Speaking to Radio.com in a new interview with his AC/DC bandmate Brian Johnson, Young praised Van Halen for being “innovative with his guitar style”, “reinventing the way guitar had to be” and “influencing a lot of people that you would know out there”.
“The first time I met him was in the ’90s, I think, when we did some touring through Europe; we were doing shows together,” Angus recalled. “And he was just such a warm person. The first thing you noticed about him was, as soon as you saw him, he had a big smile, a big laugh and a big hug. He was excited to see you.
“To the music world, it’s a big loss. But again, for those of us lucky to have met him, it’s an even probably bigger tragedy. And also for his family and everyone close to him.”
Young also remembered speaking to Van Halen during AC/DC’s ‘Black Ice’ tour, which took place from 2008-2010.
“I remember seeing him also when we toured in America, on [the] ‘Black Ice’ [tour]. He came out to Los Angeles and he came to the shows to see us,” the guitarist recalled. “[Van Halen] was still the same: big smile, happy, and he was ever so happy to see [us]. And he was very fond of Malcolm [Young].
“It’s a tough thing, and he definitely leaves a big hole. If you knew him, he does leave a big hole in a lot of people.”
Last weekend Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett and Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello delivered a moving tribute to the late Van Halen during the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony.