Colin Burgess, Original Member Of AC/DC, Dies At Age 77

18 December 2023 | 11:53 am | Jessie Lynch

“Happy memories, rock in peace Colin.”

Colin Burgess

Colin Burgess (YouTube)

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The world of rock music is mourning the loss of legendary drummer, Colin Burgess, who has passed away at the age of 77.

Burgess played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of iconic bands like The Masters Apprentices and AC/DC, with his musical journey spanning several decades, notably from 1968 to 1972 and subsequent reunions in 1987 to 1991 and 2001-2002 with The Masters Apprentices.

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.

Posted by AC/DC on Friday, December 15, 2023

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AC/DC shared the sad news to their Facebook page on Friday (15 December). It read: “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.”

The Masters Apprentices also shared a tribute posted on social media that said: "Our thoughts are with Colin's family, friends and all the fans who have loved his performances throughout the years. Once a Masters Apprentice always a Masters Apprentice."

It is with great sadness we hear of the passing of former Masters Apprentices Colin Burgess. Colin was born in Sydney...

Posted by The Masters Apprentices on Friday, December 15, 2023

Colin Burgess was recruited to form AC/DC back in 1973, along with Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar, his brother Angus on lead guitar, Dave Evans on vocals and Larry Van Kriedt on bass.

However, Burgess was fired from the band the following year, after his bandmates accused him of being drunk on stage — though he later claimed that his drink had been spiked.

Phil Rudd subsequently replaced him, and Burgess's presence was retained on the first AC/DC single, Can I Sit Next To You Girl. After leaving the band, Burgess returned to fill drumming duties in 1975.

Prior to his association with AC/DC, Burgess showcased his drumming talents as a member of The Masters Apprentices. Spanning four years from 1968 to 1972, Burgess contributed significantly to the group's musical legacy and in 1988, he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame as a member of the group.

The guitarist Doug Ford now stands as the last surviving member of the classic Masters lineup, following the passing of singer Jim Keays in 2014 and bass player Glenn Wheatley in 2022.