Foo Fighters are among the artists to pay tribute to AC/DC’s guitarist and co-founder, Malcolm Young, who has died aged 64.
Young stepped down from the band three years ago to receive treatment for dementia. He last played with the band during a gig in Spain in 2010. Young’s nephew Stevie stepped in for AC/DC’s most recent tour with Axl Rose taking on vocal duties.
The Glasgow-born guitarist, whose family relocated to Sydney in the early ‘60s, founded the band with younger brother Angus Young in 1973.
AC/DC went on to sell more than 200 million records worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and continued to be a major live force, including regular stadium and festival headline shows in the UK.
As well as being responsible for the band’s driving riffs, Malcolm Young was co-writer of AC/DC’s songs and was once described as the “spiritual leader, our spitfire” by singer Brian Johnson.
Following the family’s announcement of Young’s death, Foo Fighters paid tribute to the rhythm guitarist over the weekend by opening their festival set at Mexico’s Corona Capital Festival with a cover of Let There Be Rock.
"Tonight, we're gonna play some rock and roll for Malcolm Young," said Dave Grohl, who also posted a tribute on Instagram.
There were also social media tributes from Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, who called Young the “greatest rhythm guitarist”, Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Van Halen, Biffy Clyro, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley, Ronnie Wood and Ryan Adams.
It is a sad day in rock and roll. 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.— Eddie Van Halen (@eddievanhalen) November 18, 2017
RIP Malcolm Young— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) November 18, 2017
He was the founding member of AC/DC & the engine that roared behind the most powerful band in the world.
He wrote Back In Black, Highway to Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long, Highway to Hell, so many songs...
Travel safely to the stars, Malcolm.
A statement on the AC/DC website described Malcolm Young as the “driving force behind the band".
"As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special,” said Angus Young. “He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done."
AC/DC songwriter and producer George Young, the older brother of the band’s founding members, died last month.