Phil Rudd, drummer of one of renowned rock band AC/DC, has been arrested and charged with attempting to procure a murder, threatening to kill, and the possession of drugs. The 60-year-old’s house in Tauranga, New Zealand was the subject of a police raid on Thursday morning local time, following a tip from a member of the public. Rudd was found to be in possession of cannabis and methamphetamine. The drummer has been accused of hiring a attempting hitman to murder two individuals between September 25th and 26th.
Rudd briefly appeared in Tauranga District Court later that afternoon. Throughout the hearing, he remained silent and stood shoeless. He was then released on bail and is due to return for his second hearing on November 27th. In the meantime, he has been ordered to reside at his home in Tauranga. He is not permitted to have any contact with the man he allegedly tried to hire to murder the two individuals. The victims of this attempt have remained unidentified, as their names were concealed by the judge.
AC/DC released a press photo last month featuring only Brian Johnson (frontman), Angus Young (guitar), Cliff Williams (bass) and latest member Stevie Young (guitar). When asked about the absent Rudd, a spokesman for the band assured fans that the drummer was still an active member of the band. Johnson later stated Rudd was not present at the photo shoot due to a “family emergency”.
The band is due to release their sixteenth studio album, Rock or Bust, on December 2nd, with a world tour to follow in 2015. It is unclear whether Rudd’s arrest will affect the upcoming tour. Fans have already expressed their concerns as to whether the band will tour again, also wondering what effects this may have on the release of Rock or Bust. AC/DC are also amongst those rumoured to headline Glastonbury Festival next year.
Rudd first became member of AC/DC in 1975 and was heavily involved in the group until he was sacked from the band in 1984. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Tauranga, New Zealand. He rejoined the band in 1994 and has been an active member ever since.