According to Billboard.com, AC/DC “insiders” have shot down as false the rumor that the band is on the verge of announcing its retirement due to one member’s — presumably guitarist Malcolm Young‘s — serious illness.The source of the original retirement rumor was an e-mail sent to Perth radio station 6PR from an anonymous tipster using the handle Thunderstruck. The station subsequently spread the word, setting off a flurry of reports first throughout Australia and then worldwide. It should be noted, however, that the group’s management and Columbia Records, its current label, have chosen not to comment on the matter, according to Billboard.com. AC/DC singer Brian Johnson told a Florida radio station in February that the band was schedied to enter a studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada this May to begin recording its 16th studio album. The project was supposed to be the first set of new AC/DC material since 2008′s “Black Ice” album. In addition, the band intended to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year by playing 40 shows in selected cities around the world.
Asked about the group’s plans, Johnson said, “We’ve been denying anything, ’cause we weren’t sure. One of our boys was pretty ill, so we didn’t like to say anything, and we’re very private about things like this, so we didn’t wanna say anything. But I think we’ll be going in the studio in May in Vancouver. Which means, we should be getting ready.”Johnson added, “It’s been 40 years of the band’s existence, so I think we’re gonna try to do 40 gigs, 40 shows, to thank the fans for their undying loyalty. I mean, honestly, our fans are just the best in the world, and we appreciate every one of them. So, like I said, we’ll have to go out, even though we’re getting a bit long in the tooth [Laughs].” Johnson alluded to one of the members of the band being ill in a 2012 interview, adding that the unnamed member was “getting better” with a “full recovery fully expected.” Meanwhile, bassist Cliff Williams hinted in March 2013 that guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young were writing music for the band’s next album.