For those about to rock, we salute you. Malcolm Young, founding member of AC/DC and brother to lead guitarist Angus Young, has passed away at the age of 64. Malcolm suffered through dementia and cancer for the last years of his life and has not toured or recorded with the band since 2008's Black Ice. Malcolm Young was the band's rhythm guitar player and is responsible for many of AC/DC's best-known songs that have topped the charts as well as helped launch movies into the top of the box office with his contributions to soundtracks.
In a statement on the Malcolm Young's Facebook, his family said, "Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many." While the statement is accurate, it also underscores just how amazing Malcolm Young really was. Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Last Action Hero was a box office bomb, but the soundtrack was a triumph on the Billboard rock charts, thanks to AC/DC's hit song "Big Gun," which appeared in the movie as well as the soundtrack. Young was an understated, quiet musician who is responsible for some of the best known guitar riffs in music history.
News spread of Malcolm Young's passing through the band's official website and since has seen an outpouring of tributes to the late guitarist. AC/DC's official site reads.
"Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. "He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed."
He died peacefully on Saturday with his family nearby, according to reports. Young will be remembered for his powerful rhythm guitar riffs that were instrumental in propelling the Sydney heavy rock group to stardom. The three Young brothers have been part of AC/DC's history, including lead guitarist Angus. Producer George Young died in October of this year.
Malcolm Young was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on Jan. 6th, 1953, and formed AC/DC with brother Angus Young in Sydney, Australia in 1973. The band's debut album, High Voltage, came in 1975, starting a long run as one of the world's top hard rock bands. The Young Brothers were credited as co-writers on every song recorded by AC/DC. Their stadium-sized, anthemic rock included a number of classics that have been featured in many TV shows and on movie soundtracks, including "You Shook Me All Night Long", "Back in Black," "Highway to Hell", and many more. In 2010, Through a unique collaboration between Marvel Studios and Columbia Records, AC/DC's music was featured in Marvel Studios' Iron Man 2, the sequel to the 2008 blockbuster film. Columbia Records released the album AC/DC: Iron Man 2 on Monday, April 19, 2010. The album featured 15 classic AC/DC songs selected from ten of the band's studio albums, ranging from 1976 to 2008.
TV shows as The Sopranos and ER, as well as such films as The Avengers have relied heavily on Young's music. The CW's Supernatural is very fond of using AC/DC songs throughout its long run, with the music appearing in 9 episodes throughout the years. The DC movie Suicide Squad put Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap to good use. Back in Black helped usher Bruce Campbell's iconic character back to the small screen in Ash Vs. Evil Dead, and Daddy's Home put Thunderstruck to memorable use.
The long list goes on and on, with iconic 70s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati the first mainstream TV show to spotlight the band. Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive used AC/DC to help sell the movie, with a soundtrack that proudly displayed the name of Young's band on the cover. Only the Brave, released just this past October, was the last movie to feature AC/DC on their soundtrack, using It's a Long Way to the Top to help tell the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire.
Original AC/DC singer Bon Scott passed away in February of 1980 and was replaced by Brian Johnson. Malcolm Young was a heavy drinker, he briefly left AC/DC in 1988 during the Blow Up Your Video Tour, his only absence from the band up to and until his dementia diagnosis, to go to rehab to curb his drinking problem. After a few months, Malcolm returned to the band and remained sober ever since. The band was not surprised, saying that if the guitarist put his mind to something, he could do anything. The Young brothers and AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. With over 110 million albums sold, AC/DC is also the best-selling Australian act of all time. Malcolm Young will be missed, but never forgotten. Rest in peace, Mr. Young. You can read the band's full statement via AC/DC's website.