Dave Mustaine pays tribute to Malcolm Young

Malcolm Young and Dave Mustaine
Malcolm Young and Dave Mustaine (Image credit: Getty)

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine has paid tribute to late AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young.

Young, who had been suffering with dementia, died over the weekend, with AC/DC issuing a statement describing him as the “driving force behind the band.”

Tributes have been pouring in from across the music world, with Mustaine previously calling Young his hero. And the Megadeth leader has now spoken with Rolling Stone where he’s described the influence Young had on him when he was starting out.

Mustaine says: “Most people don’t know AC/DC was Malcolm’s band and that they weren’t Australian – they were Scottish. Tidbits like that are part of what made them unique.

“I was in a band that did a bunch of AC/DC covers and doing those songs introduced me a totally different approach to playing, where you don’t have billions of layers. It’s all based on the riff.

“Prior to that, rock and roll was all strumming chords and not playing riffs. A riff is a cyclical melody, and if it isn’t good, you’ll know. A good riff you can play over and over again, and Malcolm wrote a lot of that music. Kicked In The Teeth and Walk All Over You are two of my favourite songs of theirs.”

Mustaine adds: “Malcolm allowed Angus and Bon to do their job. He knew he was the best there was at rhythm guitar. He and other guys held down the fort and anchored the rhythm. That was his role, and he loved it.”

Mustaine reflects on touring with AC/DC and says: “I’d stand by the side of the stage and watch. The guys were so little, but the volume was so loud. Pure Marshall amplification. It was mind-blowingly loud.

“If you wanted to be deaf, you shouldn’t stay there for more than a short time. Malcolm would go back by the speakers and then go up to the front and sing and then go back to the amplifiers and just stand there, instead of staying up at the front like someone who doesn’t know what to do. That was brilliant.”

The Megadeth frontman’s late mother-in-law Sally Estabrook suffered from Alzheimer’s and her husband also had dementia, with Mustaine calling Young’s death “bittersweet.”

He adds: “I believe in heaven and I figure he’s in heaven now with Bon and Malcolm’s brother George.”

Malcolm Young - a tribute to the man who drove AC/DC to the top

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.