Apr 152014

He doesn't want to make it cry or sing.

He doesn’t want to make it cry or sing.

Townsman hrrundivbakshi may want to take a seat before reading this. If there’s a fourth member of his Holy Trinity of Rock (ie, ELO, Prince, and ZZ Top), it may be AC/DC. Here goes…

Reports are flying around that the band is going to call it quits in the wake of rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young‘s recent stroke. This is sad news, obviously. Although I’ve never been a big fan of AC/DC, years of prodding by my close personal friend Townsman Sethro, finally turned me onto the genius of their economical hard rock production power. The band has good hooks to boot, that I came around to enjoying as long as I could block out either of their meathead singers. Watching their videos over the last 15 years of my semi-enlightenment regarding the band’s merits, I was always struck by the dedication and focus of Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar. He seemed to define all that is right in a dedicated rhythm guitarist. He’s the rhythm brother that John Fogerty probably wished Tom would have been, or Mark Knopfler’s would-be rhythm brother, the one who “doesn’t want to make it cry or sing.” The guy was a rhythm machine, with seemingly no need to hog the spotlight. He just kept his head bobbing, his forearms pumping, and the band chugging ahead.

I’ve never known much about how AC/DC operated. I found this passage in the story linked above especially meaningful:

While Angus Young is the more famous, and more recognisable, AC/DC is most definitely Malcolm Young’s band, he started AC/DC, under the guidance of big brother George Young (ex-Easybeats, and co-producer) and encouraged his younger brother Angus to join him, and take on the world.

Malcolm Young has been the quiet motivator and boss of the band for four decades, co-writing nearly all of AC/DC’s classics, and making sure nothing happened to harm or damage the band’s reputation, or disappoint the fans who’ve stuck by them for decades.

His passion for the band and its music, and integrity, were so intense, back in the 1970s he used to have fistfights with his younger brother, Angus, in the studio, when disagreements about a sound or riff couldn’t be resolved. Proper punch-ups, teeth were lost, blood was drawn.

Anyhow, here’s hoping to as good a recovery possible for Malcolm Young and the band staying true to who they are and hanging it up, if that’s what they feel is right.


  8 Responses to “AC/DC Blows Fuse?”

  1. Interesting. All I knew about them was the death of Bon Scott and the hiring of Brian Johnson. Not a fan, but I have a grudging respect for them . . . and you can’t get away from them at the ballpark.

  2. There is supposed to be an official announcement later today, as of now everything that has been reported are not official statements from the band.

    Brian Johnson was the only one with any authority that has commented on the future of the band. He had said that there were talks about a 40th anniversary tour with 40 dates and a possible new album

    Now the rumour was that in early April the band got together in Vancouver to rehearse and Malcolm couldn’t play due to a bloodclot on his brain after a recent stroke. This still doesn’t mean the tour is off since his son had replaced him during a string of shows some years back. If this is it, it will be a sad day. I would hate for Malcolm to not go out on his own terms.

    AC/DC, hearing them for the first time was a life changing event for me, and I was 6 years old hearing Let There Be Rock. I then heard Highway To Hell …again, life changing. I still get goosebumps hearing certain parts of that album. Though not all the albums were home runs …..whatever …..I could never fault them, they already gave me something that has brought immeasurable happiness ….and very few bands get that kind of “pass”.

    and this is one of the greatest songs ever!

  3. According to Rolling Stone, no breakup is imminent: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ac-dc-not-breaking-up-amid-retirement-rumors-20140416

    This band rocked my world when I first borrowed the albums Let There Be Rock and the live record If You Want Blood from my friend’s older brother. No one in the 10th grade had ever heard of them. Finally, I found a band I could call my own! Those riffs just did it for me, and they still do. I always loved Malcolm’s commitment to riffs and his not hogging the stage. He knew his place and banged it out night after night.

    The older brother took my friend and me to see AC/DC open for UFO at the Capitol Center in 1978. We had a case of the official beer of the Baltimore Orioles, National Bohemian (Natty Boh, hon!). Tickets were $7.25. Just spectacular.

    Fast forward to February, 1980 when Bon Scott died. The next day, I wore a black armband to Catholic high school. After I explained to the first five or so people who asked me why the armband, I found out NO ONE KNEW who Bon was. I finally stopped answering and wallowed in my personal grief. This hurt more than any grandparent passing, for sure.

    In fact, without AC/DC, my current band would not exist. Fellow townsman cdm, our future lead sing/songwriter and I attended their show at the then Core States Center in Philly in 2001. After that show, The Donuts were formed. We saw them again in 2008 at the same venue (under a different bank name). In fact, I play Sonor drums because that’s what Phil Rudd plays.

    I hope they do one more tour. I’d be in for that. I love this band.

  4. hrrundivbakshi


    Everything — and I mean *everything* — you need to know about AC/DC can be seen and heard in this concert footage. From the priceless “you cannot possibly understand how awesome this is without being here, and I’m here, and I barely understand it myself” introduction to … to… look, just watch, and be amazed.

    Sethro is 100% right about the absolutely perfect production values of those first four or five albums.

    I could go on and on, but I gotta bolt. Maybe more later.

  5. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey, Mod: if Malcolm doesn’t care about making his guitar “cry” or “sing” — what do you think he calls what he does with his guitar?

  6. I think Sethro bought his Sonors for the Phil Rudd connection too.

  7. Malcolm was asked why he never played any solos …..he replied:

    “it interferes with my drinking”

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