AC/DC guitarist and cofounder Malcolm Youngdied Saturday at the age of 64 after a long battle with dementia. Malcolm co-founded the band in 1973 with brother and fellow guitarist Angus, whose schoolboy outfit and onstage aggression made him the focal point of the band throughout its career. But Malcolm’s crushing rhythm guitar anchored the band musically, and his no-nonsense toughness anchored it in virtually every other way.
Malcolm’s last show with the band took place in Spain in 2010, and his illness forced him to leave officially in 2014, although the band continued to tour and record with his nephew, Stevie. The band’s biggest album, 1980’s “Back in Black,” has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.
Tributes to Malcolm from rock luminaries flooded social media on Saturday.
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.
AC/DC’s Malcolm Young’s guitar lit up the whole world. His lean & ferocious playing mainlined rhythm and melody into our culture like Beethoven and James Brown. My hero, RIP. pic.twitter.com/W7GzZUDgLE
RIP Malcolm Young Legend. He was the founding member of AC/DC & the engine that roared behind the most powerful band in the world. He wrote Back In Black, Highway to Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long, Highway to Hell, so many songs… Travel safely to the stars, Malcolm. Legend. pic.twitter.com/xfjylBbh4u
Every single show that I got to play I thought of Malcolm Young. He was the anchor. Loose. Precise. Exciting. Subtle. Powerful. Spare. He made it all happen for everyone else. That’s what I wanted to be.
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