Well, now we know why drummer, Phil Rudd, has been conspicuously missing from AC/DC’s new posters and videos, and the reason is so shocking, we didn’t believe it at first.
The 60-year-old former rock star was arrested following a raid at his New Zealand home Thursday morning and appeared in court later in the day, where he was charged with threatening to kill, trying to hire a hit man and possession of several banned substances, including meth and marijuana.
Rudd is out on bail until Nov. 27 and has been ordered not to have any contact with anyone related to the murder procurement charge, the Guardian reports.
The Guardian says that Rudd is refusing to speak to the media, but biographer, Jesse Fink, who wrote a new book about the band, The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, told the Daily Mail Australia he was “absolutely stunned” and added that Rudd has “deteriorated” since AC/DC’s heyday.
“You go back and you see photos of Phil from the ’70s, he’s a beautiful man, a very handsome man,” Fink said.
It seems that the band, which is preparing to release its sixth album after a long hiatus, cut ties with Rudd long before any charges were filed. AC/DC has released some promotional photos and videos in advance of the new album and Rudd has been missing from all of them. Lead singer, Brian Johnson, previously told reporters that Rudd was missing from one of the videos because of a “family emergency,” according to the Guardian.
Rudd joined AC/DC in 1975, was dropped from the band in 1983 and rejoined in 1994.
AC/DC’s new record, Rock or Bust, is set to drop Nov. 23, about a week before Rudd will make his next court appearance in the New Zealand town of Tauranga.