UPDATE: The main murder-for-hire charge against Rudd has been dropped due to “insufficient evidence,” but charges of threatening to kill and drug possession stand.
AC/DC’s Phil Rudd is one of the all-time great rock drummers, an unshowy machine whose rock-solid simplicity and absolute refusal to play fills gave his band a hard-pulsing rhythm that helped to define their sound. But according to authorities in New Zealand, he’s also be the man at the center of a murder plot.
Stuff.co.nz reports that Rudd is out on bail after he appeared in court earlier today. Police raided his house this morning. Allegedly, Rudd hired a hitman to have two men killed. The names of the alleged hitman and the intended victims have not been revealed. Rudd has also been charged with threatening to kill, and with possession of methamphetamine and cannabis.
The 60-year-old Rudd is the only Australian-born member of AC/DC, and he moved to New Zealand in 1983, shortly after the band fired him. He rejoined in 1994 and released a solo album called Head Job earlier this year. If he’s convicted on these charges, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
AC/DC are set to release Rock Or Bust, their first album in six years, next month. We posted first single “Play Ball.” But right now, that grand return seems to be snakebit. Original guitarist Malcolm Young is in an Australian assisted-living facility, suffering from dementia. In a statement to Rolling Stone, Rudd’s fellow band members said, “We’ve only become aware of Phil’s arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock Or Bust and upcoming tour next year.”
Lots of people are making “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” jokes about Rudd right now, and those things practically write themselves. But can we at least agree that it would fucking suck if the drummer from AC/DC went to prison for trying to have people killed?
[Photo via SunLive.co.nz.]