Last month, AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was arrested and charged with taking out a hit on someone. That charge was alter dropped, but other charges stuck.
The charges that held were that he threatened to kill someone and that he was in possession of illegal drugs — reportedly meth and pot. Rudd’s initial arrest and charges were news enough. He had just released a new solo album, and a new AC/Dc band album was about to hit. The group had recently lost rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young due to health issues. Would Rudd be sidelined for an upcoming tour?
Then Rudd made headlines again when he showed up late for a hearing on his charges, clowned around at the courthouse, winked at reporters, drummed a rhythm in the courtroom, and raced off in a sports car.
Now he has finally entered a not guilty plea on the charges. According to the New Zealand Herald:
“Judge Tom Ingram said the matter would likely be heard at a judge alone trial next year. He ordered continued suppression of the details of the threatening to kill complainant and three other witnesses.”
The next step in the case is a case review, scheduled for Tauranga District Court on February 10 or next year.
Rudd is 60 years old, which puts him right in the middle of the pack of AC/DC members, age-wise. But the band’s newest release, called Rock or Bust, will spawn a world tour in 2015. Lead guitarist and founding member Angus Young tells Rolling Stone that the band is going out despite the loss of Malcolm and Rudd’s current issues.
“Every year has its ups and downs, I suppose, but it’s been pretty rough, yeah,” Angus said. “But we will definitely be out there. We are committed to do this.”