|Photo courtesy of acdc.com|
Normally I don't post on Saturdays, but today I'm making a special exception and for good reason. AC/DC co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young has sadly passed away at the age of 64 from Dementia.
As Young was aging it was getting more and more difficult for him to remember how to play the songs and to stay mentally present. He had been suffering from Dementia for a long while by this point, which was also the cause of him being forced to retire from the band a few years back.
AC/DC put out a statement on their official website, saying:
"It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.
Renowned for his musical prowess Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many. From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.
Malcolm is survived by his loving wife O'Linda, children Cara and Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, sister and brother.
While thanking all for their overwhelming support and heartfelt condolences, the family ask that you respect their privacy during this time of heartbreak and grief.
For those wishing to send messages to the family please visit the Sydney Morning Herald Malcolm Young Memorial website which will be available next week.
The family have asked instead of flowers to send donations to The Salvation Army."
Lead guitarist Angus Young made his own separate statement on his older brother's passing, saying:
"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 and Angus Young started AC/DC together in 1973 in Sydney, Australia. Malcolm co-wrote most if not all of AC/DC's material. Most if not all of the big riffs in all of those hits and other great songs were his doing. He was a big part of what made the AC/DC engine turn. Without him there would be no Back in Black. There would be no Dirty Deeds. There would be no For Those About to Rock. There would be no Highway to Hell. You get the idea, I'm sure.
I find myself at a loss a bit because Malcolm Young was a HUGE inspiration to me (as well as countless other people) as a musician, especially when I first picked up the guitar. His monstrous rough riffs and excellent song writing in tandem with Angus's guitar solos made me want to play rock n' roll too. When I was a teenager I used to listen to every AC/DC record all the way through on repeat every day. The high voltage rock n' roll I was listening to charged me with a spark of life that I had never experienced before and have never experienced anywhere else in life. Without him the course of my life would have been entirely different.
Before I knew about AC/DC I didn't know that rock n' roll or even music in general could have such balls, energy, and thrill to it. When I was a kid and first experiencing this music though, you can bet that I was blown away beyond all the far reaches of the imagination. Up to that point all I had ever really heard was 50's and 60's light rock and pop. Stuff that was rated G, you know? It was good enough at the time, but it didn't do much besides entertain me a little for a few minutes at a time. When I heard AC/DC though, that was when I understood just how awesome music could be and it made me want to play too. In a sense, Malcolm Young was responsible for this grand fantastic change in my life.
My thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to the Young family in their time of great sorrow and strife. I can't begin to imagine how difficult this is for them. If any of them by any slim chance happen to read this blog, I want them to know that Malcolm meant a great deal to me too. He and his music changed my life in so many ways for the better and I will never be able to thank him enough for it.