AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young was remembered at a funeral service held at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday.
Hundreds of people gathered to mourn the passing of the legendary musician, including Malcolm’s younger brother Angus, who reportedly placed his late sibling’s Gretsch guitar – nicknamed “The Beast” – on top of the casket during the Catholic service, later carrying the instrument to the hearse.
Other guests included AC/DC bandmates Cliff Williams and Brian Johnson, along with former drummer Phil Rudd and ex-bassist Mark Evans. Fellow rock stars Gary “Angry” Anderson and Jimmy Barnes were also in attendance, together with concert promoter Michael Chugg and Sony Music CEO Denis Handlin.
Guitar picks, inscribed with the date of Malcolm’s birth and death, were attached to the official funeral programs received by the congregation who gathered in the church ahead of the service in which, ABC reports, Malcolm was remembered as a “legendary guitarist, and humble friend.”
Bradley Horsburgh, who read an emotional eulogy at the wake, said that Malcolm could not have been further from the stereotypical rock star, as the public widely knew him.
“He loved spending time with his wife and family. Malcolm has left us all too soon but the spark of his talent will live on forever.”
Later in proceedings, David Albert, of the band’s recording label, shared his own insight into Malcolm’s personality, describing him as being “quiet, humble [and] understated” despite his status as a rock legend, generally regarded to be one of the greatest rhythm guitarists in history.
Many of Malcolm’s family members chose not to speak publicly at the ceremony, including his wife, Linda, and son, Ross. Instead, they penned a heartfelt statement in the program, thanking mourners for their love and support at this difficult time in their lives.
“Malcolm’s family thank you for your love, support and overwhelming outpouring of kindness during this time. They ask that you remember Malcolm as a man who was generous and had immense talent. His enormous legacy to his family and the music industry worldwide will never be forgotten.”
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) November 28, 2017
— 101.7 WSFM (@WSFM1017) November 28, 2017
According to the Australian Associated Press (via Reuters), the cathedral’s entrance was lined with grieving fans who gathered to pay their final respects as the funeral procession, led by the Scots College Pipes and Drums band playing “Waltzing Matilda,” mournfully departed from the church grounds.
The service was immediately followed by a private family burial ceremony.
Malcolm passed away peacefully on November 18 at the age of 64 after a three-year battle with dementia, according to a statement from his loved ones.
“With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band,” AC/DC said on their website at the time.
“As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed. As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”
Malcolm retired from the band in 2014, the same year in which his family confirmed that he was suffering from poor health following a diagnosis of dementia. He is survived by his loving wife Linda, children Cara and Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, sister, and brother.
[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images and Newsmakers/Getty Images]