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AC/DC haunted by tragedy from Bon Scott’s death to Malcolm Young’s dementia

Rock band AC/DC have achieved huge fame and success since they burst onto the music scene in the 1970s.

But sadly, the band have been haunted by a string of tragic events over the years.

Sad times came again today when it was announced that former member Paul Matters had died.

The bassist joined the band in 1975, replacing original line-up member Larry Van Kriedt.

Paul quit music after he was fired from the band just a few short weeks later, with Mark Evans taking his place.

His death is just the latest tragic event to be felt by the band.

Paul Matters has died

Lead singer and lyricist Bon Scott was a huge force in the band from 1974 until his death in 1980.

The star, whose real name was Ronald Belford Scott, was just 33 when he died.

Bon ended up joining the band after he saw them playing without a singer one night and jumped up on stage to help them out.

His then-wife Irene Thornton once told the story of how Bon was encouraged by a friend to get up on stage while the band played instrumental versions of old rock ‘n’ roll standards.

“I didn’t realise that AC/DC had just sacked Dave Evans and they wanted Bon to replace him,” Irene said.

The band released their first LP High Voltage the following year, and went on to become one of the biggest rock bands the world has ever seen.

Bon Scott joined the band after he saw them playing acoustically and got up on stage

Bon was just 33 when he died

Bon’s life was tragically cut short on February 19, 1980.

He had been on a night out in London club Music Machine (which is now known as KOKO) when he passed out in a friend’s car and was left there to sleep.

Later that day, he was found lifeless. Friends called the authorities and he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

His official cause of death was ruled as acute alcohol poisoning and it was classed as death by misadventure.

Malcolm had a long battle with his health

Band co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young died in November 2017 at the age of 64 after a long battle with his health.

After the band finished up their Black Ice World Tour in 2010, Malcolm was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Thankfully it was treated at an early stage and surgery saw the cancer successfully removed.

Malcolm also had an unspecified heart problem and had been fitted with a pacemaker.

Then in 2014, he became seriously ill and was no longer able to perform.

The band said at the time that he’d be “taking a break from the band due to ill health”.

Singer Brian Johnson, drummer Simon Wright, lead guitarist Angus Young, rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, and bassist Cliff Williams of AC/DC pose for a photo before a show on October 18, 1985, in Hollywood

Malcolm died from dementia in 2017

Months later, it emerged that he had been diagnosed with dementia and admitted to a nursing home where he could receive the full-time care he needed.

It was reported at the time that Malcolm had “complete loss of short-term memory”.

After Malcolm’s family confirmed the sad diagnosis, his brother Angus said he had been experiencing lapses in his memory and concentration before the Black Ice project began and had been having treatment throughout the tour.

Angus said his sibling had been rehearsing AC/DC’s songs repeatedly before every single concert so he could remember how to play them.

Malcolm died from the disease on November 18, 2017.

His younger brother, George, who acted as one of the producers on AC/DC’s early work, died a few weeks before him on October 22.


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