December 16, 2023 turned out to be tragic for the AC/DC fans and music community alike. News recently broke out that Colin Burgess, original AC/DC drummer and member of The Masters Apprentices, has passed away at the age of 77.
It is noted that during youth, after a few attempts in different bands, in 1968, Burgess joined The Masters Apprentices, who had recently relocated from Adelaide to Melbourne and were in dire need of reorganization.
The drummer remained a member of the Apprentices until the band’s break up in 1972. In this short period, he participated in the creation of three albums and later went on to create another album with the rest of the band when they reunited in 1987. Colin Burgess was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame as part of the band’s classic line-up in October 1998.
It is worth noting that Burgess became the original drummer of AC/DC in 1973, joining guitar players Malcolm and Angus Young, bassist Larry Van Kriedt, and vocalist Dave Evans. Burgess played at the band’s first live show at Chequers nightclub in Sydney, Australia, on 31 December 1973. He performed on the band’s first single, “Can I Sit Next To You Girl,” which was later re-recorded in 1975 with a very different line-up.
Burgess had a brief stint with AC/DC, but he was expelled from the band in February 1974 for being intoxicated on stage. He later claimed that someone had tampered with his drink. It is worth noting that Burgess was one of the last people to speak to Bon Scott at the Music Factory in February 1980, just before the singer left the club and met his tragic end.
Burgess later went on to form the hard rock band His Majesty and performed as part of Dead Tribute Band, which was a “Lost Legends Showcase” dedicated to famous, deceased Australian singers.
In a social media post, the members of AC/DC paid their respects to their first drummer: “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.”