Malcolm Young: The Rock World pays tribute to the AC/DC icon

Malcolm Young
Malcolm Young, 1953 - 2017 (Image credit: Martyn Goodacre \/ Getty Images)

Musicians from across the globe have led tributes to former AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young, who died yesterday aged 64.

The news of Young’s death was broken in a statement from the band, who described him as the “driving force behind the band.”

Now artists including Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Dave Mustaine, Guns N’ Roses, Billy Idol, Nikki Six, Dweezil Zappa, Paul Stanley, Zakk Wylde, Def Leppard, Joe Satriani, Joe Walsh, Lars Ulrich, Ginger Wildheart, Ryan Adams, David Coverdale and Mike Portnoy have paid tribute, while Foo Fighters played a version of AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock during their set at Festival Corona Capital in Mexico City last night.

In a post on the band’s Facebook page, Dave Grohl said, “37 years ago my friend Harry Winkle and I went to see a midnight movie on Friday night at the Uptown Theater in Washington DC. It was 1980. We were 11. The movie was Let There Be Rock and it changed my life.

“That film, a live AC/DC from Paris, 1979 is everything that live [rock] & roll should be. Sweaty. Loose. Loud. A relentless performance from the perfect band. It was the first time I lost control to music. The first time I wanted to be in a band. I didn’t want to play my guitar anymore. I wanted to smash it.

“Thank you, Malcolm for the songs, and the feel, and the cool, and the years of losing control to rock and roll. I will do just that tonight, for you.”

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine wrote on their website, “Malcolm is gone, and although his music lives on, there are no words to express this sadness. Bittersweet as it is, I’m happy he’s free from the dementia and in Heaven with Bon and his brother George. I owe so much to Malcolm Young and his amazing talent. Malcolm, you are my hero, and I will see you one day in Heaven.”

“It is a sad day in rock and roll,” wrote Eddie Van Halen. “Malcolm Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC. I had some of the best times of my life with him on our 1984 European tour. He will be missed and my deepest condolences to his family, bandmates and friends.”

In an Instagram post, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian wrote, “Malcolm had an intensely powerful, percussive and economic style of playing that made him the greatest rhythm guitarist of all time. His uncanny ability to wring only the necessary notes out of his Gretsch was what made AC/DC - his riffs, feel and tone the soul of that band. What he means to me is unquantifiable. I am a rhythm guitarist because of Malcolm Young, he lives with me always and I hope to honor the man and his legacy every time I play.”

Many of the tributes made on social media can be read below.

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young – the lost interview

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