In response to a week-long swirl of retirement rumors and speculation on the health of its members, AC/DC has made an official statement:
After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support. In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music.
What that means for the band’s plans for a 40th anniversary tour and scheduled booking in a recording studio in May in Vancouver (as frontman Brian Johnson recently told the U.K. Telegraph)is unclear, 61-year-old rhythm guitarist Malcolm has been integral to the band’s lineup since its inception, and he and his younger brother, lead guitarist Angus, are generally known as the band’s core songwriters.
“I wouldn’t like to say anything either way about the future. I’m not ruling anything out. One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don’t want to say too much about it,” Johnson said yesterday, declining to identify Malcolm by name. “He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We’ve been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much.”
“AC/DC is such a tight family,” he continued. “We’ve stuck to our guns through the Eighties and Nineties when people were saying we should change our clothes and our style. But we didn’t and people got it that we are the real deal.”