Surreal news today as AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was arrested after a raid on his home in Tauranga, New Zealand Thursday morning. Appearing in court afterwards, the musician was formally charged with “attempting to procure murder,” threatening to kill, and possession of marijuana and methamphetamine. According to reports, he is accused of trying to hire someone to kill two others between September 25th and 26th of this year, as well as threatening to kill someone on the 26th.
The band’s upcoming tour in celebration of both their 40th anniversary and the release of their new album, Rock or Bust was set for next year. Rudd has currently been ordered by the court not to leave Tauranga, meaning that his presence on a world tour is entirely up in the air at this point. The drummer wasn’t part of any recent promotional materials related to the album release or the tour, the explanation given by singer Brian Johnson at the time being that he had left due to some sort of “family emergency.” What this news means about the band’s future or Rudd’s future with the band is unknown at this point. Currently Rudd is out of police custody on bail until the 27th of this month.
[UPDATE]: As Rolling Stone reports, the band released the following statement:
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.
[UPDATE#2] New reports now indicate that the “attempting to procure murder” charges have now been dropped. Rudd still appears ready to fight the other charges in court.