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Malcolm Young Gone

from The New Yorker

Farewell to Malcolm Young, the Mastermind of AC/DC

By Jon Michaud

Picture yourself, if you will, at an AC/DC show at some unruly venue in Albany or Toledo in the fall of 1978. Perhaps a friend has brought you, or maybe hearing one of the band’s songs on FM radio has drawn you there. Regardless, you’re in luck. You’re catching AC/DC at the perfect moment, as it’s on the cusp of transforming itself into a musical juggernaut. The group, hailing from Australia, has just released “Powerage,” a forty-minute distillation of swinging, aggressive rock and roll that Keith Richards will later say is his favorite AC/DC album. In a matter of months, the band will record “Highway to Hell” and, soon after that, “Back in Black,” which will become the sixth-best-selling album of all time.

So, what do you notice? Up front and hard to miss is Angus Young, the diminutive dynamo of a lead guitarist, wearing the sweat-soaked remains of a velvet schoolboy uniform, duck-walking and thrashing his head like the lightning-strike victim on the cover of “Powerage.” Nearby, prancing bare-chested, is the lewd and mischievous lead singer, Bon Scott. (He’ll be dead by the end of the decade.) But, if you can take your eyes off these two showmen for a moment, you might find your gaze drifting to the left of the drum riser, where a pugnacious long-haired kid (he looks like he’s still in high school), wearing jeans and a white T-shirt, is strumming his Gretsch guitar and shaking his leg in time to the driving beat. His name is Malcolm Young, and you could be forgiven for seeing him as just another part of the backing band, but he is in fact the mastermind of the whole operation, at once its visionary and its taskmaster. He is the soul of the band, its leader on and off the stage.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on November 19, 2017 by Editor

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