Living legends and heavy metal pioneers AC/DC may be the bearer of the worst rock news this month, with the saddening announcement that founding member/writer/guitarist Malcolm Young suffered a stroke and a resulting blood clot on his brain that leaves him unable to play guitar like he used to. Malcolm Young is the older brother to the iconic "schoolboy of rock", lead guitarist Angus Young. These guitar brothers have spawned genres and styles of music due to their undeniable signature sound and song/riff-writing style. They are one of the most recognized and highly-respected guitar duos of all time, and that is what makes the news of Malcolm's stroke so much more saddening.
While Malcolm has survived his stroke, his long-term health remains in question. This leaves both his, and the band's future in question as the band of guys always promised to never play with one of their boys missing. Remarkably, AC/DC is still a band consisting entirely of original members (obviously sans Bon Scott), as well as a band who continues to perform live music well into their 60s! The band is known to deliver their live performances with the energy that surpasses many bands half their age!
AC/DC has not released any new material since 2008, when they recorded and released their latest (and hopefully not last) full-length record: "Black Ice". Produced by legendary record producer Brendan O'Brien, Black Ice is the band's 15th studio full-length in their unquestionably-impressive 40 years of being a band! This album creates a modern take on the classic sound that AC/DC created, loved by their massive generation-spanning fan base; a sound that has never changed/"sold-out"/or strayed from the original path it was created upon.
In addition to a possible new album, the band was rumored to have a tour in the works that was expected to celebrate their 40th anniversary by playing 40 shows around the world- as a way to thank the fans. The news of Malcolm Young however will be a sure stop to these plans, being that the band is completely bound to each other, and will refuse to play on without any member in the fold. The band clearly holds each and every member in high regard, and tries to keep most things private, out of respect.
Brian Johnson (lead vocalist) explained in February:
"We've been denying anything, 'cause we weren't sure. One of our boys was pretty ill, so we didn't like to say anything, and we're very private about things like this, so we didn't wanna say anything. But I think we'll be going in the studio in May in Vancouver. Which means, we should be getting ready."
This seemed to give a glimmer of hope for a future where AC/DC fans may after all get a new album and possible world tour. However recent unfolding news about Malcolm being unable to play in writing sessions for said new album may crush the hope of this album ever seeing the light of day. Only time will tell if Malcolm can recovery fully and continue to write with his band.
The Orstrahyun's Darryl Mason writes:
"Malcolm Young and his family have now returned to Australia. Everyone is hoping he makes a recovery, but close friends are saying the situation is not looking good, right now. Things may change. We can hope they change, and Malcolm recovers."
Long touted as a band that seems to show no signs of stopping, this may be the one tragic wrench in AC/DC's spokes.
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