AC/DC frontman Brian Johnston has confirmed that the band has no plans to retire, despite one of its member suffering from a “debilitating illness”.
Over the last 48 hours, rumors have swirled that the legendary rock band is on the brink of retirement after guitarist Malcolm Young suffered a stroke, leaving him unable to record or tour with the band as part of its 40th anniversary celebration.
Johnston admitted to London’s Daily Telegraph that one of his bandmates is ill, but declined to go into specifics. “I wouldn’t like to say anything either way about the future,” he said. “I’m not ruling anything out. One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don’t want to say too much about it. He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We’ve been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much.”
Update: In a posting on Facebook, the band announced that Young would be taking a leave of absence due to failing health. “After 40 years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health,” the band wrote. “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.”
Even still, Johnson says the band plans to enter a Vancouver studio in May and could begin work on the follow-up to 2008’s Black Ice. “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.”