Hours after AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams announced his retirement, he took the stage with the band for one last time as they wrapped their Rock or Bust tour in Philadelphia. Knowing the gravity of the performance, both guitarist Angus Young and fill-in singer Axl Rose gave Williams a moment in the spotlight during the show’s final song, “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).”
During the song’s closing moments (via Ultimate Classic Rock), Rose told the audience, “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Cliff Williams,” as Young lead the bassist down the stage’s catwalk, allowing Williams to bask in the applause. After a pair of brief bows, Williams rushed back to his place besides the drum riser, a spot the bassist has graced for his nearly 40-year tenure with AC/DC.
“It’s time for me to step out, that’s all,” Williams said in a video announcing his retirement Tuesday. “It’s just, I’m ready to get off the road and do what I do in between tours. I couldn’t have asked for anything more – being with the people I’m with, and have been, being in this situation with this band, playing this music.”
Williams’ retirement follows the exits of fellow AC/DC members guitarist Malcolm Young (dementia), drummer Phil Rudd (house arrest stemming from threatening to kill charges) and singer Brian Johnson, who was forced to quit the Rock or Bust tour early due to serious ear issues.
AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams said he will “back off” touring and recording. Watch here.