Skip to main content

Is bassist Cliff Williams out of retirement and back in AC/DC?

Cliff Williams onstage with AC/DC in 2016 (Image credit: Gary Miller - Getty)

The AC/DC rumour mill has been in full swing since August last year.

First, estranged members Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd were photographed together outside the Vancouver studio where the band recorded their last three albums. Then, they were snapped with AC/DC’s longtime engineer and mixer Mike Fraser.

All had been quiet since then… until last month, when Los Angeles outfit Terrorizer bumped into Johnson at an airport, where the vocalist apparently confirmed his return to the band (opens in new tab).

But with Johnson, Rudd, Angus and Stevie Young rumoured to be back together – the one question has been, “Who’s on bass?”

Cliff Williams announced his retirement from AC/DC following the conclusion of their Rock Or Bust world tour (opens in new tab), saying: “I need family time now, just chill out and not do this. I’m all good – I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

But a picture has emerged online from December last year, showing Williams and Johnson together at Vancouver’s Shangri-La Hotel. Could it just be coincidence? We shall see.

Last week, US radio host Eddie Trunk reported on his podcast that he had heard from a “very, very, very well-placed” source that AC/DC had completed work on a new album (opens in new tab), and that’ll it will contain material recorded by the late Malcolm Young.

Brian Johnson & Cliff Williams - AC/DC Scott Frinskie (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by @24eltoro on Dec 14, 2018 at 2:31pm PST

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.