AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was arrested on Thursday morning in New Zealand. The 60-year-old drummer was charged with the attempt to procure a murder of two people. The news was reported first by Stuff.co.uk, and has since then been confirmed by the Tauranga Central division of New Zealand. News sources have reported that Rudd was also charged for possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. Rudd appeared at Tauranga District Court later in the afternoon and was released on bail. He is scheduled to appear in court again three weeks from now. While the police didn't go into further detail about the arrest, it has been reported by the Sun in New Zealand that the murder would've taken place sometime during September 25th to 26th of this year. The identities of the two people Rudd allegedly tried to have murdered have yet to be revealed at this time.
Rudd first joined AC/DC in 1975, a time in which AC/DC had only been around for two years. In terms of drummers, Rudd was the band's fourth. Rudd stayed with the group up until 1983 before the release of Flick of the Switch. AC/DC would continue with two other drummers, Simon Wright (1983-1989) and Chris Slade (1989-1994), until Rudd rejoined after reconciling with the Young brothers in 1994. AC/DC have already announced the release of a new studio album, Rock or Bust, for December 2. It will be the band's first album without co-founding member Malcolm Young, who was forced to retire from the band as he suffered from a stroke earlier this year and is now being treated for dementia. The Young Brothers' nephew, Stevie Young, will be taking his uncle's place (which he had done before during the Blow Up Your Video tour while Malcolm was in rehab). Rudd released a solo album himself back in August entitled Head Job.
I'm very surprised to hear this news. As much as I adore AC/DC, I have to admit that I really don't know much about the members as people. From what I've heard, the guys are really nice and down-to-earth. Still, you never really hear about the other members doing other things outside of the band (with the exception of Brian Johnson, who is usually giving interviews and is almost the band's spokesman in a way). In a way, the guys seem to keep private. Phil seemed like a cool guy in a great band. It really is a strange situation here and we'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.
UPDATE (11/6/14): According to Blabbermouth and various other sources, the charges against Phil Rudd for attempting to procure a murder have been dropped. Rudd's lawyer, Paul Mabey MC, stated on Friday November 7 (in New Zealand time) that there was "insufficient evidence" for the charge to be justified. Therefore, the charges have been dropped. However, Rudd is still charged with possession of drugs (methamphetamine and cannabis), as well a threatening to kill charge. Mabey stated that the drug charges are "minor" and that Rudd will now be defending the threatening to kill charge.
I'm happy for Phil that this turned out okay. I was worried that this would be something pretty huge. With any luck, this shouldn't affect AC/DC's touring plans.