It's been a rough couple of years for AC/DC, as the band has seen three of its core members -- guitarist Malcolm Young, drummer Phil Rudd and singer Brian Johnson -- replaced in the lineup because of health and/or legal issues. Now, longtime AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams has revealed that he's planning to retire from the group when its current Rock or Bust tour comes to an end.
"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 tells the Florida-based magazine 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."
Young was forced to retired from the band in 2014 after being stricken by cancer and dementia. Rudd was replaced by ex-AC/DC drummer Chris Slade after he was arrested later that same year on charges of drug possession and threatening to a colleague. Johnson, of course, was replaced this year by Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose after doctors advised him to stop performing live immediately or risk losing his hearing.
Williams, who joined AC/DC in 1977, says he never could have predicted how successful the band became.
"When you start out, you kind of hope for success," the 66-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer tells Gulfshore Life. "That's what you are working for. But you never really know. It's been surreal, really."