|Angus (left) and Malcolm Young, AC/DC. Best wishes to Malcolm Young and we hope he can overcome this illness.|
|Malcolm Young in recent times|
Reports hinted that the heavy metal legends had planned to retire after learning the truth, but they said in a statement they planned to carry on.
“That is true, Malcolm is sick,” friend Mark Gable told Australian public radio on Wednesday. “From what I understand, and it’s even been confirmed in part by his son Ross (Young), that it would appear Malcolm is unable to perform anymore.
“It’s not just that he is unwell, it’s that it is quite serious. It will constitute that he definitely won’t be able to perform live. He will probably not be able to record.”
Gable said it is unlikely the 61-year-old guitarist will ever play live again.
A family member told the Herald that while the diagnosis remained foggy, Young’s condition had deteriorated to the point where his loved ones were looking into full-time respite care.
The Herald reported that Young is having difficulty “remembering familiar faces” and is having increasing problems communicating.
“His memory loss is so bad it is consistent with Alzheimer’s or dementia although we do not know that is what it is,” the source told the Herald. “There has been talk about cancer too.”
As for AC/DC calling it quits, the source called retirement talk “pure speculation.” Yet music industry insiders say Young’s brother Angus — who helped him co-found the band in 1973 — believes “Malcolm is the band” and could be irreplaceable.
And there is a precedent for AC/DC replacing ailing — or dead — members. Brian Johnson replaced the band’s beloved frontman, Bon Scott, after the latter’s booze-fuelled death in 1980.
And when Malcolm Young was previously ill, his nephew Stevie replaced him on tour and hardly anyone noticed, the Herald reports.
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|AC/DC. Left to Right: Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Cliff Williams.|
|AC/DC 1979. Left to Right: Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams, Phil Rudd, Angus Young, Bon Scott.|
|Malcolm Young in the early days, 1970s|
|AC/DC in the early days around 1975-76. Left to Right: Malcolm Young, Bon Scott, Angus Young, Mark Evans, Phil Rudd|