AC/DC’s Original Drummer, Colin Burgess, Dead at 77: 'Rock in Peace'

"He was our first drummer and a very respected musician," the "Thunderstruck" rockers wrote on social media

<p>Peter Carrette Archive/Getty</p> Colin Burgess is dead at 77, his former band, AC/DC, announced on social media.

Peter Carrette Archive/Getty

Colin Burgess is dead at 77, his former band, AC/DC, announced on social media.

AC/DC’s original drummer, Colin Burgess, has died. He was 77.

The legendary rock band announced his death on social media on Saturday, writing, “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,” the message concluded.

The group did not share any more details, and did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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Thousands of fans mourned the rocker in the comments of the band’s post, sharing heartfelt messages thanking him for his contributions to the Australian rock group.

“Rest in power, Colin Burgess. Your thunderous beats paved the way for generations of rockers to come,” one fan commented. “You'll always be remembered as the heartbeat of AC/DC's early years.”

Another credited him for being “part of a generation of great musicians that kicked off the music industry in Australia.”

AC/DC first formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1973, and Burgess was part of its original lineup along with brothers Malcolm Young and Angus Young, bassist Larry Van Kriedt and lead singer Dave Evans, per DRUM! Magazine.

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According to Billboard, Burgess was dismissed from the band because of alleged drunken behavior onstage in 1974. His dismissal came just four months after he joined — and two years before the group released their debut album, High Voltage, to an international audience.

Burgess did, however, drum on the band’s debut single “Can I Sit Next to You, Girl,” per Billboard. (The track was rerecorded for the band’s sophomore album T.N.T. sans Burgess.)

Following his dismissal, the late drummer was replaced by Phil Rudd, but he reunited with the group to play a handful of shows in 1975 after Rudd suffered a hand injury, per Billboard.

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Prior to his stint with the “Thunderstruck” rockers, Burgess drummed for another Australian band, The Masters Apprentices, who charted with several hits in the 1960s and early 1970s, per Deadline.

After his time in AC/DC, Burgess drummed in several bands, including His Majesty, Good Time Charlie and Dead Singer Band, per Billboard.

While he is not one of the AC/DC members in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Rudd, Angus, Bon Scott, Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams), Burgess was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame for his contributions to The Masters Apprentices, per Billboard.

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