Rockers AC/DC have spoken up for the first time, following yesterday’s arrest of drummer Phil Rudd who was charged and appeared in court for attempting to procure a murder, along with various drug offences.
In a brief statement written on their Facebook page overnight, the band reaffirmed that the arrest will have no effect on the upcoming release of their new studio album or their plans to tour in the new year. “We’ve only become aware of Phil’s arrest as the news was breaking,” the wrote.
“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.” Rudd faces up to 10 years in jail if he’s convicted of attempting to procure a murder. Police allege he tried to have two people killed in September.
The 60-year-old is also facing charges of threatening to kill someone as well as possession of methamphetamine and cannibas. These events come after Rudd, the only Australian-born member of AC/DC, recently missed a promotional video shoot in the UK and was conspicuously missing from the band’s recent promotional photos.
Rudd has been released on bail after appearing in Tauranga District Court in New Zealand yesterday and will appear in court again on Thursday, 27th November. According to Fairfax, the man police allege was the intended hitman described Rudd as “a good man at heart” and said the drummer wanted him to be his bodyguard due to threats he was receiving.
“The girls that he gets, working girls and that, their partners get pissed off, he tells them ‘Nah I’m not paying you’ and then the partners come and say they want their money,” the man, whose name has been suppressed, alleged. Rudd is believed to have had bodyguards stationed outside his waterfront mansion for several weeks.
After spending more than 40 years with one of the world’s most successful rock bands Rudd was described by the unnamed man as very wealthy, who had “done a lot for the community”. “The amount he spends on company is like someone’s yearly wage … he’s the Hugh Hefner of Tauranga,” he added.
As part of his bail conditions, Rudd will have to remain in his Tauranga home and not have any contact with anyone related to the charges. Last month is was confirmed that now-former AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young is in care suffering from dementia. The band’s new album Rock Or Bust is due out Friday, 28th November. Rudd recently released his own solo album, Head Job.
UPDATE 07/11/14 13:12 AEDT: The charge of attempting to procure a murder against Phil Rudd has been dropped – details here.
Listen: AC/DC – Play Ball