AC/DC singer Brian Johnson has told U.K.’s The Telegraph that the stimulus for the band’s upcoming world tour actually came from AC/DC‘s founding guitarist Malcolm Young, whose dementia has rendered him unable to play or write music anymore.
“It’s just given us that impetus to just do it for him, because, you know, before the dementia really took hold of him, he said, ‘Just get out and make music, lads, just for me one more time.'”
He continued: “I don’t want to be sentimental about this, because, boy oh boy, I’m not a sentimental kind of guy. But that’s what we’re doing.”
Johnson also admitted that Malcolm‘s health issues have forced him to to face his own mortality and come to grips with the fact that he will one day no longer physically be able to perform.
“At this time of my life, you know, I just keep reading the newspaper and saying, ‘Oh my God,'” he said.
“When I read about Joe Cocker, I went, ‘But that’s impossible. He cannot be dead; he’s only 70.’
“I mean, I’m aware of the fact that I’m not long for the world, but, I guess, I’m just not afraid of death.
“I don’t believe in anything, so therefore I’m not afraid what’s gonna happen afterwards.”
Malcolm Young was replaced by Stevie Young, nephew of Malcolm and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported in September 2014 that Malcolm was being treated in a nursing home in Sydney, Australia. The facility was believed to be Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay. A Young family connection told the newspaper, “If you were in the room with [Malcolm] and walked out, then came back in one minute later, he wouldn’t remember who you are. He has a complete loss of short-term memory. His wife, Linda, has put him in full-time care.”
Malcolm did not participate in the recording sessions for AC/DC‘s new studio album, “Rock Or Bust”, which arrived on December 2, 2014.
Stevie Young played with AC/DC once before during a 1988 tour, while Malcolm stepped out to deal with his dependency on alcohol.