According to an official AC/DC biographer, the band’s founding guitarist Malcolm Young has been forced into retirement due to his declining health.
Jesse Fink, author of the new biographical book, ‘The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC,’ has admitted it is doubtful Young, who has been sidelined from the band for most of 2014, will ever return. “I’m not expecting to see Malcolm return,” Fink told Boston radio station WZLX. “I think the important thing is we all let Mal be and hope he can recover.”
Additionally, Fink indicated that AC/DC had already found Young’s replacement: “I think we should all expect that Stevie Young (Malcolm’s nephew) is in the band now.”
Since the formation of AC/DC in 1973, Young, along with his brother Angus, have seen the band grow from performing in local pubs in Australia, to filling out stadiums around the world and entering the pages of rock history, Unfortunately, it appears as though the 61 year-old’s time has come to an abrupt end.
AC/DC remain tight-lipped on the matter, confirming little more than that Young is suffering a “serious” illness. Regardless, rumors have been rampant over what illness the guitarist is fighting: from suffering a stroke, to battling cancer. Moreover, Ultimate Classic Rock recently quoted a source as stating that Young is having trouble recognizing familiar faces, a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite indicating Young’s retirement, Fink refused to elaborate on his illness in a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock: “As far as I’m concerned, his illness is a private matter. However, fans seem to think his illness is just going to quickly go away and he’s going to be there on stage when they announce their tour.” He reiterated this was highly unlikely: “If what I have heard from numerous sources is true, then I expect Stevie Young will be touring with the band and not Malcolm. That’s not a seditious viewpoint. It’s realistic.”
Fink also gave insight to AC/DC’s upcoming album, which will be the band’s first without Young: “I’m hearing on very reliable authority the new album is up there with [2009′s] ‘Black Ice‘ or even better. So Stevie must be a good replacement for Mal.”