This is sad news. You probably heard it already, but just in case: Malcolm Young, a founding member of AC/DC and rhythm guitar player par excellence, was diagnosed with dementia. His family recently confirmed what started as a rumor a while back ago.
Of course, with an illness like this, there is no way for Malcolm to stay in the band. He’s only 61 years old and started his career in as a musician over four decades ago. Thinking of AC/DC without both Young brothers sharing the stage is really weird. Apparently, Malcolm’s nephew Stevie Young will be filling in for him and taking over his role on the upcoming world tour in 2015.
I was never a die-hard AC/DC fan, however, I am considering myself an admirer of their work. I guess it’s fair to say I always liked them a lot, but my collection of AC/DC material is certainly not complete. But one thing that stood out to me the first time I saw a taped live concert of the band performing (with Bon Scott on vocals) – while Angus got the deserved spotlight, I was probably most impressed with Malcolm’s stoic, relentless and swiss-clockwork-like accurate rhythm guitar playing. I can’t remember the venue of the name of the song. But I do remember him standing there pounding this riff over and over again with spot-on timing. Despite the repetition, it never sounded mechanical. He just knew what to do and he was fully emerged in his job. I was blown away. From thereon out I always paid special attention to the rhythm guitar parts when listening to AC/DC songs.
AC/DC, in my opinion, is doing the right thing. While it must have been a difficult decision for the band, I think it’s great that they are moving on with their plan for next year’s tour and the new album ‘Rock or Bust’ with a scheduled release of December 2nd, 2014.
Well, I’m not really familiar with dementia treatment options, outlook, etc. Whatever Malcolm is going through, I hope he’s able to still enjoy life. I don’t know what else to say, it’s just sad and it sucks.