AC/DC have revealed that guitarist Malcolm Young, who was forced to step down from the band earlier this year due to ill health, had already begun to show signs of dementia back in 2008.
Speaking about the guitarist, who was a member of the rock group for 41 years, brother Angus Young said the symptoms had been going on long before they were officially revealed to the public.
“He was not well when we went to do [the 2008 album] ‘Black Ice’: his symptoms of dementia were starting then, and he got through it,” Angus Young told The Guardian. “I had said to him, even before we did the album, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? I have to know that you really want to do it.’ He was the one who said: ‘Yes! We’ve really got to do it.’”
Angus Young went on to reveal the extent of Malcolm Young’s problems at the time, stating that sometimes the guitarist would appear to not even know where he was while onstage.
“It was hard work for him. He was relearning a lot of those songs that he knew backwards; the ones we were playing that night he’d be relearning. He was his own driver. He himself had that thing, where you’ve just got to keep going,” he stated. “Sometimes you would look and he’d be there. And you’d have a really great day and he’d be Malcolm again. And other times, his mind was going. But he still held it together. He’d still get on the stage. Some nights he played and you’d think: ‘Does he know where he is?’ But he got through.”
AC/DC are set to release their first album without the guitarist, entitled ‘Rock Or Bust’, on Monday (December 1).
The band have also recently hit headlines as drummer Phil Rudd faces charges of threatening to kill and possession of drugs. This week he made a bizarre court appearance in relation to the trial, where he joked with journalists and then proceeded to jump on a security guard.
It is still unclear whether Rudd will return to the group.