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Colin Burgess, AC/DC’s original drummer, dies at 77

Colin Burgess, the original drummer of AC/DC, has passed away aged 77.

On Saturday (December 16), it was announced on AC/DC’s socials that the drummer had died. No cause of death has been given.

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

Colin Burgess was born in November 16, 1946 in Sydney. After a brief period playing in a number of bands, Burgess joined rock band The Masters Apprentices and played with them from 1968-1972.

Burgess went on to form the original lineup for AC/DC. He joined Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar, brother Angus on lead guitar, Dave Evans on lead vocals, and Larry Van Kriedt on bass to form the band in Sydney, November 1973.

He would play with the band for a few months, best known for providing instrumentation for the song ‘Can I Sit Next To You, Girl’.

However, Burgess’ stint came to an end in February 1974 after he reportedly performed drunk on stage. The band fired him; Burges later claimed his drink had been spiked.

Burgess was later inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame as part of The Masters Apprentices in October 1998.

Tributes have flooded in for the drummer from fans on social media. On Instagram, one user commented: “Rest in power, Colin Burgess. Your thunderous beats paved the way for generations of rockers to come. You’ll always be remembered as the heartbeat of AC/DC’s early years.”

“Very sad news, as I love rock music especially from Australia, and he was a part of a generation of great musicians that kicked off the music industry in Australia,” another person wrote. “Condolences to his family and friends.”

Someone else commented simply: “Him and Bon [Scott] are rocking it out in the pearly gates.” Bon [Scott] was the one of the earliest lead vocalists for AC/DC; Burgess was one of the last people he spoke to before he died of alcohol poisoning at 33.

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