote some of the absolute, most bad- assed statements in rock and roll, without ever really making a statement. He was pure, untainted, a wonderfully unabashed slayer of the guitar and of gritty, balls out writing. What can you you say? The man wrote the most enduring foot stomping rock and roll. Period. Loud and proud, never a corporate suck up. No matter the trends, you knew what you were going to get when an AC/DC record was released. When others were flailing to keep up on the scene, Malcolm and AC/DC just forged through steadily and unabashedly, taking no prisoners. Without AC/DC, we would have no true integrity in rock and roll. All of my other heroes in hard rock had sold out at one point in their careers. Never this guy. Ever. And Malcolm was the weapon of necessity. As a fan, I cannot express the many times over the decades that their music pulled me up out of the doldrums, or just when I needed to turn it up loud and have a good time. Malcolm Young should be recognized as one of the true greats, and if you haven’t discovered this for yourself yet, do yourself a long overdue favor and press play on any of their records. You will not be disappointed. The joy given to me through Malcolm’s magic is indescribable. Rock In Peace, Malcolm, have a blast with Bon. We love you.

  3. My condolences to the Young family, given this loss and the loss of George just recently, they have had a tough few months.
    What can anyone say about Malcolm? He was the glue that held the AC/DC sound together. Along with Angus, he wrote the songs that rocked millions of fans. He gave us songs that will live forever – “Back in Black”, “Highway to Hell”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Thunderstruck”. Does anyone believe that these songs won’t continue to be played on Classic Rock stations for many years to come? So, he has a legacy that will live forever! He’s now free of the terrible disease of Dementia, which is one of the most terrible diseases imaginable, as it basically steals your personhood from you. Malcolm, you are free now. RIP.

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