AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams confirmed his retirement in an emotional video following the end of the group’s Rock Or Bust World Tour.
“It’s time for me to step out, that’s all,” Williams said. While he acknowledged the numerous changes that have beset the band in recent years – specifically the departures of longtime members Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd – Williams noted AC/DC has been dealing with such tumult since the death of original singer Bon Scott.
“Everything changes, so it’s not that,” he said. “It’s just, I’m ready to get off the road and do what I do in between tours.”
While Williams added that he was looking forward to relaxing and spending more time with his family, he said: “I couldn’t have asked for anything more – being with the people I’m with, and have been, being in this situation with this band, playing this music.” Williams ended the brief video by simply putting his hands to his heart in gratitude.
Williams joined AC/DC in 1977 as a replacement for original bassist Mark Evans. After nearly four decades with the group, Williams began hinting at retirement in July. “It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years, but after this tour, I’m backing off of touring and recording,” he told Gulfshore Life. “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.”
Williams’ exit caps off an especially turbulent few years for AC/DC. In 2014, founding guitarist Malcolm Young left the band due to dementia, while drummer Rudd spent most of 2015 on house arrest on a threatening to kill charge. Earlier this summer, longtime frontman Brian Johnson was forced to quit the band due to the threat of “total deafness.” The group ultimately finished their Rock or Bust tour with Axl Rose filling in for Johnson.