AC/DC Drummer Colin Burgess Dead At 77

 December 16, 2023

The music world has lost a pioneering figure with the passing of Colin Burgess, the original drummer for the legendary rock band AC/DC.

The loss of Colin Burgess at 77 marks a poignant moment for the rock music community, reflecting on his early influence on one of the most iconic bands in history.

Colin Burgess's journey with AC/DC began in 1973, setting the foundation for a globally influential rock band. Alongside original members, including Dave Evans, Larry Van Kriedt, and the Young brothers, Burgess helped shape the early sound of AC/DC, a band known for its raw energy and powerful performances.

Colin's Early Years with AC/DC

His tenure with the band, however, was marred by controversy. In 1974, just a year after joining AC/DC, Burgess faced allegations of being intoxicated during a performance. He staunchly denied these claims, attributing the incident to his drink being spiked. Despite his defense, the band decided to part ways with him, marking an early end to his role in AC/DC's ascent in the rock world.

Phil Rudd replaced Burgess as the drummer in 1975, but Burgess's connection to the band didn't end there. He made a brief return when Rudd suffered a wrist injury, showcasing his enduring skill and dedication to the band he helped start. Nevertheless, his early departure meant that he did not participate in the band's later success, including hit albums and songs that propelled AC/DC to international fame.

A Legacy Beyond the Drum Kit

AC/DC's meteoric rise to stardom, with over 200 million albums sold worldwide, occurred after Burgess's time with the band. Classics like "Back in Black" and "Highway to Hell" were released after his departure, but his early contributions to the band's development cannot be overlooked. His influence in those formative years helped pave the way for AC/DC's distinctive sound and global success.

In recognition of their monumental impact on rock music, AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. By this time, the band had solidified its status as a rock legend, with Angus Young remaining as the sole original member still touring with the band.

A tweet from the official AC/DC Twitter account reads:

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

Remembering a Rock Pioneer

Burgess's legacy in the rock world is a complex tapestry of early success, personal challenges, and lasting influence. His brief yet significant stint with AC/DC is a reminder of the transient nature of fame and the enduring impact of early pioneers in any field. His departure from AC/DC, while marking the end of an era, also ushered in a new chapter for the band that would see them reach heights of global acclaim.

The music world often sees its heroes come and go quietly and sometimes amidst a blaze of glory. Although short-lived, Colin Burgess's journey with AC/DC left an indelible mark on the music industry and the band's history. His story is one of talent, controversy, and an undeniable contribution to one of the greatest rock bands of all time.


  • Colin Burgess, original drummer for AC/DC, passed away at age 77.
  • His tenure with AC/DC was marked by early success and controversy, including allegations of on-stage intoxication.
  • Burgess's departure preceded the band's global fame with hits like "Back in Black" and "Highway to Hell."
  • AC/DC, with over 200 million albums sold, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
  • The cause of Burgess's death has not been disclosed, adding a note of mystery to his legacy.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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