Remembering AC/DC’s Mastermind Malcolm Young!

Malcolm Mitchell Young (6 Jan 1953 – 18 Nov 2017) was a Scottish-Australian musician, best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for the rock’n roll band AC/DC. When it comes to AC/DC they are more than just a band, they are the creators of the modern high energy rock and roll. The Australian bands history goes back four decades and has sold more than 200 million albums. Malcolm was described as the driving force and the man behind the energetic rhythm of the band. He was instrumental in developing many of their guitar riffs and co-writing the band’s material with younger brother Angus Young.

Malcolm Young was 20 when he and younger brother Angus formed AC/DC in 1973. Prior to that they played in a band called Marcus Hook Roll Band and released an album in Australia called Tales of Old Grand Daddy. At AC/DC’s first lineup, Angus was on lead guitar, Malcolm on rhythm guitar, Colin Burgess on drums, Larry Van Kriedt on bass guitar and Dave Evans on vocals. Interestingly they decided upon the name AC/DC after seeing the letters “AC/DC” on their sister’s sewing machine.

According to Rollingstones Malcolm once explained to a Dutch TV interviewer “There is very few rock & roll bands,There is rock bands, there is sort of metal bands, there is whatever, but there is no rock & roll bands – there is the Stones and us.” When asked about the difference between rock bands and rock & roll bands, he explained, “Rock bands don’t really swing …a lot of rock is stiff. They don’t understand the feel, the movement, you know, the jungle of it all.” Young’s style of playing was a demonstration of his words and was regarded as the best rhythm guitarist who has this natural ability to create the rock’n roll jungles.

On the contrary to a common belief of many rock guitarists, Guitar Player magazine has stated that the secret to Young’s guitar technique was playing open chords through a series of Marshall amplifiers, set to low volume with little or no gain. Young created many of the band’s signature guitar riffs. He was instrumental in establishing them as one of the biggest rock acts of all time through tracks such as Back in Black, Highway to Hell and You Shook Me All Night Long. At the conclusion of the Black Ice World Tour, Malcolm was diagnosed with lung cancer. Malcolm Young last performed live with AC/DC on tour in June 2010 at a concert in Bilbao, Spain. In 2014, AC/DC released a note stating that Young would be “taking a break from the band due to ill health”. He passed away on 18 November 2017 at the age of 64 after a long battle with dementia. “Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many” said AC/DC in a statement.

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