ROCK legend Malcolm Young of AC/DC who recently left the band due to ill-health, is suffering from dementia.
The guitarist, a founder member of the heavy metal veterans, has been replaced in the band by his nephew.
A family statement to People magazine said: “Malcolm is suffering from dementia and the family thanks you for respecting their privacy.”
The band announced his departure last month but said they would go on without him and that their new album, Rock Or Bust, will be released in December. Young, who was born in Glasgow, emigrated to Australia at the age of ten with his family and formed AC/DC in 1973 with his younger brother Angus, who has famously dressed as a schoolboy onstage for many years.
The band have previously survived the death of their singer when Bon Scott died in 1980 after a night of heavy drinking in London. He was replaced by Brian Johnson, who has remained as vocalist ever since. They have been a huge draw on the rock circuit for decades, creating anthems such as Highway To Hell and Back In Black, although they have tended to have album rather than single success. Their songs were used as the soundtrack for the Stephen King movie, Maximum Overdrive and, with far greater commercial success in Iron Man 2. AC/DC’s albums have been few and far between in recent years and their most recent release, 2008 chart-topper Black Ice, was only their third since 1990.
In April this year the band were forced to deny rumours they were splitting up and put out a statement saying: “the band will continue to make music.” At the time they also confirmed that Malcolm Young would be taking a break after “40 years of life dedicated to AC/DC.”