As rock icons go, it didn't get more opposite than AC/DC's Malcolm Young and Eddie Van Halen, but their divergent musical personas only bred the utmost respect between them.
Young was one of rock and roll's preeminent rhythm guitarists and songwriters, yet he was content to be viewed as a background player, leaving the onstage antics to his brother Angus Young.
Eddie, on the other hand, made an art form of the guitar solo and thrived beneath the spotlight.
"[Eddie] liked hanging out, especially with Mal, because they could go out afterwards, to a bar or somewhere," Angus recalled. "Or he'd go out with Brian and play a dart game. To me he was just full of life."
Eddie was a longtime fan of AC/DC, but Angus says the two bands never met until 1984 when they co-headlined the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park in England.
Angus recalls Eddie barging into AC/DC's trailer after Van Halen's set, excited to finally meet one of his favorite bands.
"He was just happy to see me. He gave me a big hug, all excited, and the one thing I remember is that he had this big smile from ear to ear, this big grin."
Years later in 2000, Eddie came to see AC/DC on its 'Stiff Upper Lip' tour.
"He was the exact same as when I'd last seen him," Angus continued. "Big smile, big hug, very happy to see my, super happy to see Mal. He loved Mal, had a very tight bond with Mal. The saddest part was hearing when [Eddie's] throat cancer had come back. You still hope that he would have gotten through that. So it was a big loss for everyone. In the musical world, yes, and obviously for his family and anyone that was close to him."
AC/DC released its 17th studio album, PWR/UP, last Friday.
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