Angus Young Says Malcolm’s Dementia Started During Black Ice 2008
Malcolm Young, AC/DC, Ros O'Gorman, photo

Malcolm Young, Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Angus Young Says Malcolm’s Dementia Started During Black Ice 2008

by Paul Cashmere on December 2, 2014

in Live,News

Angus Young of AC/DC has revealed that it first became obvious that his brother Malcolm was not well when they were writing the songs for the ‘Black Ice’ album in 2008.

Talking to the ABC’s 7.30 program, Angus said, “When we made Black Ice and we were writing songs together it was noticeable. It was just strange things. Memory things. Malcolm was always very organised and for the first time I was seeing him disorganised, confused about a lot of things. That’s when it kind of hit me that something was not right”.

Things then started to get worse. “When we were actually doing that album it became even more prominent,” he told 7.30. “Then he was being confused just travelling somewhere. He got diagnosed then and they found shrinkage of the brain. I said then, ‘do you want to keep doing this, you don’t have to be doing this if you don’t feel you are capable’. And he said ‘no I’ll keep going til I can’t’”.

Angus told the ABC’s Ben Knight that Malcolm worked right up until this new album ‘Rock Or Bust’, contributing to the songs until he could no longer do it. “Apart from Mal’s physical presence not there, I had to go through a lot myself and put ideas together. Mal kept writing up until he could do it no more,” he said.

Angus and Malcolm physically wrote songs together. “Me and Malcolm when we wrote together, we always bounced off each other,” Angus said. “You get an idea like ‘Highway To Hell’ and it would spring on you in the car and you would get into the rehearsal room and I’d pick up the guitar and go ‘Mal I’ve got this’. I’d start playing the chord and I’d go ‘Mal, now’. Then boom. He did the beat. I couldn’t think of another chord I’d hit. Just from the first thing he did from a chorus that was basically the idea. Mal said ‘do you have a title for it’. I said ‘not yet, I’ll think on it’. Went to the toilet, had a cigarette. Came out and said ‘I got it.”

Brian Johnson agrees that the dynamic of the band changed in the studio for ‘Rock Or Bust’. “First of all, it was a strange feeling because the work-mate, more me for the last 35 years, wasn’t there anymore. For Angus it was a little bit more. It was his brother, his work-mate”.

Malcolm’s illness could have meant the end of AC/DC. That was a decision Brian left to Angus to make. “For me it was up to Angus really,” he said. “These two men made these riffs. Nobody else made them. For a long time since they were at school. I really thought for a long time it might happen. If Angus turned around and said ‘I can’t do it without Malcolm I would have understood perfectly but thankfully it didn’t.”

Watch the 7.30 AC/DC interview on iView (iView is available for Australian viewing only)

Comments

comments

Related Posts

Tom Morello photo by Ros OGorman
Tom Morello Covers AC/DC Highway To Hell With Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder

How’s this for a line-up. Tom Morello, Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder covering the AC/DC classic ‘Highway To Hell’.

4 hours ago
Bon Scott photo from Bon Scott estate
Bon Scott Would Now Be 75

AC/DC’s iconic singer Bon Scott would have turned 75 today.

July 9, 2021
Angus Young AC/DC performing at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Sunday 6 December 2015. They are in Australia on the final leg of their Rock Or Bust World Tour. photo by Ros O'Gorman
AC/DC Regroup Digitally For ‘Witch’s Spell’ Video

With AC/DC members living all over the world and unable to gather in the same room during the pandemic, technology has once again brought them together in the ‘Witch’s Spell’ video.

June 10, 2021
AC/DC Record Store Day 2021 release
AC/DC To Release Limited Edition Record Store Day ‘Through The Mists of Time’ Single

AC/DC have a special limited edition 12” vinyl single release of ‘Through The Mists of Time’ on the way for Record Store Day on June 12.

June 4, 2021
Brian Johnson AC/DC Etihad Stadium, Rock Or Bust World Tour. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Nick Mason Takes Brian Johnson For A Ride In His £40m Ferrari

Nick Mason of Pink Floyd owns a £40m Ferrari and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson got a ride in it.

May 10, 2021
Dave Grohl Foo Fighters at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday 30 January 2018. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Brian Johnston Joins Foo Fighters for Back In Black

AC/DC’s Brian Johnston turned up with Foo Fighters at the Vax Live 2021 event in Los Angeles on Sunday and belted out his AC/DC classic ‘Back In Black’.

May 5, 2021
Brian Johnson AC/DC Etihad Stadium, Rock Or Bust World Tour. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
AC/DC’s Brian Johnson’s Memoir Is Coming

Brian Johnson is set to release the memoir, 'The Lives of Brian'.

April 14, 2021