All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2018

Bad Boy Boogie – Malcolm Young RIP

Malcolm Young Graffiti

The Rock world was saddened this past weekend with the death of AC/DC founder and stalwart Malcolm Young.

Malcolm has been absent from his AC/DC duties over the last four years or so due to a series of health complaints and the dreaded dementia. It all took its toll this weekend with his unfortunate passing at the age of 64. Although his death does not come as a surprise, it certainly remains a shock to the vast majority of Rock and AC/DC fans.

To say that Young was not an important cog in the AC/DC machine is doing him a large disservice.

As a founding member he was the glue that kept the band together all these years. He achieved this on many levels. As a songwriter for much of the band’s music and as a bona-fide-top-shelf-one-of-a-kind rhythm guitarist. That sound! That tone! It’s featured on nearly every single AC/DC release since the year dot. It is unmistakable as it is unique and it was the foundation of everything built upon since that first strum of a Malcolm Young guitar was ever recorded.

Who can ever forget the vision of Malcolm strumming away on his favoured Gretsch guitar at the absolute backline of any stage next to the drums and bass. Only coming forward to let out the obligatory backing vocals and then scurrying back to the core of AC/DC whilst Angus and Brian/Bon took command at the front.

He knew his place in the band. He knew that without that absolute rock solid foundation, AC/DC would have never worked.

As expected, the tributes and outpouring of grief came through thick and fast over the weekend. Music and mainstream media was full of tributes and memories of Malcolm Young.

Melbourne street artist Lush was quick to paint two magnificent murals and tributes to Malcolm deep within AC/DC Lane. (where else hey?)

I am imagining AC/DC Lane will get more tributes over the next few days. Already at the entrance to the lane, some floral tributes and other ephemera are beginning to collect. Skulls, shot glasses and written tributes are already in place.

For mine, I first encountered AC/DC at a young age. They were probably the first Hard Rock band I ever heard even if it was KISS that eventually took possession of my young heart and mind (and soul!) My cousin was a huge fan and had bought herself an SG Gibson copy guitar which looked exactly like Angus’. She cut her teeth learning all the riffs on the first 2 AC/DC albums so it was through her passion I got to appreciate good old hard Rock N Roll!

I’ve seen the band a few times. I was at the first concert at Melbourne’s Tennis Centre/Rod Laver Arena as AC/DC were the first band to ever play there.

I got to photograph the band in 2015. By then, Malcolm had been replaced in the band so I missed out on every photographing him.

May you Rest In Peace Mr Young… thank you for the music!

My photographs of AC/DC’s last Australian Tour sans Malcolm Young unfortunately…

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