Brian Johnson’s Final Memory Of Malcolm Young

In AC/DC, Malcolm Young was the mastermind behind the curtains, while his brother Angus was the face of the band. With his unique guitar riffs, creative input, and leadership, Malcolm greatly shaped their sound. Although he joined the band a bit later, Brian Johnson was well aware of this. According to the singer, Malcolm was the actual founder of AC/DC with a legacy many can’t match.

Johnson had a big challenge ahead of him when he filled in for Bon Scott after the frontman’s passing. However, he and the Young brothers captured the chemistry they needed and continued carrying on the AC/DC legacy. Although things were working well, Malcolm’s dementia started to become an issue in 2014. His short-term memory loss affected his performance, causing him to retire from the band. Even after his retirement, Malcolm wanted AC/DC to continue with his blessing.

Malcolm Young made his last contributions to AC/DC on the fifteenth studio album ‘Black Ice.’ He then embarked on the Black Ice World Tour with the band while receiving treatment for his dementia. A year later, Brian underwent surgery to treat his hearing loss. When awakened, he learned that Malcolm was in the same hospital, just in the next building. However, he couldn’t visit his bandmate due to his family’s wishes.

Sadly, Malcolm died from the disease on November 18, 2017, at 64. Considering that the Black Ice World Tour was the last time they saw each other, it was pretty devastating for Brian Johnson to hear the news — especially after not being able to visit him while they both were in the same hospital. Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2017, Brian reflected on Malcolm’s loss and revealed his last memory of him.

“On the Black Ice tour, he was just amazing,” Brian said, “even though he had to relearn some of the songs. That was dementia kicking in, the evil silent thing. You can’t see it with an X-ray machine or anything like that. It is just nasty. It wasn’t so bad during the making of the album. He was still pretty good. He had some great riffs on that one as well. But as the tour went on, it started to dig in. But I will never forget the last night. Malcolm had a fire in his eyes you could spot a mile away.”

“By the time of the Rock or Bust tour,” the singer recalled, “he was pretty much being taken care of and searching for cures or how to try to stop this thing. About three-and-a-half years ago, he came over to Florida to talk to a neurologist friend of mine. But I think it was pretty much too late. I was in the hospital in Australia two years ago getting an operation, and the guys said Malcolm was in the next wing.”

Brian continued, “I said, ‘I would love to see him,’ and they said, ‘No, you can’t see him. He is in a bad way now.’ He had just had a pacemaker and was pretty weak, so the doctors didn’t want to excite him. I was lying there and couldn’t move, and my pal was next door. It was f*cked up. That was a toughie. Maybe it is good I didn’t see him because that would have broken my heart.”

So, the last memory Brian Johnson has of Malcolm Young is the Black Ice Tour, where his late bandmate tried his best even though dementia made him forget their songs. Throughout the tour, Brian noticed that Malcolm’s dementia had worsened, and he knew something was wrong. Although the singer was sad that he couldn’t visit Malcolm in the hospital before his passing, he thought it would’ve broken his heart more to see him in that condition.