AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been charged by New Zealand police with attempting to procure a murder. Rudd also faces charges of possessing the drugs methamphetamine and cannabis, and of threatening to kill.
The 60-year-old drummer's home in New Zealand was raided Thursday morning (November 6) and he entered no plea to the charges when he appeared in the Tauranga District Court later that afternoon. He was released on bail and will reappear in court on November 27.
He is alleged to have tried to hire a hitman to kill two men. Their names and that of the intended hitman were not released to the media.
The alleged offenses are said to have taken place between September 25 and September 26 this year.
If convicted, Rudd faces a maximum of ten years in jail.
A video report from SunLive can be seen below. Also available is an audio wrap of the day's events from Tony Wall, a reporter for Fairfax New Zealand.
Rudd was missing from AC/DC's new publicity photo and was also a no-show at the group's video shoot on October 3 and October 4 for their two new singles, "Play Ball" and "Rock Or Bust". Rudd was replaced for the filming by drummer Bob Richards (who had previously played with SHOGUN and IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith), with singer Brian Johnson reportedly telling fans at the shoot that Rudd was unable to participate due to an undisclosed "family emergency."
Phil's solo album, "Head Job", was released on August 29 via Universal Music Australia.
Rudd joined AC/DC in 1974. He had previously played with Angry Anderson in BUSTER BROWN and left that band to join the COLOURED BALLS with Lobby Loyde.
When AC/DC bassist Mark Evans left the band in 1977, Rudd became the only Australian-born member of AC/DC.
Rudd exited AC/DC in 1983 and was replaced by Simon Wright, then Chris Slade. When Slade left in 1993, Rudd rejoined the band.
According to Noise11.com, Rudd moved to Tauranga, New Zealand in 1983 and has lived there ever since.
AC/DC's new album, "Rock Or Bust" will be released on December 2. The 11-song set is AC/DC's first without guitarist Malcolm Young, who is suffering from dementia. He has been replaced by nephew Stevie Young.
Fairfax New Zealand reporter Tony Wall speaks to Australia's Triple M radio station about Rudd's charges (audio):
Cops at Phil rudd's place today pic.twitter.com/jNb9Stu5Mi— tony wall (@tonywalljourno) November 6, 2014
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd in NZ court today, facing drugs and alleged murder procurement charges. New AC/DC drummer tba pic.twitter.com/C09cTOByeD— The Daily Rupert (@TheMurdochTimes) November 6, 2014