AC/DC fans are mourning the death of George Young, a pioneering force for the Australian rock band and older brother of founding members Angus and Malcolm Young. George Young, who was a songwriter and rhythm guitarist for the 1960s Aussie rock group the Easybeats (“Friday On My Mind”) and played bass with AC/DC early on, producing some of his younger brothers’ most successful releases, including High Voltage, T.N.T., Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and Let There Be Rock, died at age 70. No cause of death for the music industry legend has been released.
In the hours following his death, the band posted a tribute to George Young on the official AC/DC website, crediting his help and guidance for the band’s start in 1973 and subsequent success for more than four decades.
“It is with pain in our heart that we have to announce the passing of our beloved brother and mentor George Young,” the announcement reads.
“Without his help and guidance, there would not have been an AC/DC.”
The AC/DC website described George Young as a dedicated and professional “musician, songwriter, producer, and advisor ” as well as a wonderful brother to all of the bandmates. You can see the entire post, which was also posted to Facebook, below.
While George Young first shot to fame in the late 1960s as the songwriter of the Easybeats hit “Friday on My Mind,” he went on to start his own production company when the band split up. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, in addition to his pioneering work with AC/DC, George Young went on to become one of Australia’s best-known pop songwriters. George Young’s final production work with AC/DC was for the 2000 album Stiff Upper Lip, but his influence can be felt on every one of the band’s albums.
In 2014, the New Yorker profiled AC/DC and the famous Young brothers, pointing to George Young and early Easybeats songs like “St. Louis” and “Good Times” for having an influence on AC/DC’s distinctive future sound, complete with “precise, cutting, guitar riffs, propulsive rhythms, and infectious choruses.” AC/DC went on to sell more than 200 million records over a 44-year career and they haven’t stopped yet.
Take a look at the video below to see a young Angus Young talking about growing up with his famous brother George Young.
[Featured Image by Caroline Gillies/BIPs/Getty Images]