As our favorite legendary artists grow older, its only inevitable, that one day we will hear the sad news that one has passed away. Sadly, AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young will join several other legendary artists at the “Music Festival in Heaven.”
Longtime bandmate, friend, and AC/DC frontman, Brian Johnson, posted a statement on his website about the passing of Young titled, “For 32 years, we stood side by side on stage.” His letter stated:
I am saddened by the passing of my friend Malcolm Young, I can’t believe he’s gone.
We had such great times on the road.
I was always aware that he was a genius on guitar, his riffs have become legend, as has he.
I send out my love and sympathy to his wife Linda, his children Cara and Ross,
and Angus, who will all be devastated…. as we all are.
He has left a legacy that I don’t think many can match.
He never liked the celebrity side of fame, he was too humble for that.
He was the man who created AC/DC because he said “there was no Rock,n,Roll” out there.
I am proud to have known him and call him a friend, and I’m going to miss him so much.
I salute you, Malcolm Young.
– Brain Johnson, November 2017
Malcolm Young passed away on Nov. 18 at the age of 64, after suffering from dementia for the past few years. He formed AC/DC with his brother Angus in 1973. Besides playing guitar, Malcolm was a producer and songwriter, who help create some of the biggest rock and roll anthems in history, such as “Hells Bells,” “Back In Black,” “Highway To Hell,” and “You Shook Me All Night Long,” to name a few. He retired from the band in Sept. 2014, after being diagnosed with dementia in April 2014. Young and his AC/DC bandmates have sold over 110 million albums, are were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Rolling Stone posted several comments from various artist, once the news of Malcolm’s death started to circulate throughout the music industry including Eddie Van Halen, Nancy Wilson and Slash. You can read those comments below:
Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band): “Malcolm was the essential rhythm guitarist of the world’s greatest working class hard rock band. An irreplaceable loss.”
Slash (Guns N’ Roses): “Malcolm Young was one of the best ever rhythm guitarists in rock and roll. He was a fantastic songwriter and he had a great work ethic too. I toured with AC/DC on their ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ tour. I found Malcolm to be a really cool, down to earth fellow. The entire rock and roll community is heartbroken by his passing.”
Nancy Wilson (Heart) “Malcom Young was the embodiment of rock itself. His rhythm guitar style needed no embellishment. He laid down the simple solid guitar truth that taught us all about the ‘less is more ethic.’ The wild power of simplicity and the head banging hair flipping joys of turning it up really loud and dancing with the vibrations. Thank you, Malcom for being the real deal. We are all going to miss that shredding music that only you and your brother could make together.”
Eddie Van Halen: “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.”
Dave Mustaine: “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.” Tom Morello praised Young as “#1 greatest rhythm guitarist in the entire history of rock n roll.”