If you’re going to tonight’s AC/DC show in Philadelphia, you’re going to be seeing something special. Not just Axl Rose fronting the band, which he’s been doing an admirable job of, but bassist Cliff Williams’ last show with the band. He’s hinted earlier in the Summer that he might be hanging it up after the tour ends tonight, but he officially stated as such in a video on AC/DC’s YouTube page. Here’s what he says in the video message:
It’s time for me to step out, and that’s all. Not because we’ve lost Mal, Phil or Brian. I mean, everything changes when something happens like that. When Bon died, it changed then. You know, everything changes, so it’s not that. It’s just… I’m just ready to get off the road, really, and do what I do…
“In between tours, we take a few years off, so I know how to do that, I know what I’m gonna do. Again, it’s just my time. I’m happy. I just need to… Family time now… just chill out and not do this. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for anything more, being with the people I’m with and have been, and being in this situation with this band, playing this music.”
Williams’ departure leaves Angus Young as the only original member of the Australian rock powerhouse. He first joined the band in 1977, appearing on Powerage the following year. Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young was sidelined by dementia in 2014, while drummer Phil Rudd wasn’t asked back after being arrested for attempting to procure a murder and drug charges. in 2015. Singer Brian Johnson left earlier this year after being warned by doctors that he risked total hearing loss if he continued to play with the band.
Will Young continue the band? There’s been no indication, but Young, Chris Slade and Axl Rose, shoudl he continue to participate in the band, is still a pretty solid trio, and as dependable and solid as Williams’ bass lines are, it’s not like anyone would single out the bass as the most important or complex instrument in the band. On the other hand, no one would be able to blame the founding guitarist if he decide to hang up his schoolboy outfit. At any rate, if you’re in Philly tonight, enjoy the show and say goodnight to Cliff.