Today, November 18, is the third anniversary of former AC/DC bandleader Malcolm Young’s death. Young passed away, aged 64, at Lulworth House, in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, on November 18, 2017. He had been diagnosed with dementia at the conclusion of his band’s world tour supporting their fifteenth studio album, 2008’s Black Ice.
At the time AC/DC released a statement describing Young as “the driving force behind the band.”
“As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man,” the statement read. “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.”
In an emotional new interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes, Angus Young reflected upon Malcolm’s original idea for the band, and his 2017 death.
“It was his creation, his idea, his whole thing,” Angus noted. “When I was younger and he said, ‘Me and you are going to play together’, I said, You’re kidding? He said, ‘No, you’ve got the goods.’ I was like, Are you sure now, you want me playing next to you onstage? and he said, ‘Yeah, yeah, you’re as good a guitarist as anyone else.’ It was all his idea.”
As Angus Young remembers, music provided Malcolm with comfort and joy in his final days at Lulworth House, a nursing home facility in eastern Sydney, which specialised in dementia care.
“I think the hardest part was not so much him passing, because that was a kind of end, the relief,” Angus noted. “I think the worst part is the decline — that’s the hard part. Because of how you knew him, and then to see that that was gone.”
“I would say, even to the end, if I was there, from [ear to ear], he had a big smile,” the visibly emotional guitarist continued. “And for me, that always gave me a kind of joy. Even though he was in that state, that was always the joy of it. And he still got a great kick if I played him guitar. He would try to tap his foot. But he always knew I was there. So that was a big thing. I was with him towards the end.”
Watch the full interview with Angus, and AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson, below.
Malcolm Young receives a co-writing credit on every song on the new AC/DC album, Power Up, and Angus Young has previously stated that the album is dedicated to his older brother’s memory.
AC/DC are on the cover of the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, which is on sale now.