Malcolm Young Leaves Band Because Of Dementia
The family of founding AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has confirmed the illness that forced the 61-year-old to quit the band because of dementia symptoms.
“Malcolm is suffering from dementia and the family thanks you for respecting their privacy,” they said in a statement, according to People magazine.
The group had previously announced in April that Young would be taking a break from the band and that it would be recording a new record without him. When AC/DC announced that it would be putting out the record, “Rock or Bust,” this fall, they confirmed that Young would not be returning to the band, “due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition.” They did not go into the specifics of the illness.
Young’s nephew, Stevie Young, played rhythm guitar in Malcolm’s stead on “Rock or Bust.” He will also be filling in for the elder Young on the group’s upcoming world tour in 2015. According to a family friend, the guitarist could no longer remember how to play AC/DC songs.
“If you were in the room with Malcolm and walked out, then came back in one minute later, he wouldn’t remember you. He has a complete loss of short-term memory,” according to an unnamed source.
Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young formed AC/DC in 1973. The Australian band sold more than 200 million albums, with their 1980 record Back in Black their biggest-selling hit.
“We miss Malcolm, obviously,” AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson told Classic Rock in July at a time when the band was optimistic about the guitarist’s return. “He’s a fighter. He’s in the hospital, but he’s a fighter. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll get strong again. … Stevie, Malcolm’s nephew, was magnificent, but when you’re recording with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn’t well, it’s difficult. But I’m sure (Malcolm) was rooting for us.”