By Brian Ives
As 2016 sputters to a close, we’re left with many questions about our future. And by far, the most important of those questions is this one: if AC/DC continues in 2017, who’s in the band?
After all, there’s been a lot of turnover in the group as of late. In 2014, founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, who is suffering from dementia, was reportedly moved into a nursing home. He was replaced by his (and brother Angus Young’s) nephew, Stevie Young.
Then, drummer Phil Rudd (who was in the band from 1975-1983 and from 1994- 2015) was given his walking papers, after he was arrested on initial “procuring murder” charges, which were later dropped to drug possession charges. He was replaced by another former AC/DC drummer, Chris Slade, who was in the band from 1989-1994.
Next, frontman Brian Johnson was pink-slipped after he struggled with hearing issues, and was replaced, somewhat surprisingly, by Axl Rose of Guns N Roses (who, also went on another huge tour this year, reuniting with Slash and Duff McKagan).
And finally, longtime bassist Cliff Williams, who has been in the band since 1977, announced that this year’s trek would be his final tour.
Which leaves the band’s most iconic member, lead guitarist Angus Young, as the last man standing. But if AC/DC is to continue, Angus needs to find a new bass player, and with Guns N Roses hinting at another tour next year, there’s at least a chance that Axl Rose won’t be available for another run of AC/DC dates. So maybe Angus will take this opportunity to clear the board and create an all-new AC/DC lineup. If he does, here are our suggestions.
Vocals, rhythm guitar: Lzzy Hale of Halestorm – Halestorm is of hard rock’s best bands of the past two decades, and much of their popularity is due to Hale’s charisma and rough and bluesy vocals. A fan of classic hard rock with an eye on the present (they’ve covered Judas Pirest and Dio, as well as Lady Gaga and Daft Punk), Hale’s a good collaborator, having duetted with Amy Lee of Evanesence and Corey Taylor of Stone Sour, among others. And she plays guitar, giving AC/DC the option of having a three guitar attack. And we know she can sing “Shoot to Thrill.”
Rhythm guitar, vocals: Joan Jett – Like AC/DC, Joan Jett has remained pretty true to the core values of rock and roll for decades, and still keeps cranking out albums every few years, and touring consistently. As a guitarist, she could easily fill in for Malcolm Young, and of course, she could handle vocals as well; she and Hale could switch off as rhythm guitarist and singer. Also, she does a pretty mean “Dirty Deeds.”
Bass: Sean Yseult – Formerly the bassist in White Zombie, a band whose music has a few things in common with AC/DC: devilish imagery with a heavy nod and wink, songs that make you put the pedal to the metal when you hear them in your car, and chugging, danceable bass lines. It’s been a while since Yseult rocked an arena stage though, and this could be the perfect chance to make her return.
Drums: Samantha Maloney: Probably most well known her era in Hole, she also did time as Motley Crue’s drummer. And she filled in for Josh Homme in Eagles of Death Metal, and has played in Peaches’ backing band too. But she also leads a covers band called the Chelsea Girls who have covered Judas Priest, Quiet Riot, and yes, AC/DC.