The longtime drummer for one of the most famous rock bands in the world has been charged with attempting to arrange a murder by hiring a hitman. The BBC is reporting that Phil Rudd, drummer for the hard rock band AC/DC, appeared today in court in New Zealand to face the charges, along with charges of drug possession.
“Mr Rudd, who was born in Australia, has also been charged with possessing the drugs methamphetamine and cannabis, and of making threats to kill,” the story reports. “The musician’s waterfront house in Tauranga, on New Zealand’s North Island, was raided on Thursday morning.”
Rudd, 60, was out on bail after his court appearance, the report notes.
The band, known for a string of hits including “Highway to Hell,” “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. The group is expected to release a new album, “Rock or Bust,” by the end of the year.
“Local media reports say that the alleged plot targeted two men. The judge ruled that their names as well as that of the alleged hitman cannot be revealed,” the story reports. “Mr. Rudd will appear in court again on 27 November. He has yet to enter a plea.”
The charge of attempting to procure a murder reportedly carries a potential jail sentence of 10 years, according to New Zealand law.
Rudd, who was booted from AC/DC in 1983 and rejoined the group in 1994, has been the subject of speculation about whether he is still a member of the band after a new promotional photo of the group came out last month that did not include Rudd.
Here’s a live version of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”: