Angus Young: Hearing a Guitar Made Malcolm Smile Until the Very End
Watching a loved one afflicted with dementia is a hardship many of us go through and it was one AC/DC's Angus Young experienced first hand in recent years. Co-founder Malcolm Young sadly died from the effects of the impairment in 2017, but his brother Angus Young recalled one particularly bright anecdote from those final years, noting that hearing a guitar made Malcolm smile until the very end.
Young and frontman Brian Johnson recently appeared on Australia's 60 Minutes to talk about their legendary career, as well as their brand new album Power Up. The record is a tribute to Malcolm Young, and features a bunch of riff ideas he had come up with in the years prior to his death.
The late guitarist was diagnosed with dementia in 2014, and AC/DC released a statement that he was going to be stepping away from the band as he dealt with it. The Young brothers' nephew, Stevie Young, filled in the rhythm guitar parts on their Rock or Bust album and its respective tour and he reprised his role on the latest record as well.
"I think the hardest part was, not so much him passing because that was a kind of end, the relief... I think the worst part's the decline," Young explained of watching his brother's fight with the disease. "Because of how you knew him, and to see that that was gone."
However, he also sweetly recalled his brother's awareness when he was by his side.
"Even 'til the end, he was still... if I was there, he had a — [gestures] from here to here — he had a big smile. And I think that was probably, well for me, that always gave me a kind of joy, even though he was in that state," he remembered tearfully.
"And he still got a great kick if I played him guitar. He would try to tap his foot. But he always knew I was there, so that was a big thing, and I was with him toward the end."
Watch the interview below.
Johnson recently told the UK's Independent that of all of the songs on Power Up, he feels Malcolm Young's spirit the most on "Through the Mists of Time." “Whenever I hear it, I still get goose bumps,” he said.
AC/DC - 60 Minutes Australia Interview
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