Brian Johnson on Not Getting to See Malcolm Young in His Final Years
Brian Johnson will be touching on tough topics in his new book The Lives of Brian as evidenced by an excerpt about Malcolm Young.
This excerpt was shared by Ultimate Classic Rock, and it details a sad moment of coincidence that found Johnson not allowed to see his bandmate while he was under care for dementia. Johnson was in a Sydney hospital in October 2015 for surgery related to his hearing issues. His nurse told him that Young was staying at a facility on the hospital’s campus that was literal yards away from Johnson’s hospital room. The nurse worked with Young and accompanied him on his daily exercise routine.
Johnson asked the nurse if he could see Young, but the nurse said no.
“‘Sorry, mate, I can’t do that. It’s the family’s wishes.’ I told him I understood,” writes Johnson. “In the next building was the man who I’d shared a stage with for 35 years, the man who’d hired me as the lead singer of AC/DC – the man who’d cared about me so much, he once visited my hometown to meet my parents. He’d even taken my dad for a pint at his club – I mean, who does that?”
Johnson writes that being told he couldn’t see Young made him “shed tears in front of a stranger.” The order for no guests outside of immediate family came from Young’s wife, O’Linda, due to Young struggling with his memory.
Johnson notes in the book, “O’Linda knew how proud Malcolm was – we all did — and she feared that if I or anyone outside his immediate family went in to see him, he might be embarrassed about his condition…She was just looking out for her husband, like she always did. Angus [Young] visited him, as did his grandchildren, who I’m told made him very happy. But it broke my heart all the same.”
The Lives of Brian comes out on October 25 and is available for pre-order here. It’s the second book the AC/DC singer has written. His first book, Rockers and Rollers: A Full-Throttle Memoir, came out in 2011 and deals more with Johnson’s affinity for cars.