According to The Pulse Of Radio, AC/DC biographer Jesse Fink has told a Boston radio station that he doesn't expect to see founding guitarist Malcolm Young return to the band. AC/DC announced earlier this summer that Malcolm was stepping down from the group after 40 years due to unspecified health issues. Fink explained, "I'm not expecting to see Malcolm return. I think the important thing is we all let Mal be and hope he can recover. But I think we should all expect that Stevie Young [Malcolm's nephew] is in the band now."
The Young family and AC/DC management have kept the details of Malcolm's illness private, although cancer, a stroke and Alzheimer's disease have all been rumored as the cause of his affliction.
Fink, author of the new book "The Youngs: The Brothers Who Build AC/DC", told Ultimate Classic Rock, "His illness is a private matter. However, fans seem to think his illness is just going to quickly go away and he's going to be there on stage when they announce their tour. If what I have heard from numerous sources is true, then I expect Stevie Young will be touring with the band and not Malcolm."
AC/DC recently completed the recording of the band's first album ever without Malcolm and first since 2008's "Black Ice". Fink said, "I'm hearing on very reliable authority the new album is up there with 'Black Ice' or even better."
The new disc is tentatively due out before the end of this year, with AC/DC expected to launch a world tour in support.
Stevie Young played with AC/DC once before during a 1988 tour, while Malcolm stepped out to deal with his dependency on alcohol.
Legend has it that Stevie resembled his uncle closely enough that many fans reportedly didn’t even know Malcolm had left the tour.
"We miss Malcolm, obviously," AC/DC singer Brian Johnson told TeamRock Radio last month. "He's a fighter. He's in hospital, but he's a fighter. We've got our fingers crossed that he'll get strong again.
"Stevie, Malcolm's nephew, was magnificent, but when you're recording with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn't well, it's difficult. But I'm sure he was rooting for us. He's such a strong man. He's a small guy, but he's very strong. He's proud and he's very private, so we can't say too much. But fingers crossed, he'll be back."