Back in April, AC/DCannounced that one of the band’s founding members, Malcolm Young, would be taking a break from the band due to an undisclosed illness. Rumors of what could be wrong with the 61-year-old guitarist blew up on the internet, from stroke to cancer. We’ve waited anxiously for a real announcement, and now that it’s here the news is not good.
Unfortunately, Young was hit suddenly last year with a stroke which has led to dementia and a complete loss of short-term memory. His family told People: “Malcolm is suffering from dementia and the family thanks you for respecting their privacy.” Those close to the band are saying that if you exit Young’s room in a 24-hour care facility and come right back, he won’t remember you. As you might expect, Malcolm Young is now officially retired from AC/DC, the band he co-founded with his younger brother Angus Young in 1973.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported last week that Malcolm is being treated in a nursing home in Sydney, Australia. The facility is believed to be Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay. A Young family connection told the newspaper, “If you were in the room with [Malcolm] and walked out, then came back in one minute later, he wouldn’t remember who you are. He has a complete loss of short-term memory. His wife, Linda, has put him in full-time care.”
SMH also reported that Young, who has been a key songwriter for the group since its conception, “could not remember how to play AC/DC songs.”
Malcolm and Angus’s nephew Stevie Young replaced Malcolm as rhythm guitarist on the band’s upcoming 17th studio album Rock or Bust, due in stores and online December 2nd and he will tour with the band in 2015. This is the first album in AC/DC’s 41-year history that the Scottish-born Australian guitarist does not appear on. AC/DC hasn’t made any announcements about what will happen after the Rock or Bust tour, but many people close to the band believe this will be the last tour for AC/DC.
Malcolm Young is easily one of the best rhythm guitarists to have ever picked up the instrument. This is a sad loss for fans of the band and fans of rock music in general and a heartbreaking situation for Young’s family.