Glasgow-born Young, who founded the hard rock outfit with his brother Angus in 1973, played with the band until 2014, when it was announced that he’d be retiring permanently due to the onset of dementia. He died at the age of 64.
Johnson, who joined the band in 1980 and retired from performing live in 2016, has released a statement on his official website, describing himself as “saddened” by the news and saying: “He has left a legacy that I don’t think many can match”.
“I am proud to have known him and call him a friend, and I’m going to miss him so much,” Johnson added.
Read his statement in full below:
“I am saddened by the passing of my friend Malcolm Young, I can’t believe he’s gone. We had such great times on the road.
I was always aware that he was a genius on guitar, his riffs have become legend, as has he.
I send out my love and sympathy to his wife Linda, his children Cara and Ross, and Angus, who will all be devastated…. as we all are.
He has left a legacy that I don’t think many can match. He never liked the celebrity side of fame, he was too humble for that. He was the man who created AC/DC because he said “there was no Rock,n,Roll” out there.
I am proud to have known him and call him a friend, and I’m going to miss him so much.
I salute you, Malcolm Young.”
Following news of Young’s passing, Foo Fighters paid tribute with a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Let There Be Rock’.