It may be that dementia is claiming another giant, this time a musical one.
AC/DC co-founder, guitarist and songwriter Malcolm Young, whose retirement from the band was announced on Wednesday, has been moved into full-time care in a nursing home facility in Sydney’s eastern suburbs specialising in dementia, sources connected to the Young family have said, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
The home is understood to be Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay, the same facility that is home to Gough Whitlam and, until his recent death, Neville Wran, who was afflicted with dementia in his last years.
The Young family connection said: “If you were in the room with [Malcolm Young] and walked out, then came back in one minute later, he wouldn’t remember who you are. He has a complete loss of short-term memory. His wife, Linda, has put him in full-time care.”
Both AC/DC‘s record company, Sony, and their label, publisher and home for more than 40 years, Albert Music, were approached for comment.
While the announcement of Young’s retirement from AC/DC, the band he formed and helped turn into the biggest Australian rock act of all time, has been inevitable for some months, it hasn’t lessened the disappointment. Nor the sense of an era ending.
AC/DC have sold more than 200 million albums, feature at or near the top of highest grossing tour lists whenever they play live and were the standard bearers for Australian music years before the likes of INXS, Kylie Minogue or 5 Seconds of Summer.
The sound of pub rock, the defining mainstream sound of Australian music in the 1970s and ’80s, could be said to have emerged from the stages and the studios AC/DC inhabited.
Young, the 61-year-old rhythm guitarist and solid centre of the songs behind his flamboyant, lead guitarist younger brother, Angus, officially resigned his position in AC/DC months after returning to Australia from Europe where he had been living.
The first official word on what was assumed to be a serious and debilitating, but still undisclosed, illness, was in April when it was confirmed that Young would not be participating in the recording of the next AC/DC album, which will be called Rock Or Bust and is due out in late November.
In his place during the recording sessions in a Vancouver studio has been his nephew, Steve.
In an announcement from the band’s management this week, it was revealed that Steve will join Angus Young, frontman Brian Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd on stage when the band embarks on another massive world tour in 2015. For more details check this location.
Malcolm Young, right, with his brother Angus, pictured here in 2000. Photo: Paul White