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Colin Burgess, AC/DC’s Original Drummer, Dead at 77

Founding member of Australian hard rock legends played on their first single “Can I Sit Next to You, Girl”

Colin Burgess, AC/DC’s original drummer who played on the hard rock legends’ earliest single, has died at the age of 77.

AC/DC announced Burgess’ death on social media Saturday; no cause of death was provided.

“Very sad to hear of the passing of Colin Burgess. He was our first drummer and a very respected musician,” the band wrote. “Happy memories, rock in peace Colin.”

Prior to his short tenure in AC/DC, Burgess was the drummer of the popular Australian rock band The Masters Apprentices. Following that group’s initial breakup in 1972, Burgess was recruited by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young and singer Dale Evans to join their new act, AC/DC, in November 1973.

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However, Burgess’ stint in AC/DC lasted just four months, as he was fired from the band in February 1974 after allegedly performing drunk. The drummer’s recorded output with the group amounted to one single and minor Australian hit, “Can I Set Next To You, Girl” backed by “Rockin’ in the Parlour”; the former song was later re-recorded by the band with the members who ultimately replaced Burgess and singer Evans — drummer Phil Rudd and Bon Scott — for AC/DC’s 1975 LP T.N.T. 

While Burgess was not among the members of AC/DC to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was enshrined in Australia’s ARIA Hall of Fame for his work with the Masters Apprentices.

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