Photo: Eduardo Verdugo Associated Press
A photo of Malcolm Young has been displayed in his honor on Saturday, during a performance of the Foo Fighters at the festival Corona Capital in Mexico city.
Death Saturday at age 64, the co-founder of the hard rock band AC/DC leaves the image of a rythmicien outstanding, one of the first guitarists to be able to use the power of silence in the middle of the noise power.
Malcolm Young was a boy discreet. He was born in Glasgow in 1953, in the midst of a tribe consisting almost exclusively of boys. He was 10 years old when his unemployed parents moved to Sydney, during a wave of migration intended to increase the australian population. At age 20, he forms a rock group, AC/DC, with one of his brothers, Angus. Malcolm, lean, and hairy, boils round, keeps the rhythm guitar behind his younger brother, whom he has propelled to the rank of soloist. To bass for a time passes another brother, George, who will produce the albums of the 1970s. George died on the 22nd October, and Malcolm died Saturday.
On stage too, this last is discrete. It is ranked at the bottom, to the preamps, to the garden side, near the battery. Between him and the public are placed in a singer who screams — until 1980, this is Good Scott, then Brian Johnson and Angus, who went 50 metres, criss-crossing the scene. At each chorus, Malcolm and bassist closer to the audience, sing the choruses. And then sit back when the verse starts up again. Unstoppable. They have done this in all the stages of the world.
It’s a thankless job, rythmicien, especially in AC/DC. The group has theorized a kind of b. a.-ba of the rock accessible to the greatest number : supremacy of the riff, chords, very simple, battery pretext, singer dégoupillé and soloist-king to whom it is permitted to the fool to satiety. Malcolm is involved in all of this for forty-one years — or almost, because in 1988 he had to be absent due to problems with alcohol, he made up with his brother and, since 1990, writing with him the texts, which always celebrate the rock, the ass, the alcohol, the road, the drug… But Malcolm has especially found a trick, a flicker interpretive that fact that AC/DC has been all these years, sell 200 million albums, and follow up the successes such as Let There Be Rock (1977), Highway to Hell (1979) Back in Black (1980) : the silence.
The music of AC/DC is a comic. The agreements are the boxes. And between the boxes, there are a few millimeters of silence. It is necessary to create vacuum, to ensure that each agreement is born of nothingness and imposes its raw power. A measure = a hole = a discharge, and the listener exults. Well before the digital era, Malcolm and his Gretsch had invented the noise gate and the empire of 0 and 1, a time for silence, another for the wall of sound, an approach much more yin and yang than what the costume of imp Angus, or the inflatable doll, giant deployed to Whole Lotta Rosie in concert suggest.
Of course, Malcolm accuracy is relentless, he can hop on the spot entire sets with his eyes possessed without deviating from the tempo absolute. He insists its agreements with ropes to tie 12-58 — on which there is no need for the horn to play, but rather hooves — and door top this opportunity lo-fi radical create anything with almost nothing, which exceeds the ambitions of the hard and well worth the descents and bends of his brother. Behind the scenes, it is at the origin of strong decisions of the group, it may impose brutally, on its general direction, the choice of producers or the return of the musicians. Malcolm is a great rythmicien of the shadow. This is why, from Sydney to Montevideo, when he hears the name of Malcolm Young, the guitarist lambda nods head slowly, because he knows everything this guy has done, down there at the bottom, near the battery.
But the name of Malcolm Young, also married and father of two children, will also remain in the annals to have been to his body defending the blaster of the group he had formed. In September 2014, doctors diagnosed in him a state of dementia. It is encased in a specialised institution. And AC/DC continue sa route, replacing brother Malcolm by cousin Stevie (who had already replaced it in 1988). The damage is done. It is not known if the moral wrong can be invoked in the rock, but it gets stuck — as much as a year and a half later, AC/DC is from Brian Johnson, a singer, lest he should become deaf at a concert, and replace it with an interim, Axl Rose.
The engineering commercial AC/DC is the belief that tradition outweighs all the time and that his success is the result of an artisanal work handcrafted by the Young brothers, who have maintained since November 1973 this unique sound with sincerity. AC/DC, it is the fairy tale of the rock bottom : Right Scott, the star almost dégenrée hard, was their roadie before becoming their singer, and there are albums of the 1970s an energy that seems to take away any business strategy. AC/DC, group without blemish. Thirty years after, as its like a SMALL family, AC/DC stands as a leader in the CAC 40, rock, past Atlantic (Warner) to Sony, who plays full-the card of nostalgia by offering more or less the same setlist since 1983 and the illness of the founder did not impose the closure of the company. Therefore, the group has tinkered with another album, Rock or Bust (2014), without Malcolm but with its claw, the famous driving force that AC/DC has praised on its official website Saturday, November 18, in announcing his death. And which it is now deprived.