Just hours after sharing an emotional video message with fans about his retirement, the four-string slapper took to the stage to perform his final ever show as part of the earth-conquering Aussie rock juggernaut.
During the epic climax of the band’s final Rock Or Bust tour date in Philadelphia, in the middle of the canon-blasting setlist closer For Those About To Rock, Williams’ bandmates Angus Young and super-sub frontman Axl Rose both saluted the veteran rocker by giving him a rare moment in the spotlight.
As Rolling Stone reports, during the song’s closing moments, Rose told the audience, “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Cliff Williams,” while Young drags the bassist down to the edge of the stage’s catwalk, giving Williams a chance to soak up some applause.
He took a few bows, and then rushed straight back to his spot beside the drum riser, which he’s called home for nearly 40 years of AC/DC riff-slamming.
“It’s time for me to step out. That’s all,” Williams explained in his video message to fans.
“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 from Acca Dacca follows the recent departures of longtime drummer Phil Rudd (due to legal issues), rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young (due to health issues) and singer Brian Johnson, who was forced to exit halfway through the band’s Rock Or Bust tour due to a serious issue with his hearing.
Angus Young remains the only founding member of AC/DC, which throws the band’s future into serious question. The iconic guitarist has yet to throw in the towel, but has admitted that things are up in the air.
The tour has wrapped up and so has Cliff Williams’ career in rock n’ roll. So while we wait to see what – if anything – comes next for AC/DC, watch the band pay tribute to their long-serving bassist in the video below.
Watch: AC/DC Salute Bassist Cliff Williams At His Final Ever Show (Philadelphia)