Yesterday, rumors and speculation flooded the internet regarding the future of AC/DC -- also known as one of the greatest, (mostly) unmolested treasures in rock 'n' roll. It was reported by a well-respected Australian music journalist that the band is preparing to call it quits due to complications surrounding founding member and guitarist Malcolm Young's health. It was confirmed today via the band's website that Young's health concerns will place him on the sidelines for the time being -- though the band will continue without him.
AC/DC had been planning on celebrating its impending 40th anniversary with a new album and major tour; however, Young is said to be recovering from a serious stroke that left a blood clot on his brain and subsequently robbed the legendary axman of his signature ability to knock the living piss out of every last power chord he attacks.
As a guitarist who has suffered a series of small strokes myself, I can attest to the horrors of the experience. The chill instilled by the thought of losing one's ability to create is second only to the reality of death that comes with strokes -- and perhaps even scarier for someone of Young's ilk, who has virtually built a life on the clanking of guitar strings.
While the details of Young's plight remain scant at the moment, we're hopeful that the Scottish-bred, Aussie-raised roughneck will find a way to come back from this, swinging. The idea of a world no longer filled with the reliable "kerrang" and crunch of Malcolm Young beating on his battered Gretsch like a mule is a deeply saddening one indeed.
In solidarity, and in the hopes of adding a touch of levity to an otherwise dark situation, we've taken the liberty of putting together a virtual supergroup of rockers who have suffered strokes and come back to create again.
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth
Overkill frontman Bobby Blitz's voice actually sits in the taint between the respective calls of the late Bon Scott and AC/DC's current frontman, Brian Johnson. Blitz suffered a stroke in 2002 while onstage with the band in Germany. Blitz has since had a full recovery and continues to annihilate audiences with the band and was an absolute force of nature when
The former Kinks guitarist has much more in common with Malcolm Young than one might assume: Davies also played in a successful band with his brother, something he and Young could no doubt commiserate over. Davies is considered by most to be the godfather of the distorted guitar tones that AC/DC could not exist without. And he is also one of the most underrated guitarists of all time. The man had a stroke as he exited an elevator in 2004 but was back to performing by 2006.
Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga suffered a stroke in 2011 that his doctors believed to be the result of a dissected artery caused by years of headbanging. The drummer spent nearly a year off the kit while recovering, and his bandmates actually postponed tours and recordings to wait for him (what nice guys!). Mayorga is back in the saddle less than two years later and has said he's as good as ever!
While the athletic bassist of Racer X and Mars Volta fame has not officially ever suffered a stroke, Alderete was diagnosed in 2007 with a myeloproliferative disorder called polycythemia vera, a rare blood disorder that can cause strokes, heart attacks, and thrombosis if untreated. Alderete has led a normal life since his diagnosis (as have I, for the most part) and has taken on the role of spokesperson for the MPD Foundation.
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