Report: AC/DC Bassist Cliff Williams to Retire After Current Tour
It continues to be a harrowing year for rock fans between the loss of icons and bands willingly hanging it up. AC/DC don't fall into either category, but they have had issues stabilizing their lineup, which has lost guitarist Malcolm Young, drummer Phil Rudd and singer Brian Johnson all in the last two years. The situation now has another wrench in the gears of the AC/DC machine as bassist Cliff Williams has announced his intention to step back from the group.
In an interview with Gulfshore Life, Williams, who has been with AC/DC since 1977, revealed his plans for the future do not include playing in the band. “It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years," he said, adding, "But after this tour I’m backing off of touring and recording." Clarifying why, the bassist went on, "Losing Malcolm, the thing with Phil and now with Brian, it’s a changed animal. I feel in my gut it’s the right thing.”
Seemingly content with everything he has accomplished, Williams stated, “When you start out, you kind of hope for success. That’s what you are working for. But you never really know. It’s been surreal, really.” Though he never used the word "retire," Gulfshore Life reported that Williams' intent is to indeed retire.
In a recently released video from AC/DC (seen below), Williams reflected on his role in the band. "AC/DC has been… you know, just… I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band and I'm all filled up," he started off. The bass player discussed joining the group in 1977 for the Powerage album while touring in a station wagon. His commentary continued all the way through the recent lineup changes.
When AC/DC were forced to postpone their U.S. tour as longtime singer Brian Johnson was at risk of "total hearing loss," the band stated they would return with a new singer. Since then, they have tapped Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose to front the group. The vocalist has already completed a European run with the rock titans. The move initially created a rift in fans and fellow musicians, but most of the reviews with Rose as frontman have been positive.
Malcolm Young was forced to retire in 2014 as he continues to suffer from dementia. Estranged drummer Phil Rudd made headlines last year when he was placed under house arrest after allegedly threatening to kill someone and possessing narcotics. Angus Young remains the sole founding member and is currently rounded out not only by Williams and Rose, but his nephew Stevie Young (replacing Malcolm) and returning AC/DC drummer Chris Slade.
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