AC/DC has released an official new publicity photo of the band and notably absent from it is drummer Phil Rudd, who was also a no-show at the group's recent video shoot on October 3 and October 4 for the two new singles, "Play Ball" and "Rock Or Bust". Rudd was replaced for the filming by drummer Bob Richards (who had previously played with SHOGUN and IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith), with singer Brian Johnson reportedly telling fans at the shoot that Rudd was unable to participate due to an undisclosed "family emergency."
Neither Rudd nor the band has issued any further comment on his absence from the shoot. Now the fact that he is missing from the first official band photo for its new album can only be cause for concern among fans already saddened by the departure of founding guitarist Malcolm Young, who is suffering from dementia.
Rudd joined AC/DC in 1974 and has been its only Australian-born member since 1977. He exited AC/DC in 1983 and was succeeded by Simon Wright and Chris Slade. When Slade left in 1993, Rudd rejoined the band and has been behind the kit until now.
Phil's solo album, "Head Job", was released on August 29 via Universal Music Australia.
AC/DC will release its new album, "Rock Or Bust", on December 2. The 11-song set is the band's first since 2008's "Black Ice" and the first in its history without Malcolm, who has been replaced by nephew Stevie Young.
AC/DC made it official last month that Malcolm would no longer record or perform with the group. His family disclosed a short time later that he was afflicted with dementia. The guitarist was rumored to have suffered a stroke earlier this year.
Despite the loss of Malcolm, Rudd said that "everything's great in the band, we're ready to fire up on all cylinders again."
AC/DC 2014 publicity photo:
On Wednesday, April 23, the sixth edition of the Revolver Golden Gods awards took place at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. Prior to the event, Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! hit the "black carpet" to ask varios metal and hard rock musicians for their opinions on whether AC/DC should continue without Malcolm Young.
The following artists and music industry heavyweights appear in the video below:
* Wendy Dio (Ronnie's James Dio's wife/manager)
* Neil Portnow (President/CEO of The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation President/CEO)
* Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR, ex-DOWN)
* Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT)
* Rex Brown (KILL DEVIL HILL, ex-PANTERA, DOWN)
* Sin Quirin (MINISTRY)
* Jason Hook (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH)
* Evan Seinfeld (ATTIKA 7, BIOHAZARD)
Wendy Dio: "Absolutely. They are a legend."
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR, ex-DOWN): "No. Not this far in. I know he had a few problems with drinking years ago and his nephew or someone had to fill in for a few tours while he got sober. It's just my opinion but my God, it's AC/DC, what else do they have to prove?"
Rex Brown (KILL DEVIL HILL, ex-PANTERA): "No. There's no AC/DC without Malcolm."
As previously reported, AC/DC may have enlisted Stevie Young, the nephew of guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, to take Malcolm's place in the band as they gear up to record their 16th studio album. According to The Pulse Of Radio, an AC/DC fan named Jeff Lorenz posted a photo that he took of the band in Vancouver, where they are recording, saying that Stevie was visible in the picture. Another fan tweeted back, "Ok so there we have it. Welcome #StevieYoung to @AC_DC – all the best guys, do it for Mal!" The photo was later removed.
Stevie Young played with AC/DC once before during a 1988 tour, while Malcolm stepped out to deal with his dependency on alcohol.
Legend has it that Stevie resembled his uncle closely enough that many fans reportedly didn’t even know Malcolm had left the tour.
AC/DC confirmed widespread reports last month that Malcolm was stepping down due to an undisclosed illness, with some outlets reporting that he suffered a stroke.
The legendary Australian act stated that it will "continue to make music," and began recording sessions with producer Brendan O'Brien last week. Plans for a 40th anniversary tour remain unclear.
Legendary Anglo-Australian hard rockers AC/DC have released the following statement:
"After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group's diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.
"In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family's privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music."
As previously reported, a musician who says he has been friends with AC/DC for "years" has corroborated reports that Malcolm Young is no longer able to perform with the band due to illness. Mark Gable, lead singer with the CHOIRBOYS, told ABC Radio Australia, "From what I understand, and it's even been confirmed in part by his son Ross… It would appear Malcolm is unable to perform anymore. It's not just that he is unwell, it's that it is quite serious. It will constitute that he definitely won't be able to perform live. He will probably not be able to record."
Australian journalist Darryl Mason wrote that Malcolm suffered a stroke last month. According to The Age, a source who knows the Young family has said that Malcolm's condition has deteriorated so badly that his wife Linda and family were investigating full-time care for the guitarist. It is believed that Malcolm is currently having in-home care at his home in the Sydney area. He is said to be having difficulty remembering familiar faces and having increasing problems communicating.
AC/DC singer Brian Johnson has shot down reports that the band is retiring, telling U.K.'s Telegraph that the band is about to begin work on its 16th studio album. "We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver," he said. "We're going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we'll record it."
While the members of AC/DC are notoriously private, Johnson did reveal in a 2012 interview and in a February 2014 one that an unnamed member of the group had been ill — but whether that was Malcolm remains unclear.
Asked about the prospect of retiring one day, Johnson told The Pulse Of Radio that he would know when the time had come. "You know, retirement is like anything," he said. "A good football or a good ice hockey player, they don't want to retire. But unfortunately, sometimes there's a time when you have to call it quits. I don't want to do it, and if we can get out another album and do another little short tour or something, and have a bit of fun, well. I'm your man. I'll be right there."
AC/DC's last album was 2008's "Black Ice", one of the group's most successful later albums, which was followed by a nearly two-year world tour.