Brian Johnson Addresses Angus Young’s Struggle With Grief
Bandmates become ‘family’ to one another, and losing a member is always hard. Yet, when Malcolm Young passed away in 2017, Angus Young didn’t only lose a bandmate, but he lost his full brother. AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson discussed Angus Young’s struggle with the death of Malcolm in his new book, ‘The Lives Of Brian.’
The former drummer of the act, Simon Wright, had previously disclosed Malcolm’s importance in the band. Wright named Young as the silent leader of AC/DC. Brian Johnson’s accounts also emphasized the late guitarist’s influence on the band and paid tribute to his stance as a talented musician and an understanding teammate.
Johnson recalled that Malcolm had been battling dementia for years, and he was only 64 when he passed away. The frontman remarked that it was an awful day. Malcolm had previously left AC/DC in 2014 because of his health, and Brian talked about his departure by emphasizing the late musician’s importance to the band.
The singer emphasized that he was missing him to this day and disclosed that Malcolm was always so attentive. The guitarist would care for every little detail, from his bandmates’ performance to the crew’s well-being. Johnson discussed that Young had his demons but always knew how to beat them.
Later, Brian appreciated Malcolm’s guitar playing by saying that his riffs were subtle that most critics failed to understand. Standing right to Young on stage was a wonder to the frontman, but he would keep his admiration to himself since Malcolm didn’t like taking compliments.
The period had been hard for Angus as well as the guitarist struggled with Malcolm’s death. Johnson highlighted that it was heartbreaking to see Angus deal with such grief. The musician stated that the brothers weren’t twins, but they could have been since they shared a special bond.
Brian Johnson’s words on Malcolm’s death and Angus’ struggle:
“He was just sixty-four when dementia that he’d been battling for years finally got the better of him. A truly awful day. When Malcolm left AC/DC in 2014, the heart of the band stopped beating. To this day, I miss him more than I could ever put into words. He never missed a trick, from a band member’s performance to a crew member’s well-being. I don’t know how he did it.
He had his demons, but he beat them, and he beat them good. His guitar playing was masterful. And behind that powerful sound, there was a subtlety that music critics could never understand. Standing to his right onstage, I could only ever marvel at the man. But I kept my admiration to myself for the most part because he wasn’t the kind of guy who enjoyed taking a compliment.
It was hard to see Angus struggle with such grief. He and Malcolm weren’t twins, but they could have been.”
It’s apparent that Malcolm was an essential figure to AC/DC with his strong spirit and guitar riffs. Johnson remarked that the band struggled with his loss, but Angus’ grief was challenging to witness. Brian’s book was published on October 13, and you can find it in bookstores or online platforms.