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New tragedy rocks AC/DC

An AC/DC guitarist who played with the band in the same year they released their debut album High Voltage has died.

Paul Matters played bass guitar with the legendary Aussie rock band in 1975 before being sacked by late lead singer Bon Scott.

Scott died in 1980. It was listed as ‘death by misadventure’ with ‘acute alcohol poisoning’.

Matters’ friend Rod Wescombe announced the death on Facebook on Thursday.

“Shocked and sad to hear of the passing of Paul Matters,” Mr Wescombe wrote.

“I first met Paul in 1973 when he was playing bass in “Armageddon” at a gig in Hamilton, Newcastle N.S.W.,” Mr Wescombe posted.

“When I was living in Toronto he would drop into the house in the late hours to party and he loved to party.

“In late ‘75 after he departed AC/DC we played together in a one off band called ‘Miss Australia Band’ at a gig on a ferry on Lake Macquarie.

“I recall he could always make me laugh when he was in the mood.

“From all reports he lived a reclusive life in his later years and his early rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle led to ailing health.

“He will be missed by all who knew him.

“R.I.P. Mr. Paul Matters…..”

Matters was replaced by Mark Evans who played with AC/DC for two years.

His death comes three years after co-founder Malcolm Young died aged 64.

Young had suffered with dementia for three years before he died which also forced him into retirement.

Young co-founded the band with his brother Angus Young in 1973.

Matters’ passing comes just weeks after the tragic death of former Skyhooks founding member Peter Starkie.

Starkie, the brother of guitarist and fellow former Skyhooks member Bob Starkie, died aged 72 after falling off a ladder.

He was a founding member of Skyhooks in 1973 along with guitarist and songwriter Greg Macainsh and drummer Freddie Strauks.

Bob posted a touching tribute to his brother on the Skyhooks’ Facebook page and how he “tragically died in one of those stupid ladder accidents”.

Skyhooks was one of Australia’s biggest bands across the 70s and 80s with a string of top 10 hits including Horror Movie, Ego is Not A Dirty Word, All My Friends Are Getting Married and Women In Uniform.

“Very sad to deliver the news that my brother Peter has tragically died in one of those stupid ladder accidents,” Bob wrote.

“Peter George Starkie was born in Sydney in 1948, he was only 72 when he took the dive and had plenty of life ahead of him.

“When Greg Macainsh was formulating his idea for Skyhooks, it was Dave Flett who recommended Peter as guitarist. So along with Peter Inglis, Steve Hill, Freddie Strauks and Greg Thus was born The Skyhooks first line-up.”

The Aussie music world was also rocked by the passing of ARIA Hall of Fame artist Max Merritt in late September.

Merritt died aged 79 in a Los Angeles hospital after being diagnosed with Goodpasture Syndrome, a rare serious auto-immune disease that attacks the lungs and kidneys.

Merritt is best known for his 1975 hit Slippin’ Away, with his band Max Merritt and The Meteors, which reached number two while his other well known hit was Western Union Man.

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