Australian musician Paul Matters, who played bass for rock band AC/DC in their early years, passed away on Wednesday, reports shared on Thursday morning confirm.
Neither the cause of death or Matters’ exact age at the time of his passing was included with the announcement. The news was first confirmed on a Facebook page belonging to Matters’ friend Rod Wescombe, who wrote,
Shocked and sad to hear of the passing of Paul Matters. I first met Paul in 1973 when he was playing bass in “Armageddon” at a gig in Hamilton, Newcastle N.S.W.. When I was living in Toronto he would drop into the house in the late hours to party and he loved to party. In late ’75 after he departed AC/DC we played together in a one-off band called ‘Miss Australia Band’ at a gig on a ferry on Lake Macquarie … From all reports he lived a reclusive life in his later years and his early rock n’ roll lifestyle led to ailing health.
Matters joined AC/DC in 1975, replacing the band’s original bassist Larry Van Kriedt. Matters only remained with AC/DC for a short time and took part in their Australian tour in support of the band’s 1975 studio debut High Voltage, though he did not play on the album (he was replaced on bass by George Young). Matters was soon replaced on bass duties by Mark Evans.
Matters did give a rare interview regarding his time in the band for the 2017 Bon Scott biography The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC’s Back in Black, where he stated, “[Bon] got out the back of a truck and he told me I wasn’t going back to Melbourne with them. We were up in Sydney doing a concert for school kids. So I didn’t play that day. I just turned around and didn’t say a word to him. I turned around and walked out.”
News of Matters’ death comes at a pivotal time for AC/DC, as the band has reemerged with their Back in Black-era lineup after a five-year hiatus for a forthcoming comeback album, Power Up, due out November 13th.
[H/T Guitar World]