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AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams retiring due to exodus of members
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AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams retiring due to exodus of members

by Stephen Charlton2016/07/08

AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams, who has been with the band since 1977, will retire after the current Rock or Bust tour ends. Speaking to Gulfshore Life, the veteran rocker credits the constant line-up changes as a key reason for his departure:

“It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I’m backing off of touring and recording. 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.”

He added that he knew he had the one in a million luck to rise to the top of the rock ‘n’ roll heap:

“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.”

Does Cliff Williams’ departure spell the end for AC/DC?

Cliff Williams ACDC Axl Rose

The current AC/DC line-up, featuring (from left) Chris Slade, Cliff Williams, Axl Rose, Angus Young and Stevie Young.

The news could result in the end for AC/DC. The only original member left in the band is lead guitarist Angus Young. The band still retains Stevie Young on rhythm guitar and Chris Slade on drums. However neither Stevie or Slade are particularly notable members within the band’s history. AC/DC will essentially become The Angus Young Show after the departure of Williams

The band have 10 dates left on Rock or Bust tour, which are taking place throughout late August and September in the US. Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose is providing the vocals for the tour after the band unceremoniously dropped longtime singer Brian Johnson due to his hearing loss.

Original rhythm guitarist and songwriting contributor Malcolm Young exited the band in April 2014 due to health issues relating to dementia. Phil Rudd, who drummed for the band over a period of 29 years, was removed from the line-up in 2015. The was unable to tour while he answered to threatening to kill and drug charges in New Zealand, which resulted from the fallout of his unsuccessful 2014 solo effort Head Job.

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton
Stephen Charlton is a musician and journalist based in Melbourne, Australia.

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