SYDNEY, Nov 19 — Australians paid tribute to AC/DC co-founder and fellow countryman Malcolm Young today, a day after the legendary guitarist passed away aged 64.
Young, who founded the rock group with his brother Angus in 1973, died yesterday after suffering from dementia for several years, according to his family and the band.
Best known for their hit song Highway to Hell, AC/DC formed produced 17 studio albums, selling more than 200 million records.
“AC/DC were incredibly special,” Australian rock historian Glen A. Baker told national broadcaster ABC today.
“They became a part of Australian music at a time when we needed heroes and people who were totally reliable, who wouldn’t deviate for one second, who had a clear vision of where they wanted to go.
“The architect of that sound was Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist who wrote every song, every original song they did.”
Young emigrated to Australia with his family as a child, and was in his early 20s when the band released their debut album High Voltage.
While Angus was the public face of the band, Malcolm was renowned for being behind the famous riffs that left fans thunderstruck.
“Devastated to hear of Malcolm Young’s passing… For me personally, the GREATEST rhythm guitarist of ALL TIME,” Australian country star Keith Urban tweeted.
Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes said Young’s death was a “sad day for music”.
“You were the greatest rhythm guitar player ever,” he wrote on Twitter.
ABC music critic Paul Donoughue said Young’s guitar playing underpinned AC/DC’s sound and also influenced a generation of musicians, saying Young’s impact on rock and roll “cannot be overstated”.
Cold Chisel guitarist and vocalist Ian Moss meanwhile wrote of how he heard Young play for the first time in 1973 in Sydney.
“It was a solid lesson in attitude and how important it is to carry that to every performance,” Moss wrote on Twitter.
“Rest well mate, you’ll never be forgotten.”
Fans also shared their love of AC/DC’s iconic music and the impact on their lives, with tens of thousands of people from around the world posting tributes on AC/DC’s Facebook page.
“Thank you and all your brothers for changing my world with your music. AC/DC is, and always will be, one of the greatest rock bands of all time,” wrote one user.
Another added: “I am so terribly sad for Angus and all fans of the greatest Aussie band ever! You have been a constant in my life AC/DC.” — AFP