My admiration for Malcolm Young, Where rhythm is always better than lead.

Malcolm, down the back joining Bon Scott and AC/DC crew.


I still feel compelled to write how the passing of Malcolm Young was a sad day for me and for the millions of AC/DC fans. Not because AC/DC lost a member, or he was part of an Australian band. It’s because they lost “my” most influential band member.

Like so many other influential band members from my array of favourite bands, Malcolm was being studied by me. When I was gazing at AC/DC song clips, the limelight, the main camera and featured angles were always on the singer or his brother. Yet when I listened to countless hours of their tunes, that hooky riff he kept rolling out like an old diesel freight train was always wanting my attention.

Looking at the stage - down the back, Malcolm left of Drummer.

As the radios played nonstop AC/DC across the nation in honour of this legend. (thank you btw.) I will forever miss how influential he was making some of the bestselling songs the band has ever produced. None of AC/DC’s songs would be as catchy or hooky if he wasn’t in that band. That’s the way I pictured him anyway and that’s how I witnessed AC/DC to be. Malcolm was a rhythmic genius that was truly content standing at the back of the stage with the drummer, keeping the rolling rock goodness flowing through your ears.


As a mediocre guitarist, I never found lead guitar of any interest at all. Whilst I tried to learn lead like some of my peers who were adoring the genius of Angus Young and Kirk Hammet. I never found this interesting to continue learning guitar. I found my influences in the rhythm section and keeping the heartbeat of any song pumping along with the percussionist. This is how I imagined Malcolm Young and why I loved his character. Content and living down the back as support for the rest of the band. He was crucial to the songwriting teamwork of one of the worlds greatest bands.


Malcolm Young - left of image

You see, I never saw Malcolm as a recluse or quiet man like so many other stories. I saw him as “my” AC/DC legend. To me, Malcolm was the “rock” for that band (hard as a rock) and was the cornerstone that kept the band’s rhythm together.

Mentioned by some as the human metronome, he personifies the “keep playing” approach that all local bands must adhere to, to become successful. It’s about believing in the music and trusting its direction regardless of how bleak the future looks. Telling his brother Angus “to keep making music” even after he’s left truly dignifies his true character.  No wonder there’s a back lane in Melbourne named after them. Remember, It’s a long way to the top and like so many other adoring fans of the AC/DC culture. Malcolm will forever be truly missed in the hearts of millions including this small time local riff player. RIP Malcolm Young.

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