Malcolm Young, a founding guitarist of the legendary band AC/DC, has dementia, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, and will not return to the band.
The band posted a statement on its Web site ahead of the release of its 17th studio album in December:
“Rock or Bust” is the first AC/DC album in the band’s 41 year history without founding member Malcolm Young on the recordings. Earlier this year AC/DC released a statement explaining that due to illness, Malcolm would be taking a break from the band. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition, he will not be returning.
It was reported earlier this year Young had a stroke “which left a bloodclot on his brain.” Now, the Herald is quoting unnamed “sources connected to the Young family” who say the guitarist is still unwell.
“If you were in the room with him and walked out, then came back in one minute later, he wouldn’t remember who you are,” the Herald’s source said. “He has a complete loss of short-term memory. His wife, Linda, has put him in full-time care.”
Young, a native of Scotland, founded AC/DC with his brother Angus in Australia in 1973. The band survived the death of Bon Scott, its hard-living frontman who sang classics such as “T.N.T.” and “Rocker,” in 1980. With replacement Brian Johnson out front, the band found success with the LP “Back in Black” — the second-best selling album of all time, according to the Richest. According to the band’s Web site, it has sold more than 200 million records.
The band said Stevie Young, a nephew of Angus and Malcolm, would replace Malcolm on tour.
“Malcolm is a big inspiration to me; he keeps me on my feet,” Angus — the band’s flashy guitarist known for playing in a schoolboy uniform — told Guitar World earlier this year. “Even when I’m tired from running around the stage for two hours, I’ll look back at what he’s doing and it gives me that boot up the backside I sometimes need. … Mal’s a very tough critic, and I know that if I can please him, I can please the world. A lot of people say, ‘AC/DC — that’s the band with the little guy who runs around in school shorts!’ But I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without Malcolm and the other guys pumping out the rhythm. They make me look good.”
Here’s the band tearing it up in 1979.