AC/DC’s Cliff Williams to Bow Out of the Band

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L-R: Cliff Williams, Chris Slade, Angus Young, Stevie Young and Brian Johnson. Photo By Josh Cheuse

L-R: Cliff Williams, Chris Slade, Angus Young, Stevie Young and Brian Johnson. Photo By Josh Cheuse

The Rock or Bust tour by hard rock superstars AC/DC seems to be busting up the band. First singer Brian Johnson left the group in the middle of the tour in March of this year due to problems with his hearing (to be replaced by Axl Rose). Now bassist Cliff Williams says he will be bowing out from recording and touring when the run of concerts ends.

“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 says. “Losing Malcolm [Young], the thing with Phil [Rudd] and now with Brian, it’s a changed animal. I feel in my gut it’s the right thing.” Williams’ decision comes just after AC/DC played a string of European dates that had been postponed when Johnson pulled out of the tour, with Rose filling in for him.

Related: Brian Johnson may sing onstage again

As Williams alludes to in his statement, guitarist Malcolm Young retired from the band two years ago, as officially announced in September 2014, prior to the recording of the Rock or Bust album and the subsequent tour. it’s since been revealed that he suffers from dementia.

As well, in November 2014, drummer Phil Rudd was charged with attempting to procure a murder, threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine and possession of cannabis following a police raid on his home in New Zealand. The charge of attempting to procure a murder was withdrawn the following day, but the others remained and led to Rudd being sentenced to eight month’s home detention in July 2015. Chris Slade, who drummed with AC/DC from late 1989 into 1994 – during Rudd’s hiatus from the AC/DC drum stool from 1983 to 1994, has replaced Rudd.

Related: Axl Rose debuts with AC/DC in Lisbon

“When you start out, you kind of hope for success,” Williams told Florida’s Gulfshore Life in an article where he first made his retirement plans public. “That’s what you are working for. But you never really know. It’s been surreal, really.”

Williams will play the final 10 U.S. dates (that had been postponed) on the Rock or Bust tour from August 27th to September 20th. After his departure, guitarist Angus Young, known for his trademark schoolboy uniforms he wears onstage, will be the only remaining member of the band from its founding and mid-1970s to mid-’90s heyday.

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  1. JohnnyCNote
    #1 JohnnyCNote 10 July, 2016, 23:29

    Sounds like it’s time to go ahead and retire, though plenty would have said so 20+ years ago. My aunt was part owner in a floor covering store that did the carpet/tile in Brian Johnson’s home in Sarasota shortly before I relocated there in September ’91. I tried to get her to concoct a pretext for me to go by, but it never happened. Oh well, it’s not like I lost any sleep over it. I can appreciate their talent, but I could never be called a fan…

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