The 60-year-old drummer for Australian rock band AC/DC whose hits include Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was accused Thursday of trying to arrange two killings as well as possession of drugs.
Phil Rudd made a brief appearance at the Tauranga District Court in his adopted home of New Zealand and was charged with attempting to “procure murder”, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.
He was released on bail. One of the conditions is that he must not have any contact with anyone involved in the alleged plot.
The Bay of Plenty Times newspaper reported that the Australian-born Rudd was accused of trying to hire a hitman to carry out the two killings. Police raided Rudd’s home Thursday morning, according to the paper, and held him in custody until his court appearance.
A judge suppressed the names of the intended victims and the would-be hit-man in the alleged plot, the newspaper said. The court declined to release further details about the case.
Rudd’s lawyer Paul Mabey said he was still getting up to speed on the case and had no comment. Mabey said he was out of town attending a trial when he first heard about the charges.
A publicist for the band could not be immediately reached for comment.
The Australian-born drummer has also been charged with threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Court staff said Rudd was due to make a second appearance Nov. 27, although that date could change. He has yet to enter a plea.
AC/DC was due to release the Rock or Bust album next month and had planned a world tour next year. It was unclear whether Thursday’s events would affect those plans.
Rudd and the other members of AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 in Cleveland. It calls them one of the best-loved and hardest-rocking bands in the world.
“Featuring guitarist Angus Young as their visual symbol and musical firebrand, they grew from humble origins in Australia to become an arena-filling phenomenon with worldwide popularity. They did so without gimmickry, except for Angus’s schoolboy uniform, which became mandatory stage attire,” said the Hall of Fame’s biography.
AC/DC’s albums include Highway to Hell, Back in Black and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.
Even the US military has used the band’s music for martial purposes. In 2004, US troops blasted Hell’s Bells in full volume in Fallujah, Iraq, hoping to grate on the nerves of ISIS gunmen.