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Angus Young Salutes Cliff Williams at His Final AC/DC Show

(Image credit: Lisa Lake/Getty Images)

Tuesday night in Philadelphia, AC/DC played the final show of their incident-filled Rock or Bust tour. The show took place only hours after Cliff Williams, AC/DC's longtime bassist, announced his retirement from the band.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, guitarist Angus Young and singer Axl Rose gave Williams a rare moment in the spotlight as the rockers wrapped up their last song of the evening, "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)."

In the clip below, watch as Angus fetches Williams from his cozy corner near the drum kit and leads him to the front of the stage as Rose bellows, "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Cliff Williams!" Williams enjoys a bit of applause before quickly heading back to his preferred spot just below the blazing cannons.

“It’s just my time,” Williams said in a video, posted by the band Tuesday, that officially announces his retirement. “I’m happy. I just need family time now. Just chill out and not do this. ... I'm ready to get off the road and do what I do in between tours. I couldn't have asked for anything more—being with the people I'm with, and have been, being in this situation with this band, playing this music."

Life has been interesting—to say the least—for AC/DC during the past few years. Besides the retirement of Williams, who was with the band for nearly 40 years, drummer Phil Rudd was arrested on charges of "threatening to kill," longtime singer Brian Johnson was forced to quit due to serious hearing issues, and guitarist Malcolm Young had to retire due to dementia. Johnson was replaced by Axl Rose, Malcolm was replaced by his nephew, Stevie Young, and Rudd was replaced by the band's former drummer, Chris Slade.

Angus hasn't issued a statement about the future of the band—but stay tuned.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.