AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, whose death was announced Saturday at age 64, was not even the best known Young brother in the multimillion-record-selling rock band he founded.
Malcolm was in many ways the band’s driving force, its most astute musician, a key songwriter and one of the best rhythm guitarists in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.
Within weeks of arriving in Sydney, their older brother, George, had formed a rock band, the Easybeats, which would storm the pop charts in 1967 with a classic garage-rock single, “Friday on My Mind.” Another one of their older brothers, John, introduced Angus and Malcolm to the blues, particularly Big Bill Broonzy.
“We would relate to what they were singing about,” Malcolm Young once told the Tribune of his childhood fascination with blues singers.
To draw attention to the band, Malcolm and their sister advised Angus that his old schoolboy knickers and beanie would be a great way to gain attention from the hard-to-please bar crowd.
After mourning Scott’s death in 1980, Malcolm Young rallied the band.
With the death of Scott, the recent retirement from live performances by Johnson due to hearing loss, and now the death of Malcolm Young, the band’s future is once again murky.
“All we were doing is trying to entertain people,” Malcolm Young told the Tribune in 2003.