Shock & sadness for fans as rock star guitarist dies

Matters joined the legendary rock band in 1975 after the release of their High Voltage album, replacing original bassist Larry Van Kriedt.

He was then fired just a few weeks later with Mark Evans stepping in to his shoes.

Matters’ death was announced on Facebook by his friend Rod Wescombe, who said the musician had led a ‘reclusive life’ in recent years with the wild rock and roll lifestyle of his youth causing him health problems. 

Wescombe wrote: “‘Shocked and sad to hear of the passing of Paul Matters.

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

“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 moved to Sunshine on the lake further south and Paul would drop in to chill whenever he was in the area.

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

Matters previously opened up about his role in AC/DC’s early years and the cruel way in which he was asked to leave.

He revealed it was lead vocalist and lyricist of Bon Scott who gave him his marching orders.

“Bon got out of the back of the truck and told me I wasn’t going back to Melbourne with them.

‘We were up in Sydney doing a concert for school kids. So I didn’t play that day. I just turned around and didn’t say a word to him. I turned around and walked out,” recalled Matters.Matters’ replacement Mark Evans was also sacked from the band three years later in 1977.

Cliff Williams became the next lead bassist and remained with AC/DC for every album since 1978’s Powerage.

After numerous changes in the band’s early years, Cliff earned a place in the permanent line-up alongside founders Malcom and Angus Young, singer Bon Scott and drummer Phil Rudd.

Tragically, Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning in February 1980 after a night of heavy drinking and was replaced by Brian Johnson.

The same year the band released their first album with Johnson, Back in Black, that was specially dedicated to Scott.

The album became one of the best-selling records of all time