AC/DC have been a unit that thrives on consistency for years — to the point where, when one singer suddenly died, they went out and got another who sounded almost exactly like him. But the band has been spending the past two years in absolute turmoil: Guitarist Malcolm Young in a nursing home and being treated for dementia, drummer Phil Rudd arrested for plotting a murder, singer Brian Johnson forced to stop playing shows because of hearing loss. These days, all three members haven’t been able to play shows with the band; as David Marchese points out in this great piece, you know things are bad when Axl Rose is a stabilizing influence. And now the band is about to lose another longtime member, too.
As previously reported, longtime bassist Cliff Williams, who joined the band in 1978, has lately been talking about leaving the band. And now, as TMZ reports, Williams has made it official, announcing in a video message to fans that he’s retiring from AC/DC. Once the band finishes the current tour, Williams is done. Here’s his message, via Pitchfork:
As far as longtime members go, AC/DC is now down to one member: Iconic guitarist Angus Young. But if you’ve seen AC/DC live in recent years, you already know that is not a problem. Angus Young could play stadiums by himself, with no backing track.