The buzz has been heavy for some time now that AC/DC will be hitting the road in 2024, but according to industry insider and podcast host Dean Delray, Williams is not expected to be part of the upcoming dates.
Williams famously retired at the end of AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” tour, which saw Axl Rose take over on vocals midway through after Brian Johnson‘s hearing issues required addressing. But, Angus Young was able to lure back AC/DC’s core players including Williams for their 2020 Power Up album.
The band was unable to play shows in support at the time of the album’s release due to the pandemic, but finally returned to the stage last fall for the Power Trip festival in Indio, California. Williams appeared with the band for the one-off festival show, but if the rumors are true, he doesn’t plan to be part of their 2024 touring.
What Did Dean Delray Say About Cliff Williams?
Delray shared what he had heard about Williams through his Instagram account. In the post, he wrote, “Ok last night I heard from a very reliable source that AC/DC will be touring with a new Bass Player this year. I’m not gonna say who it is, i’ll let AC/DC make that announcement but I will say this, 3 year ago I had Cliff Williams on my podcast and he straight up said he would not be touring again and I was surprised that the fans didn’t seem to pick up on that.”
“I just want take this time to thank Cliff for absolutely rocking us on the Bass for over 40 years,” he continued. “An absolute killer of Groove. I love you brother.”
Accompanying the post, Delray added audio of his previous chat with Williams. In it, they discuss that Williams had committed to doing only a few shows rather than a full tour. The bassist responded, “[It was] for my health. We all have our issues down the line. You know, so much as for me, I just can’t do that anymore.”
When asked if it was mental or physical health he was concerned with, the bassist responded, “I think both of them really. I definitely have some physical issues which I won’t bore you with the details, But yeah, I mean it’s tough. So I’m very grateful for everything. It’s been fantastic. But I just don’t want to do that anymore.”
What Cliff Williams Initially Said About Retirement
Back in 2016, Williams officially confirmed that he was stepping down from his longtime band. “It’s time for me to step out, and that’s all,” said Williams in a video posting at the time. “Not because we’ve lost Mal, Phil or Brian. I mean, everything changes when something happens like that. When Bon died, it changed then. You know, everything changes, so it’s not that. It’s just … I’m just ready to get off the road, really, and do what I do.”
The bassist continued, “In between tours, we take a few years off, so I know how to do that, I know what I’m gonna do. Again, it’s just my time. I’m happy. I just need to … Family time now, just chill out and not do this.”
Williams concluded, “I mean, I couldn’t have asked for anything more, being with the people I’m with and have been, and being in this situation with this band, playing this music.”
Though he initially confirmed his retirement in 2016, after his return to play on Power Up, he told Dean Delray in a 2020 edition of the Let There Be Rock podcast that he was committed to playing “a few shows.”
What Does AC/DC Have Planned for 2024?
After AC/DC’s Power Trip festival appearance (which also included Matt Laug filling in on drums), the buzz started growing about what might come next for the legendary rockers. By November, the mayor of Munich, Germany further sparked rumors about the band’s future speaking about a potential AC/DC show during a city council meeting. Deiter Meier told the publication Bayerischer Rundfunk that the band was set to play a show at Munich’s Olympic Stadium on June 12. He later stated, “I didn’t know it was supposed to be a secret.”
Another rumor surfaced over the weekend with Brazilian journalist Lauro Jardim of O Globo reporting that AC/DC were in line for four shows in September in Brazil. They included two concerts at Morumbi in São Paulo and two more as part of the 2024 edition of Rock in Rio in Rio de Janeiro. So far, neither the Munich nor the Brazilian dates have been officially announced.
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Gallery Credit: Jacklyn Krol