It’s Official: AC/DC Bassist Cliff Williams Retiring

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AC/DC's Cliff Williams in 1982 (Photo from Williams' Wikipedia page)

AC/DC’s Cliff Williams in 1982 (Photo from Williams’ Wikipedia page)

Cliff Williams, AC/DC’s bassist and backing vocalist for nearly four decades, has retired from the band following the completion of its Rock or Bust World Tour. Williams’ retirement had been hinted at for some time—and was reported by Best Classic Bands in July—but was not confirmed until the release of a statement via video on September 20. AC/DC performed at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center that night and Angus Young called Williams out to take a bow to the appreciative crowd (see below).

“It’s time for me to step out,” the 66-year-old Williams says in the video. “Everything changes so it’s not that. I’m just ready to get off the road and do what I do in between tours…I need family time now. I’ll just chill out now and not do this. I’m all good.”

Related: Our first report of Williams’ impending retirement, from July 2016

Williams, in the minute-and-20-second video, refers to the earlier departure of drummer Phil Rudd due to legal problems and of guitarist Malcolm Young in 2014 due to the onset of dementia. Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose has been standing in as the band’s vocalist during the Rock or Bust Tour, which supports the 2014 album of the same title.

Watch Cliff Williams’ video announcing his retirement…

Williams, born in England, had already been a professional musician for 10 years before he joined AC/DC. His first album with the band, Powerage, was released in 1978.

Williams’ departure leaves lead guitarist Angus Young as the only remaining founding member of AC/DC still involved with the Australian hard rock band. Rhythm guitarist Stevie Young, who joined officially in 2014 (he had previously toured with the band in 1988) and drummer Chris Slade, who joined in 1989, was gone from the band in 1994, and rejoined last year, will become the only official members of AC/DC upon Williams’ exit. It has nt been announced whether they will continue.

Watch Young offer Williams a curtain call at his likely final concert at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center…

AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

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