It’s been a rough time lately over there in AC/DCVille, and here comes another bit of not-so-fantastic news: Cliff Williams, who’s been their bassman since 1977, is the latest member ostensibly making plans to bow out. In a recent interview, he kind of sort of suggested that he’s going to retire from the band at the end of their current tour cycle.
This comes on the heels of some significant band changes over the past while. In 2014, founding member Malcolm Young had to step down due to his battle with dementia. Phil Rudd was sidelined while he dealt with charges connected to a murder plot and drug possession, and of course the latest blow happened this year when Brian Johnson‘s hearing problems resulted in his exit, with Axl Rose subbing for him — on a temporary basis, as far as we know.
“It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I’m backing off of touring and recording,” Williams said. “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.”
Strangely enough, this news comes not long after the release of a promotional video, in which Williams explains his role in the band. “My role, as part of the rhythm section, is to give drive, to give the foundation, an engine if you like … to support the guitars.”
In the early 70s, Malcolm Young was handling bass duties in AC/DC; when Mark Evans took that job over in 1975, Malcolm switched to rhythm guitar, and when Evans was sacked in 1977 due to “creative differences” and personality clashes with Angus Young, Cliff Williams stepped in, and has remained since.
AC/DC’s tour schedule has them playing a stretch of US gigs in August and September, with Axl Rose fronting.