Colin Burgess, the original drummer of rock band AC/DC, has died at age 77.
His death was confirmed by the band in a statement on Facebook. “Very sad to hear of the passing of Colin Burgess,” the statement said. “He was our first drummer and a very respected musician. Happy memories, rock in peace Colin.”
No cause of death was initially provided.
Burgess, an Australia native, teamed with other members of the first lineup of AC/DC, which also included lead vocalist Dave Evans, Malcolm Young, Angus Young and Larry Van Kriedt. After starting with the group in 1973, he left the following year. Phil Rudd would go on to become the best-known drummer of AC/DC across three separate stints with the band, which has continued to tour in its sixth decade. Burgess made later appearances with AC/DC when Bon Scott was their lead singer.
Prior to AC/DC, Burgess had been part of Australian group The Masters Apprentices, which had a number of chart hits in the late-1960s and early ’70s. He would go on to form hard rock band His Majesty and later performed with Australian outfit Dead Singers.
During his time with AC/DC, which was just emerging on the scene, Burgess played on the band’s debut single, “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl?” (Watch a video of it above.)
At a later stage in his career, Burgess and his brother, Denny, gained attention for having survived a serious car accident when they were traveling to an album release party. They both resumed their careers and were the subject of a documentary film about their comeback, eventually performing in The Burgess Brothers Band and, later, Burgess Burgess.
The Masters Apprentices were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame in 1998.