George Young, the Australian songwriter, and producer for AC/DC has died at the age of 70. The band wrote on their website: “It is with pain in our heart that we have to announce the passing of our beloved brother and mentor George Young. Without his help and guidance, there would not have been an AC/DC.”
They added: “As a musician, songwriter, producer, advisor and much, much more, you could not ask for a more dedicated and professional man. As a brother, you could not ask for a finer brother. For all he did and gave to us throughout his life, we will always remember him with gratitude and hold him close to our hearts.”
Young, who was born in Scotland, moved to Australia with his parents and two younger brothers in 1963. It’s unclear what led to his death.
AC/DC’s label, Albert Productions, said in statement: “A consummate songwriter, trailblazing producer, artist, mentor and extraordinary musician, George was above all else a gentleman who was unfailingly modest, charming, intelligent and loyal; a man with a wonderful sense of humour.”
Young played rhythm guitar in the band Easybeats in the 1960s. Their single “Friday on My Mind,” reached number 13 on the Hot 100. When the band broke up, he and lead guitarist Harry Vanda started collaborating and writing songs for other artists, including his brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. The pair co-produced AC/DC’s five first studio albums, including Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1975), TNT (1975), High Voltage (1976), Let There Be Rock (1977), and Powerage (1978). He and Vanda were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988.
Young retired from music in the late ‘90s and reportedly spent much of his time in Portugal with his family. It’s been a hard few years for the Young family. Malcolm left the band in 2014 after being diagnosed with dementia. He reportedly started experiencing problems with his memory in 2010.