Malcolm Young, the pioneer of the band AC/DC and brother of lead guitarist Angus Young, reportedly had a stroke "more than a month ago" and the result was a blood clot left on his brain as well as limited motor skills which are keeping him from playing. The band is expected to announce today that they will be retiring from performing as well as releasing any new material.
Before Young's stroke AC/DC had booked studio time in Vancouver so they could record a new album to celebrate their 40 years in rock and there were plans to do a 40 city tour as well. For now those plans have apparently been scrapped.
News of the band's demise became almost pandemic in nature as the internet was alive with word that "one" of the band members was very sick and in some cases near death. Just as quickly as news about the band retiring became known so to did a flurry of denials saying that the news was incorrect or premature. Since the band is expected to announce today details of Young's illness and their plans for their future it would seem the news yesterday was just premature.
Malcolm Young, along with brother George actually founded the band with George Young being more of an influence and factor on the business end. Angus Young was encourage to become part of the band and over the last 40 years the Young brothers, along with singer Brian Johnson have been one of the most consistent and popular rock bands ever. Though many think Bon Scott was the original vocalist he was not, Dave Evans was with the band when they first formed but was quickly replaced by Scott. Scott was the front of the band fro 1974-1980 and was in the middle of recording one of the bands most successful albums "Back in Black" when he aspirated on vomit after passing out from a night of heavy drinking.
The band had thought about disbanding after the death of Scott, which was said to have taken a heavy toll on the Young brothers. The parents of Scott encouraged the Young's to continue on noting Scott would have wanted them to do so and in a way Scott had already given them his replacement in Brian Johnson. Scott had seen Johnson perform around London with a band called Geordie and was said to have been very "impressed and inspired" by his vocals.
"Back in Black" was completed and became one of the top AC/DC albums ranking along with "Highway to Hell" and the double platinum "Black Ice" which was one of the top selling albums in 2008. "Black Ice" was critically acclaimed and well received by fan s even though some said the music was either "classic AC/DC" or "just more of the same" saying the sound, especially Angus' guitar playing, never changes. That "never changes" sound and attitude of the band is what has endeared AC/DC to their fans.
AC/DC has been recognized in the US as the fifth best selling band of all time and and the tenth best selling artist having sold more than 71 million albums. The band has sold over 200 million albums worldwide and was honored with a Rock&Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2003.
Though it is possible for Malcolm Young to recover and regain his playing ability it is thought that the stroke and subsequent blood clot may not be the only health concern. Sources close to the family have said "His memory loss is so bad it is consistent with Alzheimers or dementia although we do not know that is what it is. There has been talk about cancer too."
There is a press conference scheduled for later today and the retirement of the band is expected as well as an update on the condition of Malcolm.