On Monday, reports began flying around that the legendary Australian hard rock band, AC/DC was on the verge of announcing their retirement, due to long time guitarist Malcolm Young’s serious illness, although insiders told Billboard that there’s no truth to the rumor. Columbia Records, its current label, have chosen not to comment on the matter.
Rumor has it that the big brother of Angus and co-writer of almost every AC/DC song , had suffered a stroke about three weeks ago, but wasn’t made public. Following a speedy recovery, the band began rehearsing for the recording sessions of a new album, but apparently due to a blood clot in the left side of his brain he suffered by the stroke, Malcolm began to realize he had forgot how to play.
Although nothing is official, family members and close friends of the band have reported that retiring due to Malcolm’s condition was made last week. A press conference is scheduled for today, April 16, where the band is expected to make the announcement.
The new album would have been the band’s first in 6 years, since 2008’s Black Ice. Singer Brian Johnson had announced in a surprise phone call to a radio in Palm Beach, Florida on February 14, that AC/DC were planning a 40th anniversary tour, hitting 40 select cities around the world.
According to Blabbermouth, when asked about the group’s plans, Johnson said, “We’ve been denying anything, ’cause we weren’t sure. One of our boys was pretty ill, so we didn’t like to say anything, and we’re very private about things like this, so we didn’t wanna say anything. But I think we’ll be going in the studio in May in Vancouver. Which means, we should be getting ready.”
This isn’t the first time the band has been rumored to be calling it quits. In 2011 Johnson had spoke of retirement, but later stated that he had been quoted out of context. He told Billboard around the same time that, “A journalist asked me once, ‘What do you think about retirement, Brian, seeing as you’re getting older?’ I said something honest and quite naive; I said, ‘Well, I’ll retire when I can’t do it anymore and as soon as I feel I can’t do it anymore, then I’ll retire.’ Next thing I now there’s a headline, ‘Brian Johnson’s gonna retire’ and I’m like, ‘Y’know, what a piece of shit that guy is.’ And it came out all wrong so you got to be careful what you say. Retirement is like anything… There’s a time when you have to call it quits. I don’t want to do it, and if we can get out and (do) the album and do another short little tour or something, have a bit of fun, I’m your man. I’ll be right there.”
I guess all we can do now is wait for their official word.