AC/DC Guitarist Young to Take Break as Band Pledges to Play On

AC/DC band members, from left, Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams, Angus Young and Brian Johnson attend an event in London on May 6, 2011. Close

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AC/DC band members, from left, Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams, Angus Young and Brian Johnson attend an event in London on May 6, 2011.

Malcolm Young, a founding member and guitarist in Scottish-Australian rock band AC/DC, will take a break from playing due to ill health, while the group has pledged to keep making music.

Australian media reported this week that Young, 61, may have returned to the country with his family and was so ill he was unlikely to play in the band again. The Sydney Morning Herald said the group was likely to disband after 41 years.

“The band will continue to make music,” AC/DC said in a short statement on its website. “After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health.”

The chart-topping hard-rock group was formed in Sydney in 1973 by Young and brother Angus, 59, famous for his school-boy outfits, who had moved to Australia from Scotland in 1963. Their string of international hits include ‘Thunderstruck,’ ‘Hells Bells,’ ‘It’s a Long Way to The Top’ and ‘Who Made Who.’

AC/DC suffered tragedy in February 1980 when singer Bon Scott died of alcohol poisoning in London, just as the group was building an international reputation. He was replaced by Englishman Brian Johnson who sang vocals on the subsequent ‘Back in Black’ album, AC/DC’s biggest-selling. The band has sold more than 200 million albums.

AC/DC’s statement said “Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.” The band asked that “Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Petrie in Sydney at dpetrie5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Johnson at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net Michael Heath

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