Phil Rudd, longtime drummer for hard rock band AC/DC, was arrested in New Zealand on Thursday morning on charges of attempting to procure a murder, along with cannabis and methamphetamine possession (found in a raid on his home).
As reported by Stuff.co.nz, the rock drummer appeared in Tauranga District Court after his arrest, where he entered no plea to the charges, posted bail, and was released pending another court appearance at the end of November. Authorities say Rudd allegedly attempted to hire an unnamed man to murder two people (also unnamed at this time). No motive or backstory has been offered, and Rudd has made no statement.
Phil Rudd, 60, joined AC/DC in 1975, was fired from the band in 1983, and rejoined in 1994. He is part of the AC/DC lineup that was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Rudd’s arrest immediately evoked even more speculation from fans about the future of AC/DC, considering that the band already lost a key player earlier this year with Malcolm Young’s struggle with dementia. (Their latest record Rock or Bust is slated for release later this month, followed by a world tour in 2015.) However, as Rolling Stone reports, the other band mates have issued a statement that Rudd’s arrest will affect neither the album release nor the tour. The statement has also been posted today on the band’s website.
If convicted, Rudd faces 10 years’ imprisonment on the murder procurement charge alone.