November 18, 2017 9:41 am
Updated: November 18, 2017 10:11 pm

Malcolm Young, AC/DC guitarist and founder, dies at age 64

WATCH ABOVE: The co-founder of Australian rock band AC/DC, Malcolm Young, died Saturday at the age of 64. His family says he "passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside."

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AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has died at the age of 64.

In a statement, Young’s family said he had been suffering from dementia for several years and that he “passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.”

READ MORE: Family confirms AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has dementia

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Young, along with his brother Angus, founded the band in 1973. They were inspired to choose the high-energy name AC/DC from the back of a sewing machine owned by their sister, Margaret.

“As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man,” the band wrote on its Facebook page.

He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted.

By 1980, the band was on a roll, known for its high energy performances and predictably hard-charging songs. Their album “Highway To Hell” was certified gold in America and made it into the top 25 Billboard album charts, and the single “Touch Too Much” became their first UK Top 30 hit. But on Feb. 18, 1980, everything changed – Scott died of asphyxiation after choking on his own vomit after an all-night drinking binge.

The band decided to keep going and hired English vocalist Brian Johnson at the helm. The newly reconfigured group channeled their grief into songwriting and put out 1980’s “Back In Black,” with the songs “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” and “Hells Bells.” The cover of the album was black, in honour of Scott’s death.

The band continued with a studio or live album every few years , blending their huge guitar riffs with rebellious and often sophomoric lyrics – song titles include “Big Balls,” “Beating Around the Bush,” “Let Me Put My Love Into You” and “Stiff Upper Lip.” AC/DC won only a single Grammy Award, for best hard rock performance in 2009 for “War Machine.”

Young performed with the band for more than 40 years before leaving in 2014 because of the disease. He was then replaced in the band by his nephew, Stevie Young.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

Fans were quick to share their sorrow on Twitter:

With files from Associated Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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