AC/DC‘s Angus Young spoke with Patrick Prince of Goldmine magazine recently and spoke proudly of his guitar-playing brother, Malcolm, who died at 64 years old from effects of dementia in 2017.
According to Blabbermouth.net, Angus explained: “I always used to say, if we were onstage, and my guitar goes down, you wouldn’t notice. But if his guitar went down, you’d notice. He stamped that backbeat, very driving, very confident. He was always that way as a player. Very strong. He was the most confident guy I ever saw with a guitar, probably because he’d been playing that well since he was very young. He was always ahead of the game. And he was always on top of whatever he did. Even in the early days, when we played clubs and [cover] bars, and people would get rowdy, and go on, ‘Play this song, play that song,’ we’d play it, and he would just play, even if he never played it before. I’d be like two miles behind just watching him. I’d be, like, ‘What’s the next chord?’ And he’d always know it. And the way he played. He’d always be so confident, y’know.”
Angus spoke highly of his nephew, Stevie Young, as well. Stevie stepped in for the guitarist after Malcolm revealed he was suffering from dementia, which ultimately forced him to retire from AC/DC.
The co-founder of the band continued: “He filled in for Malcolm on tour during Malcolm’s heavy alcohol problem. He wanted to get himself contented, so he brought my nephew in, because he had also been playing in bands. He called him in and told us, ‘Stevie can do the job, I know.’ And Stevie had grown up in that style. He was always into the rhythm side, not the noodling side. Malcolm was his Bible. He would always listen to how Malcolm would form the chords. Malcolm left space between the chords. Sometimes it was what he didn’t play! It always came out so solid. Yet there was also a kind of subtlety to it. Very disciplined… And Stevie can keep up in that way, to be on the ball, on the money. I couldn’t do it like that. I’d have to ask to be shown again… and again. And I’d still be going, ‘Now, how does that go again? How’d he do that?’ To mouth that note exactly on the money like Stevie does, he’d do the next bit and still get it. It’s very unique.”
- AC/DC’s most recent album, Power Up, was released last November.
- The album contains some of Malcom’s ideas. He’s also credited as a writer on all 12 songs.