AC/DC founder Malcolm Young has died at the age of 64. The legendary guitarist had been suffering from dementia, his health problems leading him to step down from the band in September of 2014.
In statement released on the band's Facebook page, Angus Young wrote:
Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young.
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.
He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever.
Malcolm, job well done.
Malcolm Young formed AC/DC with his younger brother Angus in 1973. The lineup would coalesce when singer Bon Scott joined, with the Australia-based group going from cult faves to global superstars after the release of 1979's classic Highway to Hell.
Right from the beginning Malcolm Young was happy to hang in the background while Angus Young took the spotlight, his trademark schoolboy uniform and Gibson SG becoming instantly recognizable tradmarks. While not flashy on stage or in the studio, Malcolm became known as one of the most rock-solid rhythm guitarists in rock ’n’ roll, his favourite weapon of choice being a 1963 Gretsch double-cutaway Jet Firebird. Along with his brother he’d write some of the timeless classics in the history of rock’n’ roll, including “Hells Bells”, “Highway to Hell”, “Back in Black”, and “Thunderstruck”.
When Young stepped away from AC/DC in early 2014 the band initially stated he’d be taking a break because of “ill-health”. It was revealed later that year that he had lost his short-term memory to dementia.
Angus Young later revealed that Malcolm had been receiving treatment as far back as 2010 when AC/DC was on its Black Ice Tour. Things would eventually progress to where the guitarist had to be put in a nursing home for full-time care.
Malcolm Young leaves behind a wife, Linda Young, and two children.
Here’s how his rock ’n’ roll peers are remembering him on Twitter today.