Since the announcement of its most recent album and tour, AC/DC has gone through a tremendous amount of changes.
It all started with the retirement of founding member Malcolm Young, who’s currently battling dementia. The guitarist was replaced by his nephew, Stevie Young.
Shortly after that drummer Phil Rudd, was arrested. Former member, Chris Slade, was brought-in to replace Rudd.
The most surprising move, however, was earlier this year when iconic vocalist, Brian Johnson, was let go from the band due to hearing loss. In a controversial move, he was replaced by Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses.
The band performed the remaining dates of their “Rock Or Bust” tour with the new lineup, rounded out by core members Angus Young and Cliff Williams.
That was until two weeks ago, when Williams announced his retirement from AC/DC, hours before the band’s final show of the tour.
As the band finished the final song of the show, “For Those About To Rock,” Angus brought Williams up to the front of the stage to salute the longtime bass player. As I watched a video of that moment, I realized what that meant for the future of one of rock’s greatest bands.
The tribute to Williams was just that. It was not an AC/DC farewell. That moment made it very clear that Angus intends to continue with AC/DC. Regardless of who else is in the band, it’s now following in the footsteps of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Foreigner and others.
AC/DC is now a one member band. As a fan, I’m disappointed, but I also understand why Angus is doing it. He can’t make the same amount of money or have the same amount of success if he starts a brand new project. The AC/DC name is enough to pack arenas and sell albums, as proven by this most recent tour.
Will it be a guaranteed hit? I don’t know. But all you have to do is look at the previously mentioned examples to know it’s got a good chance. Most people know the songs, but don’t know or care who’s in the band. That’s just how it is.
Will I be standing in line for a ticket? Probably not. I was lucky enough to see the band on the “Black Ice” tour with all of the classic members. The show was incredible and the band was on top of its game. That’s how I want to remember AC/DC.
I won’t tell anyone not to support it. That would be ridiculous. As my friend Bobby Barth, former member of Axe and Blackfoot, told me once, “it’s not a cure for cancer. It’s a rock and roll band.”