AC/DC has confirmed founding member Malcolm Young has a "debilitating illness" and cannot continue in the band for now, but the group has vowed to make new music without him.
Yesterday lead singer Brian Johnson, told London's The Telegraph the band intended to keep its date with a Vancouver recording studio in May, although he did admit a band member had "a debilitating illness".
Then soon after AC/DC released a short statement via its Facebook page confirming the many rumours around Young:
"After forty 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."
Then came the words fans worldwide had been desperate to hear: "The band will continue to make music."
On Wednesday morning, a source close to the family told Fairfax that Young was unlikely to play again and could even be moved to respite care.
But Johnson made it clear the band hadn't finished. "We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver," Johnson told The Telegraph.
"We're going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we'll record it."
Johnson told The Telegraph the band was not splitting up but he admitted an uncertain future. "I wouldn't like to say anything either way about the future. I'm not ruling anything out.
"One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don't want to say too much about it. He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We've been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much."
Johnson added that the mooted 40th anniversary world tour plans - initially said to include 40 shows in 40 venues were on hold.
"That would be a wonderful way to say 'bye bye'," Johnson said. "We would love to do it. But it's all up in the air at
Rumours of AC/DC's imminent demise spread rapidly from Tuesday morning when Melbourne 3AW entertainment commentator Peter Forde reported the band may never record or tour again after an anonymous email to Perth station 6PR claimed Young had moved back to Australia and was "very, very ill".
The rumour spread worldwide via social media and while many people close to the band and family commented on Young's health, the band itself stayed silent until late on Wednesday.
Earlier, Choirboys frontman Mark Gable confirmed Young's illness to ABC radio: "From what I understand, and it's even been confirmed in part by his son Ross (Young), that it would appear Malcolm is unable to perform anymore."
- Sydney Morning Herald