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AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young has died at the age of 64 after a long battle with dementia.

The Australian guitarist died peacefully on November 18 with his family nearby, a statement said.

Malcolm Young will be remembered for his powerful rhythm guitar riffs that were instrumental in propelling the Sydney heavy rock group to stardom.

Three Young brothers have been part of AC/DC’s history, including lead guitarist Angus.

Malcolm’s brother, producer George Young, died in October.

The statement read: “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.”

Image source Wikimedia

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After founding AC/DC in 1973, the Young brothers were credited as co-writers on every song the band recorded by the band between their 1975 debut High Voltage through to 2014’s Rock or Bust.

Malcolm Young was born in 1953 in Glasgow before his family emigrated to Australia when he was 10. His family confirmed he was suffering from dementia in 2014.

The musician wrote much of the band’s the material that enabled AC/DC to become one of the biggest heavy rock bands, including Back In Black, Highway to Hell and You Shook Me All Night Long.

AC/DC is estimated to have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 71.5 million albums in the US.

A statement by the artist’s brother Angus on the AC/DC website praises Malcolm Young’s “enormous dedication and commitment” which made him “the driving force behind the band” who “always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted”.

“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.”


AC/DC members say they have not spoken to drummer Phil Rudd since he was charged with attempting to arrange a murder on November 6.

Angus Young said they had had “a few problems” with Phil Rudd while recording their latest album but his arrest “took everyone by surprise”.

“We haven’t had contact,” said Angus Young.

“He’s got himself in a pickle.”

Key charges were later dropped, but Phil Rudd still face charges of drugs possession and making threats to kill.

“We had a few issues before with him,” said Angus Young, speaking about Phil Rudd during an interview in New York to promote their album Rock or Bust.

“Even when we were recording it was hard even to get to him to do the recording.”

“And then he was supposed to show up to do promos with us, to do video shoots and a few other things, and he never showed up for that either.

“So, at this stage, it’s a pretty tough call for us.”

AC/DC is one of the highest grossing music acts of all time. Their best known hits include Highway to Hell and You Shook Me All Night Long.

Phil Rudd, now 60, was kicked out of the band in 1983 and rejoined in 1994. But his absence from a recent photo of band members prompted online speculation about whether he was still in the band.

New Zealand police had initially accused Phil Rudd of trying to arrange for a hitman to carry out two killings, but charges were dropped after 24 hours.

Under the current charges, Phil Rudd could face a maximum prison term of seven years for the charge of threatening to kill.

“He’s got to sort himself out I think,” said Angus Young, adding that the band remain “resolved to go forward”.

“At this point it’s kind of a question mark. But if we’re touring, there will be a drummer in place, put it that way.”

Angus Young, 59, is the only remaining original member of the band, after his brother, Malcolm, was diagnosed with dementia earlier this year.

The current line-up includes Cliff Williams, Brian Johnson and Angus Young’s nephew, Stevie.

Phil Rudd is due to appear in court in New Zealand on November 27.