AC/DC's Cliff Williams: 'I'm Backing Off Touring and Recording' - Rolling Stone
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AC/DC’s Cliff Williams: ‘I’m Backing Off Touring and Recording’

Bassist cites band’s recent troubles including departure of Brian Johnson, Malcolm Young’s dementia

AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams hinted at retirement following the Australian hard rock outfit’s current tour in an interview with Gulfshore Life.

Williams touched on the various problems that have plagued AC/DC over the past few years, starting with the departure of founding guitarist Malcolm Young in 2014 due to dementia. Drummer Phil Rudd spent most of 2015 on house arrest on a threatening to kill charge, and longtime frontman Brian Johnson was recently forced to quit the band due to the threat of “total deafness.”

“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 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.”

AC/DC ultimately replaced Johnson with Axl Rose, who will serve as frontman throughout the rest of the band’s Rock or Bust Tour, which wraps with a North American leg August and September.

About to finish what might be his last tour with AC/DC, Williams did reminisce about the group’s earlier treks. “The first tour bus was an old piece of junk driven by a seriously overweight good ole boy who called himself ‘Jesse James,’ to which we added the words ‘the fat-assed’ to,” Williams recalled. “He would work the CB radio and announce himself onboard along with the rock group ‘AC/DC outa England’ to anyone listening. He never did get the fact it was from Australia, but then he may have thought that was in England.”

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