The passing of David Cassidy and Malcolm Young

In many ways with the passing of these icons, you have two sides of a musical coin. On one side, the squeaky clean image of David Cassidy’s Partridge Family persona. His biggest hit “I Think I Love You” written by Tony Romeo in 1970 was in many ways one of the last big hits that recalled the late ’60s sunshine pop era. On the other side of the coin was Young and AC/DC, a band that was part of a new wave of hard rock acts in the late ’70s that wiped away the progressive “art” rock that grew out of the psychedelic era. One style was weightlessly light pop. The other featured dark pounding riffs. Both styles were infectiously catchy. America loved them both.

David Cassidy was the ultimate teen idol of his era, both as an actor and a musician. His big hit sold over 5 million copies and his fan club at one point was larger than The Beatles. But once he left that carefully crafted teen persona, he never regained that level of popularity again. He passed away from liver and kidney failure, exacerbated by his long struggle with alcohol. He was 67.

Malcolm Young co-founded Australian rock legends AC/DC in 1973 with brother Angus Young died following a long battle with dementia. From the beginning Malcolm and Angus Young served as the band’s main songwriters, crafting the unmistakable riffs that would make AC/DC guitar rock legends. He was 64.