“It’s time for me to step out, and that’s all. Not because we’ve lost Mal, Phil or Brian. I mean, everything changes when something happens like that. When Bon died, it changed then. You know, everything changes, so it’s not that. It’s just… I’m just ready to get off the road, really, and do what I do. In between tours, we take a few years off, so I know how to do that, I know what I’m gonna do. Again, it’s just my time. I’m happy. I just need to . . . Family time now . . . just chill out and not do this. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for anything more, being with the people I’m with and have been, and being in this situation with this band, playing this music.”
AC/DC’s guitarist Angus Young becomes the last man standing from the original lineup after Cliff Williams leaves the group. Although Williams was not an original member of the band, he had been in the band longer than any other member besides Angus Young. Cliff Williams joined the band AC/DC in 1977. The first album Williams appeared on was AC/DC’s 1978 album Powerage.
In the past two years the band has lost three longtime members due to various issues. In early 2016, longtime singer Brian Johnston announced he was taking a break from the band due to hearing loss. At the time it seemed that Johnston’s singing career was over, but a recent quote from Johnston claims that the singer’s career may have been rescued due to his work with ear specialist Stephen Ambrose. Johnston has stated that his work with Ambrose ‘s inner-ear technology has enabled him to hear music once again. In a statement released by Brian Johnston, the singer claimed “It just totally works and you can’t argue with that. I was really moved and amazed to be able to hear music again like I haven’t heard for several years now. I can’t wait for it to be miniaturized so I can use it in every situation from normal communication, going out to noisy restaurants, [and] performing live music onstage.”
Besides the loss of Johnston, the band also lost the services of drummer Phil Rudd in 2015. Rudd was sentenced to house arrest on the charges of drug possession. Phil Rudd joined the band in 1975. He left the group in 1983 but reunited with the band in 1994. Phil has toured and recorded with the band up until his house arrest in 2015. Rudd has been critical of AC/DC’s decision to employ Axl Rose as their temporary singer on their recent tour. Rudd was quoted as saying.“If Angus (Young) wanted me to play then that’s up to him – but I don’t really want to play with Axl Rose. I don’t really rate him,”
In the same interview with the New Zealand Herald, Rudd also revealed that he had recently suffered a heart attack.”I was just at home walking around at home, and I started feel, well just funny… I had a strange pain in my chest,” he said. “So my housekeeper took me to the hospital, when they hooked me up and did all these tests turned out I had a big heart attack…my artery was all blocked up, and they said I had to stay in and have an operation.” It should be noted that Phil Rudd has recently been doing studio work with various musicians including Paul McCartney.
In 2014, the band also lost the services of original co-founding member guitarist Malcolm Young. In September of 2014 it was reported that Malcolm Young was admitted to a full time nursing home for issues of dementia. Malcolm Young’s wife told reporters that she admitted Malcolm to the Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay. Sydney. Dementia is usually described as a complete loss of short-term memory.
With the resignation of Cliff Williams, Angus Young becomes the last original member of the band. The future of the band is uncertain as there have been no future plans made public. On September 20, 2016, the band performed their final show of the tour in the city of Philadelphia. It was Cliff Williams farewell show. Hopefully it was not also AC/DC’s final bow as well.