Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When rock stars get dementia

Malcolm Young of AC/DC is suffering from dementia and won't be returning to the band. His family confirmed this in a statement to the US magazine People. He's sixty-one.

Glen Campbell recently announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer's. He's seventy-eight.

Sneaky Pete Kleinow of the Flying Burrito Brothers died from an Alzheimer's related condition in 2007. He was seventy-two.

There are no doubt lots more we don't know about. Famous rockers of the past who have stopped touring because they can no longer handle it. Most of the time it won't be announced.

Although it's none of our business I suppose we should be grateful for the few whose families have chosen to make their conditions public.

Nobody would have predicted that rock musicians would ever succumb to an age-related condition. Nobody would ever have imagined them going on as long as they have done.

We grew up with these acts and we were used to them getting to every experience before we did. This latest one is the saddest.


  1. Fully agree.
    And as well as our heroes, our friends and contemporaries are immortal, until suddenly it dawns that they're not.

  2. Dale 'Buffin' Griffin - suffereing in a similar way - looked a very sad figure when led on to play drums for a couple of numbers at the Mott the Hoople reunion

  3. A thoughtful article David, dementia is a cruel, cruel disease....

  4. I think what's sadder is when our peers, or those younger, suffer from such illnesses - I'm thinking of, amongst others, Michael J Fox suffering from Parkinsons. Looking at those born earlier and wondering if we'll go the same way is one thing. Looking around and thinking, "There but for the grace... how lucky I am " is something we too often forget to do.

  5. Bobby Vee announced that he has Alzheimer's three years ago.

  6. Gilli Smythe (GONG, mother GONG) has dementia too. Sad.