AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams hints at retirement in interview with Gulfshore Life.
AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams said that he will “back off” with touring and recording once the band is finished with the final leg of its Rock or Bust tour. Cliff Williams is the second-longest tenured member of AC/DC. This news seems to come from the loss of three bandmates in a quick succession taking its toll on Williams. Williams recently spoke with Gulfshore Life about the decision, “It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I’m backing off of touring and recording”, he said. “Losing Malcolm [Young], the thing with Phil [Rudd] and now with Brian [Johnson], it’s a changed animal. I feel in my gut it’s the right thing.”
Before AC/DC’s current album, news broke that original guitarist Malcom Young would be forced to retire following a dementia diagnosis, leaving nephew Stevie Young to take over. Phil Rudd faced a series of legal issues driving him to be replaced by ex-AC/DC drummer Chris Slade early during the current Rock or Bust tour. Finally, long-time frontman for AC/DC Brian Johnson had to be replaced by Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose because of a impending chance of full hearing loss if he were to continue.
This all left Williams and guitarist Angus Young as the remaining two, together since the 1978’s Powerage. Throughout the years, Wiliams contributed to the amazing 11-album run of platinum or multi-platinum sales. At its launch, Rock or Bust peaked at No. 1 in 12 countries. Williams does admit the success feels surreal even after all these years saying, “When you start out, you kind of hope for success,”. “That’s what you are working for. But you never really know. It’s been surreal, really”, he added.
The announcement of Williams impending retirement in the interview ended with some good as there was some reminiscing on the bands earlier adventures. “The first tour bus was an old piece of junk driven by a seriously overweight good ole boy who called himself ‘Jesse James’, to which we added the words ‘the fatassed’ to” Williams shared. “He would work the CB radio and announce himself onboard along with the rock group ‘AC/DC outa England’ to anyone listening. He never did get the fact it was from Australia, but then he may have thought that was in England”, he added.
Update: As reported by Pitchfork, Wilson has left AC/DC. The bassist confirmed the report with a video message. “It’s time for me to step out, not because we’ve lost Phil or Brian, but… everything changes. When Bon died, that changed everything too. I’m just ready to get off the road. In between tours, we take a few years off. So I know what I’m going to do. It’s just my time. Family time, now. Just chill out.”
Wilson has been AC/DC’s bassist since 1978.