The music world is in mourning, as one of its beloved stars has passed away. Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of AC/DC, died on Nov. 18 after a battle with dementia. He was just 64.
“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” the band announced in a statement on Facebook. “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 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,” Angus Young, 62, the band’s iconic guitarist, added in the statement. ”He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”
Malcolm died peacefully with his family by his side, according to an additional statement to SBS. Apart from a brief period in 1988, Malcolm was with AC/DC since the band’s inception in November 1973, up until his retirement in 2014. He left the revered rock act due to health complications stemming from dementia.
“We miss Malcolm, obviously,” AC/DC singer Brian Johnson said in July 2014, per Rolling Stone. “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.”
As the rhythm guitarist for the band – known for its hits “Thunderstruck,” “TNT,” “Back In Black,” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” – Malcolm would help launch this Sydney, Australia group to the stratosphere of rock fame. The Young brothers were the creative force driving the band, as both Angus and Malcolm were credited as co-writers for every song the band ever recorded, up to 2014’s Rock or Bust. Malcolm’s last performance with the group was in June 2010, at a concert in Bilbao, Spain.
Malcolm’s brief departure in 1988 was due to his heavy drinking. After just a few months in rehab, he returned to the band and remained sober ever since. “I was not surprised,” his older brother (and longtime AC/DC producer) George Young said. “When Malcolm puts his mind to something, he does it.” Sadly, George – the Easybeats guitarist who penned the hit “Friday On My Mind – passed away in early October. It’s heartbreaking that tragedy would befall this family yet again.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Malcolm’s family, friends and fans during this heartbreaking time of loss.