Thursday 17 April Update 
AC/DC
to record in May without Malcolm Young

And now some good news (though tinged with sadness). While AC/DC
confirmed today that guitarist Malcolm Young has “a debilitating illness”, which
prevents him from playing the guitar or performing, they still intend to record
in Vancouver, Canada, in May. Said a statement issued by
the band today (17 April):

“After 40 years of
life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking
a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the
group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and
support.
“In light of this
news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this
time. The band will
continue to make music.”

Two
sad news stories from Australia

Sad
news 1. Malcolm Young to retire through ill health
Tuesday 15 April. Sadly,
it looks like the mighty Anglo-Australian hard rock band AC/DC are no more,
with their retirement expected to be announced any day now.
Rumours coming out of
Perth, Western Australia, and Sydney, today, suggest the band’s founding

AC/DC guitarist, Malcolm Young

member, songwriter and guitarist, Malcolm Young, has a terminal illness and is
unable to keep playing. Malcolm, 61, is believed to have returned home to
Australia with his family.

It’s known that AC/DC
have a pact that should anyone need to leave the band, there will be no
replacement. 
AC/DC were formed by Malcolm Young in 1973, together with his lead
guitarist brother, Angus. Their brother is the Easybeats songwriter and
guitarist, George Young.
Albert Music, who have
represented AC/DC in Australia since the band’s formation, have remained
tight-tipped, neither denying nor confirming the rumours. AC/DC have over 200 million albums, with Malcolm and
Angus Young estimated to be worth A$255 million between them. Let’s hope the
rumours are untrue.
Sad
news 2. Motown stalwart dies near Melbourne, Australia
Gil Askey as a young man
Tuesday 15 April. Gil ‘Brother’Askey, one
of the architects of the Motown sound, has died in Frankston, near Melbourne,
Australia, aged 89.
The trumpeter wrote hit
records for Curtis Mayfield and Linda Gifford and was musical director for the
Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Supremes and the Tempations during
the 1960s. Gil Askey also wrote and arranged for other great Motown acts like the
Funk Brothers, Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye and Stevie
Wonder.
Originally from Austin,
Texas, Gil Askey even had a hand in discovering the Jackson 5, the older
brothers of whom he knew. He alerted Diana Ross, and the rest is history (pun
intended). Apparently, when ten-year-old Michael Jackson was reluctant to go on
the Ed Sullivan Show, the child star only relaxed when he saw Uncle Gil in the
wings.
Gil Askey in 2013, performing near Melbourne
When Diana Ross went solo
in 1970, Gil Askey became her musical director, writing the score for Diana’s
hit movie ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ for which he received an Oscar nomination in
1972. Gil even duetted with the real lady who sang the blues, Billie Holiday,
back in the day. Before joining Motown, Gil Askey spent 25 years as a jazz
trumpeter, playing with legends like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis
and Dizzy Gillespie.
When rock & roll
started, Askey played in the house bands of package shows, backing Frankie
Lymon and the Teenagers, the Platters, Jackie Wilson and many more.
At Motown, Gil Askey
was one of the influential Artists’ Development team which included etiquette
instructor Maxine Powell, choreographer Cholly Atkins and producer Harvey
Fuqua. Motown founder, Berry Gordy, often said Gil Askey was the glue that kept
everything together.
Gil Askey moved to
Australia in 1980, after marrying an Australian lady. Even so, he continued working with Motown, including acting as music consultant on the label’s 50th anniversary international tour. As he told an Aussie newspaper, “They called me because I know everybody and have written music for all of them. A funeral service for Gil Askey will be
held on Thursday, 17 April 2014.
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