AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams announced today that AC/DC's current Rock or Bust tour will be his last, retiring from the band after 38 years in the band. Williams, 66, has cited that the changes in the band's line-up has now made the band "a different animal" and that he feels it's the right thing to do, according to an article posted by Gulfshore Life. Williams joined AC/DC in 1978, replacing bassist Mark Evans. Williams' first album with the band was 1978's Powerage.
Since 2014, AC/DC have been seemingly cursed with bad luck- starting with the retirement of founding member Malcolm Young due to his dementia. Stevie Young, Malcolm and Angus' nephew, replaced him. Stevie was no stranger to AC/DC, having filled in for Malcolm during a 1988 tour while Malcolm was in rehab. In late 2014, drummer Phil Rudd was arrested for attempting to arrange a hit on someone. With that and other charges against him, Rudd was unable to tour with the band. In early 2015, Razor's Edge drummer Chris Slade rejoined the group just in time for the tour to promote AC/DC's 2014 studio album Rock or Bust. Earlier this year, the band postponed several tour dates- citing that singer Brian Johnson's hearing was at risk. After weeks of speculation, it was announced that Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose would fill in as the guest lead singer for the rest of the tour. During those weeks, comedian Jim Bruer reported that Johnson was being left in the dark and wasn't aware of what the band was up to. In a way, it seems as if Johnson was unceremoniously fired from AC/DC after 36 years in the band.
This is crazy. While I respect Cliff's choice to retire, I'm afraid that Angus is going to keep AC/DC going with Stevie and Chris. Axl is only meant to be a guest singer, but I remember reading one report that said Angus was thinking long-term with Axl. I highly doubt it because Axl already has Guns N Roses. There's also a small chance of Brian coming back. Shortly after it was announced Axl would be the guest singer, a doctor posted an open video letter to Brian Johnson- showing that he has a device that might restore Brian's hearing. It has been reported that Brian and his wife invited the doctor over for dinner but I haven't heard anything since. Even if Brian were able to perform again, something tells me that Angus wouldn't be interested in having Brian come back. Again, I think it's time for AC/DC to call it a day. I mentioned before about my idea of a one-off farewell show but I don't think that's going to happen.
We'll have to wait and see.