AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams says he plans to retire following the band’s Rock Or Bust world tour. Florida’s Gulfshore Life reports Williams plans are, in part, due to the changes the group have faced over the past few years, including the 2014 retirement of founder Malcolm Young due to dementia, a series of legal issues faced by drummer Phil Rudd, and the spring 2016 departure of singer Brian Johnson due to hearing loss issues.
“It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I’m backing off of touring and recording,” says Williams. “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.”
All three longtime members have seen their roles filled by others: guitarist and nephew Stevie Young stepped in for Malcolm; Chris Slade returned to handle drums after Rudd recorded “Rock Or Bust”; and, the band accepted an offer from Axl Rose to help them fulfill their remaining 2016 tour dates in place of Johnson.
Williams joined AC/DC in 1977 following the firing of Mark Evans shortly after the group completed the recording of the “Let There Be Rock” album. Williams performed with AC/DC on the tour in support of the record before making his studio debut with them on 1978’s “Powerage.”